How to Get a TEFL Job – Part Two: Asia – TEFL Certification

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So you’ve decided you want to get a job teaching English in Asia. Maybe you’re looking at South Korea because of the benefits and high wages compared to the low cost of living, or maybe you prefer the climate of Thailand or Vietnam. Whatever Asian country has caught your eye, it’s important to make sure that you’ve got what it takes to get employed by a TEFL school!


For starters, let’s make sure you’ve got a bachelor’s degree. Without it, you won’t be able to get a work visa in most Asian countries and that’s going to make finding a job really challenging. I know you can’t wait to learn how to use chopsticks but it’ll be so much easier for you to find work in Latin America that I suggest you get excited about learning the tango in Argentina or skiing in Chile instead. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you’re all set for Asia! Now to decide which TEFL certification course is right for you.

TEFL Certification

Many employers in Asia accept online certifications, so you can save yourself some money by getting TEFL certified from the comfort of your own home. Some employers may even hire you if you have a certificate with fewer than 100 hours but those schools are becoming more and more rare. Better to be safe and take a comprehensive course with more than 100 hours. If you choose the online route, make sure your provider is professionally accredited. Not sure what that means? Check out this interview with our director, Lisa, on the topic. Now, even though you can find work in Asia with an online certificate, employers still prefer the on-site certification courses, (like the CELTA), because of the teaching practicum and TEFL trainer feedback that they provide.

So, if you want to be able to work for absolutely any school in Asia, even potentially at universities, or if you think you may later want to go on to teach in more competitive markets like the Middle East, I recommend you take one of the on-site TEFL courses. They’re more expensive and the schedule is much more rigorous than their online cousins but you’ll get a lot more out of them, making you a more effective teacher and better qualifying you for the international market.I hope that clears up any confusion you may have about which TEFL course to take to teach English in Asia! Next up in the series: How to find potential employers and apply for jobs.

March 12, 2012