Is a TEFL internship abroad right for you?
A TEFL internship abroad can be a good way to dip your feet in the waters of ESL teaching. Let’s take a look at what these internships are if its right for you.
What are TEFL internships abroad?
You’ve probably heard of internships. You get experience in your chosen industry to add to your resume and in return, the company you are working for gets free labor.
TEFL internships abroad are just like that. Only better.
You won’t be working in some dreary office for little to no pay holding out hope that the experience will translate into a good job later down the road. Instead, you will be in the country of your choosing teaching kids and traveling to awesome destinations in your spare time.
A TEFL internship provides you with the opportunity to work abroad without having to worry about finding a job, signing a long term contract, arranging for your visa, finding accommodations, or any of the other headaches that face longterm teachers.
The way these TEFL internships work is that you will pay a certain fee. In return, the company you are working with arranges everything for you from a place to stay, any necessary visas or work permits, and anything else that needs to be taken care of.
Most of these internships are even paid. Typically the money that you pay is a fee to the company in order to arrange everything. If you choose a paid internship, then you will be receiving a monthly salary that will cover your living expenses abroad. This salary will oftentimes be more than what you paid in fees. Meaning, you will usually break even or even be able to save a little money each month.
You aren’t going to get rich from the money that you are being paid, but you can at least supplement your living and travel expenses while you
You can find a TEFL internship in pretty much any country that is popular with ESL teachers. Even some countries that aren’t.
Most internships will last for one semester. From there you can usually make the decision to sign on with the school for a longer contract as a full-time teacher.
Who should do a TEFL internship abroad?
You may be surprised to find out that TEFL internships aren’t only for fresh graduates looking to get their foot in the door. A variety of people may, in fact, benefit greatly from doing a TEFL internship abroad.
The most obvious candidate is if you are new to teaching and looking for something to put on your resume for a better job. TEFL internships, like with regular internships, are great for this. This will also allow you to see just how much you really like teaching ESL before you make the major commitment of uprooting your life for a year or two to teach abroad.
You can also use a TEFL internship as a way to travel for an extended period of time in a specific country. Since you will have a place to live and, most likely, an income coming in to cover your living expenses, you will have more time and money to spend on traveling.
A TEFL internship abroad probably isn’t the best option for you if you are an experienced teacher and you know where you want to teach. If you already have a number of years of experience then doing a TEFL internship isn’t going to provide you with any significant benefits.
The exception to this will be if you are simply wanting to see how you like living and working in a new country without having to commit to a longer contract. A TEFL internship abroad can be great for this because you aren’t committing to more than 3 to 5 months and your cost of living will be supplemented by the monthly stipend you are receiving.
Remember that there is a huge difference between visiting a country as a tourist and living in a country. So, even if you are an experienced English teacher, don’t completely discount an internship to get a feel for a country.
Where can you find a TEFL internship abroad and what should you look for?
Almost all of the major TEFL certification providers offer paid TEFL internships. The prices they offer them for and what you get will vary between each provider.
TEFL company A, for example, may offer a paid internship in Cambodia on the basis of volunteering. This means you pay an initial fee and they arrange everything. You will have accommodations included and visa costs. You won’t be paid though.
On the flip side, TEFL company B may offer close to the same package but instead of being a volunteering position you will be getting paid a basic salary. The prices of these two companies may also vary. Though, usually not too greatly.
When you are selecting which internship is right for you, these are just a few of the things you want to consider:
Price (make sure to check multiple internship providers to ensure you are getting the best price)
Pay (as many of these are paid internships you want to make sure you go with the company offering the highest pay. Many times this will mean you are getting paid enough to cover the initial fees plus offset some of your expenses)
Length of Stay (make sure the length of the internship is in line with your goals. If you want to get a feel of the country before finding a full-time job you might choose a shorter internship. If you are looking for experience to add to your resume then a longer internship would probably be better)
For TEFL internships abroad, we recommend either i-to-i TEFL or Premier TEFL, as both of these are established TEFL certification providers also offering internships in several locations.