All 2 entries tagged Working Abroad

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December 06, 2012

Not sure what to do when you graduate? Try TEFL

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Today's guest post is from Helen Hargreave of leading TEFL provider, i-to-i. Helen talks through the benefits of teaching abroad - how it can boost your CV, broaden your horizons and help you stand out in a crowded job market.

Thinking about what to do after University? Job climate got you in a panic? Look no further than TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) - your ticket to instant employability.

This is your chance to get ahead of the rat race, boost your CV, gain valuable working experience and travel - the people you meet, cultural immersion and the fun you have are a nice added bonus! If you can speak English you can teach English with no experience necessary, sound tempting?


There are over 1 billion English language learners = the world needs TEFL teachers!

If there was an opportunity for the taking, this is the one. You’ve got a degree, so why do you need a TEFL certificate too? In most countries a degree is needed for visa purposes but a TEFL qualification will provide you with all of the necessary training to make you a confident teacher.

As the demand for English teachers has increased (especially in Asia) employers are also demanding the level of teaching experience and training that comes with a TEFL Certificate.

Which TEFL course is for me?

When choosing your TEFL course and destination, here are a few things to consider:

  • What age group do you want to teach?
  • What kind of hours do you want to work?
  • What kind of environment do you want to work in?
  • How much teaching experience do you have?

Asking yourself these questions will help you find that dream TEFL job!

What happens when I am qualified?

Armed with a degree and a TEFL certificate the world is your oyster! As soon as you’re qualified you can start applying for TEFL jobs all over the world and get paid. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Italy, Nicaragua...wherever takes your fancy!

Explore typical TEFL jobs to discover where you could be and how much you could be earning!

What do most TEFLers do?

At i-to-i we find the most popular TEFL hotspot is China. Home to the Great Wall and Peking duck, China has an extremely high demand for TEFL teachers as many parents are now sending their children to learn English as young as two! With many employers offering free accommodation, airfare and food it’s no wonder that China is top of the destination charts.

Many TEFLers use their new skills to make the most of learning about another culture. Most TEFL contracts are one year long and this might seem like a daunting prospect but there are endless positives to teaching for one year. It is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture, perfect your teaching and get paid for it, get to know your students and more importantly see how YOU’VE impacted their lives - not only this but it demonstrates to future employers your dedication to a worthwhile cause.

Working hours will vary from contract to contract/place to place etc. but on weekends and evenings TEFLers tend to make the most of their new surroundings!

How can I take TEFL further?

TEFL doesn’t have to end after a year. The beauty of TEFL is that it can act as your passport, allowing you to pick up teaching contracts in whichever country takes your fancy and turn TEFL into a long-term career.

Where will TEFL take you? Download our free Top 10 Destinations to find out more.

Helen Hargreave is one of the TEFL Experts at i-to-i the leading course provider. See more articles by Helen on the The TEFL Blog

May 28, 2012

Have you considered working in Europe?

European UnionWarwick is very much an international university, both in student composition and global outlook. Many of you will be looking for opportunities abroad as well as in the UK, so why not consider mainland Europe? Harmen Rijks, from Eurojobs, gives the lowdown on working in Europe: where to start and what to do.....

You've nearly finished your degree, but haven’t had much time to think about what's next. What are you going to do after graduation? Newspapers are full of horror stories about high youth unemployment levels, countries nearly going bust, degrees not worth anything anymore, a lost generation, etc. Doom and gloom galore. Or is it?

Not really. The media has a habit of painting a very bleak picture. When you look beyond the horror stories you’ll discover that there is a huge demand for graduates, not only at home in the UK, but also abroad – in Europe and beyond. Most European societies are ageing so there are increasing opportunities for people willing to look further afield.

One of the biggest benefits of European integration is that it's relatively easy to find a job in Europe. People often have a real misunderstanding of what it takes to move into Europe for work. You often hear the same things: I don't speak the language, the red tape is overwhelming, will they recognise my degree, how do I go about finding a place to live. But these barriers are often more perceived, than real.

Where do you start

Firstly, you need to find a job that you're interested in. There are plenty of sites where you can search for jobs in Europe: Eures, the EU's equivalent of Jobcentre Plus,, Europe's biggest pan-European job site, or EuroBrussels for jobs in and around the European Parliament.

Make sure you apply using the correct CV format. As with everything in Europe, even CV formats are becoming standardised, but it can make your life easier as they're pre-formatted and will help you select the required information. Be succinct, don't embellish your achievements and do check for spelling and grammar mistakes. It's also worth checking the CV and cover letter guides in Going Global – even though fewer countries are included – there's some useful contextual information.

Speaking the local language is often not a problem when you're applying and vacancies are frequently advertised in English. Many international companies with offices all over Europe use English as their "lingua franca", as their employees often come from a variety of countries. Speaking English as your mother tongue is often seen as an asset outside the UK. However, it does help if you speak a little of the local language. Locals do appreciate it when you make the effort to speak their language – if only to start the conversation, but don't be surprised if they then switch to English. Unless, of course, you are fluent!

Here comes the paperwork....

The EU has made this easier now. If you're a European Union passport holder you can work anywhere in the EU without having to get a work permit. If you're from outside the EU it'll be a lot more difficult, but there is a European student scheme which allows Canadians, Australians, Americans and New Zealanders to work in Europe for up to two years after graduation. A number of EU countries have implemented this scheme, but each with slightly different requirements – check with the country's embassy beforehand.

Degree harmonisation is something the EU has been chipping away at for years now and this is finally trickling through. English degrees are generally recognised as being on a par with (or better than) 'local' degrees. There are, however, some degrees – especially medical ones – where you would have to sit a language exam before you're allowed to practise.

So there is nothing really stopping you from exploring Europe professionally. It's a lot of fun, good for your CV, and will open up many more opportunities for you down the line.


Harmen Rijks (BSc, MBA) is the Managing Director of, the oldest pan-European job site. Harmen is a trilingual Dutch national and has recruited, worked and lived in a number of European Countries. He currently lives in the UK and blogs regularly about European employment topics.

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