A lot of people these days are traveling and teaching English – and why not, it’s a great way to see a new place and make some money at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you’re a qualified teacher as in many countries and with many companies, all you really need is to be a native English speaker and a degree (sometimes not even the degree!). While having teaching qualifications can really help you out in your job, as long as you’re a patient and considerate person, you’ll get along great. That’s all it really takes in order to get going on a fantastic work/travel holiday!
There are many countries you can travel to in order to teach English, but generally those where English is not an official language and that don’t have ready access to native speakers are those where the demand is the highest. Asia is your best bet for teaching jobs, particularly those with a high focus on international business, such as South Korea, Japan and China.
But which one do you choose? It depends on what you’re looking for as each country has a focus on a different work environment and is by no means standard across the board. South Korea has a high demand for teachers but working hours are often long and most often with young children – on the plus side they pay well. Japan also pays well, has you teaching adults or youth depending on the company, but they make you pay your way over there and there isn’t as high of a demand for teachers at the moment (but the work is pretty easy!). China pays well if you are looking to stay in China, has a high need for teachers but the areas you are placed can be pretty backwards. These are just some of the ideas for places you can go – there are many others!
Let’s say though that you don’t want to teach English but you still want to travel and work – are there any options? Of course! If you’re looking for an office type employment, you can be sure there are reception jobs and other opportunities out there in English speaking countries. The work can be relatively low-key and even part time, which is ideal for someone looking to have more time for travel.
If office work isn’t quite your thing, consider your other options for employment, such as those in the service industry. You can try to get a job in a hostel at reception, which is a popular way for travelers to meet other travelers and to save up for future trips. Alternatively, you can get a job as a server in a restaurant or bar/club to supplement your finances – all of these get you into social environments and if they allow you to collect tips, are great money makers.
Just keep in mind, if you do decide to work in a foreign country, even if you do speak the language, ensure you have the appropriate visa so you can actually get work and to avoid any legal complications. Some places may pay you without the visa, but if that’s illegal, you won’t have any legal recourse against your employers if something goes wrong – and the last thing travelers need is for their source of money to get cut off!