Teach Abroad Resources

  • Overview

    Teaching English abroad is the best and most affordable way to travel and live abroad long term, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your host community and culture. In addition to having a life-changing experience abroad, you will also be able to:

    1. Get paid to travel: Save money, support yourself while traveling, or pay off student loans
    2. Give back: travel for a change by joining our Global Greenheart Initiative
    3. Live like a local: immerse yourself in a new culture
    4. Put your degree to good use: gain valuable work and life experience
    5. Have the time of your life: make friends from around the world


  • Choosing Your Program

    What qualifications do I need to get a job teaching English abroad?

    That will depend on the program that you choose. Almost all of our other programs require that applicants at least have a Bachelor’s degree in any subject. Some will require additional qualifications, like a TEFL/TESOL certificate or a teaching certification/license. Please see the individual program pages for specific qualification requirements.

    All applicants should be enthusiastic, flexible, and adventurous!

    While we encourage you to have a blast while on the program, it is important that our teachers take their teaching positions seriously. It is a job, after all!



  • FAQ

    Can I save money?

    All of our programs provide salaries that are enough to live off of comfortably in that country on a month-to-month basis. Most of our programs provide rent-free accommodation, and some even provide all of your meals. This means that the majority of money that you’re earning is for incidentals (going out to eat, traveling on weekends, etc).

    Keep in mind that while the salaries on some of these programs may seem low, the cost of living is likely extremely low compared to your home country.

    Some programs, like the Teach in South Korea program, allow you to save money and pay off student loans. Frugal teachers in South Korea can save up to $15,000 per year!

    Why do some of your Teach Abroad programs have program fees?

    When we can, we offer our teach abroad programs for free.

    Greenheart Travel and its partners do have administration costs associated with providing these programs. Greenheart Travel is part of a non-profit organization, and our goal is to provide high quality cultural exchange opportunities, and to keep them as affordable as possible. Sometimes, the schools or the Ministries of Education are able to provide us with commissions to cover the expenses of screening, assisting, and preparing high quality teachers. In these cases, we are able to provide our services and programs to you, the teacher, for free.

    However, there are times when the host school or community cannot afford to provide anything more than accommodations and/or a monthly salary. In these cases, we need to charge small program fees to cover the staff and administrative expenses to arrange the positions, run the program, provide support throughout the program, as well as the costs of providing extensive orientation upon arrival and providing excellent international travel medical insurance.

    What if I can’t afford a flight or program fees?

    A couple of our programs are completely free, and provide flights or airfare reimbursement. If you’re interested in one of our program-fee based programs, check out our Scholarship or Fundraising pages.


    What if I can’t commit to a whole semester or year?

    Most programs require at least a semester or year commitment, to provide consistency for the schools and the students. We do have some shorter term options, depending on the time of the year. Please see our program listings for more information.

    I don’t have a Bachelor’s Degree. Can I still participate?

    Most paid teach abroad programs require a Bachelor’s Degree (in any subject) as a minimum requirement. However, our program in China only requires two years of college-level experience. This means that it is a great option for people with Associates Degrees or college students looking to take some time off for a semester or a year.

    Our volunteer Teach in Italy program does not require a Bachelor’s Degree if you meet the other eligibility requirements.


    Do I need a teaching certificate/license?

    A teaching certificate is not required for any of our programs. Most programs give preference and higher salaries to highly qualified teachers.


    Do I need a TEFL/TESOL certificate to teach abroad?

    While a TEFL/TESOL certificate is not always required, having one can lead to a higher salary. For those without any formal teaching experience or training, taking a TEFL certification is HIGHLY recommended.  A TEFL certificate can open many doors around the world, and you will be much more prepared for the transition into a teaching role in a foreign country.

    Whether you prefer to learn online around your work or school schedule, or learn better in person, we have several course offerings. Learn more at our TEFL/TESOL Certification page.


    I’m over the age of 55. Do I qualify for any of your programs?

    Unfortunately, most countries require that teachers are 55 years old or younger, due to the culture and work visa requirements of the countries.

    There are many factors that contribute to age limitations when teaching English abroad, and sometimes it is a visa issue. Some countries are not permitted to give visas to teachers above the age of 60 or 65 due to compulsory retirement ages in that nation. In other instances potential employers may hold fears that older teachers may not be up to the job physically or that they may not be able to adjust to living in a new country and culture.  In some cases, it’s just a matter of school administration deciding that a staff of younger teachers in their 20s and 30s is more marketable.

    Do you have any paid summer teaching positions?

    Because our teachers work in schools with regular academic schedules, we do not currently offer any paid summer teaching positions.

    If you are interested in a short term summer program, take a look at our Language Homestay or Volunteer programs.

    What will I teach?

    You’ll be teaching English in a school environment. The role of Native English speakers in the classroom abroad is typically focused on speaking, listening, and pronunciation.


    Will I be responsible for paying for my flight?

    Most of our programs require you to pay for your own airfare.

    Do I have to find and arrange my own housing during my contract?

    No. All of our programs will either arrange your accommodations for you, or will help you find accommodations near your placement.

    I want to teach in a country where Greenheart Travel does not have a program. What are my options?

    The possibilities for teaching positions and locations around the world are endless! There are typically 250,000 English teaching positions around the world each year.  If you’re interested in teaching somewhere that we do not have a program, we recommend taking our TEFL/TESOL certification course online or in Chicago, and using the included lifetime job search guidance that comes with the course.

    Getting a TEFL Certification is very important in preparing yourself and gaining the skills to teach English abroad, allowing you to be an effective teacher for your students. Some countries will require a TEFL certification, and in others it will make you a much more competitive candidate.

    While the field of English language instruction represents one of the strongest job markets in the entire economy, navigating hiring procedures, interview processes, hiring seasons, visas  and everything else that goes into gaining employment in a foreign country can be challenging and confusing.

    These courses provide extensive job search resources for countries around the world, as well as lifetime job search guidance. You can start your job search as soon as you begin your course.

    PLEASE NOTE: We do not guarantee jobs, as you must qualify and interview for positions yourself; however if you follow our guidance and use the extensive resources we provide you, there is no reason why you should not be able to find a job overseas. We are committed to our graduates’ success, and you will never be alone with our guidance and assistance.

    For more information on hiring seasons and practices around the world, visit our TEFL/TESOL Certification page.

  • General Safety

    Greenheart Travel strongly recommends that you register yourself and your travel plans with your government (US Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), Registration of Canadians Abroad, etc). In case of a natural disaster or national safety issue, Embassy officials will contact you to make sure you’re aware of any warnings or evacuations, and they will inform you of your options to ensure your safety.

    In general, traveling and living abroad is very safe and most of our participants complete their programs without incident. That being said, things do happen no matter whether you are in your hometown or abroad. The possibility of incidents increases in more touristy areas. We have support and emergency phone lines in place on all of our programs.

    That said, you should still keep the following tips in mind:

    • When in larger towns and cities be weary of pick pocketing
    • Avoid carrying or wearing valuables that will make you stand out
    • Avoid public demonstrations and political events – even peaceful protests can turn violent quickly and unexpectedly
    • Act purposeful when you are walking – even if you are lost, act like you’re not
    • Don’t leave your bag hanging on the back of your chair
    • Keep your belongings in your sight at all times
    • If riding public buses or trains long distances, keep belongings in your lap if possible
    • Try not to travel alone at night, even in remote areas where crime levels are low
    • Only take marked, official taxis
    • Follow your instincts
    • Don’t drink alcohol to excess or do drugs – you will make yourself more vulnerable to crime
    • Don’t drive – traffic laws and road conditions may be very different than what you’re used to and accidents often occur due to these differences
    • Always exercise caution and common sense
    • Remain alert and aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Teaching Tips

    Whether you have taught English before, or this is your first time in a homestay, we hope that the resources below will give you some creative ideas to prepare you for your program as an English tutor.


  • Lesson Planning

    Participating in our Language Homestay program requires some planning and dedication to give your host family a positive English tutoring experience. Check out the links for fun language lessons for all ages.

    Lesson Planning:

    Have any more ideas for lesson plans? Tell us on Facebook!

  • Returning Home

    What to Expect When You Finish the Program

    Upon your return, you will need to take some time to go through an adjustment period- re-orienting yourself with your daily schedule and way of life. Often times, participants experience “reverse culture shock.” Having an eye-opening experience abroad is definitely something that will change you, and you will want to share these incredible travel stories. Sometimes the most challenging part of adjusting to life back home is not being able to express and connect with family and friends about your experiences.

    You can expect to have your contact at Greenheart Travel to be in touch about a week or so after you get back (we want to give you some time to rest!) to see how your program went and how you are adjusting. We want to hear all about your experiences and help you make the transition home.

    Evaluating Your Experience

    We will also do a quick exit interview to evaluate your experience on the program.  We always appreciate feedback from our participants to make sure we are providing the best travel program possible.

    Sharing Your Stories

    Want to show off your travel adventures during or after your program? We love sharing our participants’ stories, pictures and videos with our travel community, and are always looking to feature new travel writers. If you are interested in being a blogger during your program, or sharing your story and experience when you return. Don’t hesitate to contact your program manager on how you can get involved.

    Stay in Touch With US!

    We would love to have you stay in touch with us once your program is complete, and here are a few ways you can connect with fellow travelers:

    • As a Greenheart Travel alumni, you will receive program discounts on all Greenheart Travel programs! Stay up-to-date on our latest adventures and sign up for our newsletter.
    • Connect with other past, present and future volunteers via Facebook and Twitter
    • Join our Ambassador team for a chance to earn a FREE volunteer program