ESL stands for “English as a Second Language,” and an ESL teacher is someone who specializes in teaching English to non-native speakers. I was an ESL teacher (sometimes known as a TEFL teacher) for over 5 years in Bulgaria, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand!
ESL teachers often work with students of various ages, from children to adults, and in a variety of settings, including schools, language institutes, community centers, and even online platforms. ESL teachers typically focus on teaching essential language skills, such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing, to help students communicate effectively in English.
I took my TEFL course online while I was teaching in South Korea – so I had the chance to learn and apply my lessons. This firsthand classroom experience with real crazy kids makes the process so much more fun and so much more valuable to you as a future teacher.
When you participate in a TEFL or ESL program, you are learning alongside other travelers looking for the same adventure and experience as you. This allows you to exchange ideas, resources, and teaching strategies with like-minded individuals from around the world…and then go get drunk together on the weekends.
An ESL teaching certification earned abroad can make your resume stand out to potential employers. It demonstrates your adaptability, intercultural competence, and practical teaching experience, all of which are highly valued in the field.
Living and working abroad can be a transformative experience that fosters personal growth and independence. It challenges you to step out of your comfort zone, adapt to new environments, and become more resilient and self-reliant.
While studying for your ESL certification abroad, you have the chance to explore and travel to neighboring regions, enriching your cultural experiences and creating lasting memories.
Want to contribute to the blog? I love to feature the perspective of other solo female travelers.
I'm a bestselling author, hotel reviewer and pickleball player. I teach women how to travel the world solo without going broke or getting kidnapped.
In 2011, I left Seattle with just $200 in my pocket to travel the world solo. Today, I'm the founder and creator of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide, the #1 travel guide book series for women - and the author of The One-Way Ticket Plan.