teach english overseas

The Soul-searcher’s Quiz: 10 Questions to Determine If You Should Teach English Overseas

Teaching English in a foreign country. 

Maybe it’s crossed your mind once or twice.

Perhaps it’s all you’ve been thinking about for the past year.

Regardless, it’s becoming quite the thing to consider.

Teaching English abroad is more common than ever thanks to technology, demand, increased ease (and affordability) of travel and economic shifts in certain countries.

I don’t usually mention everything I dabble in, but the experiences I’ve had from my time teaching English overseas (it’ll be 5 years in July) have been more epic than Zeus fighting Megatron.

Okay, perhaps not that cool, but quality times nevertheless, I assure you.

I’ve had some good times that would have been impossible to replicate had I stayed home in boring (insert hometown) in same old (insert home country), you know?

Thank goodness I grabbed the Gauntlet when it was thrown my way. I bought that plane ticket online and I went, baby! But that’s just me, I didn’t have this quiz back then, but it may have gotten me out the door even sooner!

Perhaps this quiz can reveal stuff about yourself that you didn’t know before. Maybe it was destiny that your fate was to go over to (insert exotic country) and live the crazy fun life you deserve to live.

I mean, imagine how exciting it must be to experience new lands!

Or even just imagine the things you’ll learn through teaching in a totally new environment, with different cultural and linguistic factors at play.

You’ll probably learn a bunch of stuff you couldn’t have imagined you’d ever know, stuff that will become valuable to you personally and professionally.

But is it right for you? Should you take the journey outside your front door?

Take the quiz, try it out! The results may surprise you.

On to the first question…


Should You Consider Teaching English Overseas? Take This Quiz to Find Out!

1. How Do You Feel About Your Current Living Situation?

(A) I live pretty well, but I need a change.

(B) It’s okay, I can’t complain.

(C) Absolutely love it, I couldn’t imagine anything else.


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2. How Do You Feel About Traveling in General?

(A) I love it, it’s exciting. Never a dull moment.

(B) It’s nice, but I don’t do it all that much.

(C) I like staying closer to home, you know?


3. How Do You Feel About New Places?

(A) They’re fascinating, newer places are always better.

(B) It depends, what kind of places exactly?

(C) Not really my thing, home is the best place.


4. How Do You Feel About Trying New Things?

(A) I’m usually up for it, could be fun!

(B) I sometimes try new things, not all the time.

(C) Trying new things isn’t really my thing.


5. How Do You Feel About Meeting New People?

(A) I love meeting new people, you learn a lot.

(B) Yeah, new people are fine, I suppose.

(C) Not too comfortable, I don’t know.


6. How Do You Feel About Foreign Languages?

(A) They’re fun and could help you get a better job too.

(B) I like to dabble a bit in another language, here and there.

(C) If it’s not English, then I don’t think I’ll be speaking it.


7. How Are the Girls/Guys in Your Country?

(A) They’re alright, but I’m interested in exploring what the rest of the world has to offer.

(B) Pretty good. Something new would be nice.

(C) Awesome, I’d say the best.


8. How Do You Feel About Taking Risks?

(A) I may as well while I’m still young…ish. Sure, why not?

(B) At times I like to gamble, you know, spin the wheel.

(C) I actually kinda stay away from risks.


9. How Do You Feel About Helping Others?

(A) I love it, it makes me feel much better about myself.

(B) I do what I can, yeah.

(C) Well, I don’t not like helping people, you know?


10. How Do You Feel About New Foods?

(A) I would love some new food, I’m tired of my country’s meat and potatoes.

(B) Yeah, I like some new foods. Others, not so much.

(C) I’m not too sure, I’ll stick with what I know.


For every A answer, it’s 3 points. 2 points for every B answer, and 1 for every C answer.

The quiz is over, so now you should add up all your points and see where you fall on the scale. What do your answers say about you teaching English overseas?

24-30 Points

Quite simply put, you want to teach overseas now! You’re ready, willing and eager.

You like new things in life, perhaps need a change and can get started much sooner than you might think! With more and more employers looking for teachers, finding a job has never been easier. Most popular job boards such as www.tefl.com, www.eslcafe.com, www.esljobs.com and others offer a wealth of options in diverse countries.

Some places may require you to have teaching experience, a teaching certificate, a bachelor’s degree or even all three. But many just require either the certification or the bachelor’s degree.

If you hop on a plane and head somewhere in Latin America or Southeast Asia, there’s a chance you can find an English teaching gig on the fly, without any kind of background or education related to teaching. Being an English speaker is sometimes enough all on its own!

Since there’s so much demand all over the world, the demand season is all year, so you don’t need to wait to start your adventure.

Recommended plan of action: Make a list of places you’d like to visit, apply to a couple of postings from those places and repeat until you’re hired. Deep down, you know teaching English overseas is the right thing your life needs right now.

If you lack any teaching experience or training, you may want to consider a good online course like the one offered by myTEFL, which will thoroughly prepare you for your adventure and give you a pathway to job opportunities in a variety of countries.

You can also check out Premier TEFL, which offers a variety of training options—including both online and on-the-ground “blended” courses in various European countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania), as well as courses that specialize in more specific areas of TEFL, such as the IELTS and TOEIC. They also offer internships in a variety of countries spanning Asia, Europe and South America.

17-23 Points

Looking at your position on the scale, you seem like a person who could enjoy teaching English overseas, but may need some more convincing. You’re almost there, but not quite 100%—and that’s alright.

Have you considered the wealth of benefits teaching could offer? Well, for starters, your C.V. would look much more impressive than your competition’s with some foreign teaching experience. You will learn more about the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the ESL and ELL students in your home country, giving you a serious edge. You can expand your comfort zone, learn to lead a different lifestyle and you can do things you would have never imagined otherwise.

And that’s just for starters.

If you’re worried about the newness of things, experiencing all that is a part of life that can build your adaptability, one of the most important skills anyone could ever learn. This may change your mind. Visualize yourself in these photos.

Do you have any special country in mind? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to experience the Far East, or perhaps you have a thing for Latin America. You can check out this convenient cost of living guide for English teachers, and then voilá! All of a sudden, somewhere new looks a lot more attractive.

Recommended plan of action: Make a list of advantages of teaching English overseas and if you can write more than ten things, then you’re ready to go. You seem like the kind of person that would be pleasantly surprised by the benefits and adventures of teaching English overseas.

Either way, check out Teach English Abroad, which offers a huge variety of courses and resources for those considering teaching English in another country. You may just surprise yourself by finding an opportunity that sounds perfect. There’s even a “Classroom Taster Course,” a 20-hour weekend course that gives you the opportunity to experience a TEFL environment and see if it feels right for you.

If you’re scared by the idea of a long overseas commitment, you may want to see if you qualify for the twice-yearly paid internship offered by SEE TEFL, which gives you two weeks of training followed by a 4-5 month teaching placement in Thailand.

10-16 Points

It doesn’t seem like leaving home and teaching English overseas is your thing, and that’s perfectly alright. Maybe living the same old life during the golden age of your life, the time of no kids and no responsibilities, is the best option. Maybe.

But did you ever consider that going beyond home to new lands and experiencing new things can be a once in a lifetime thing? Once in a lifetime meaning that there’s one time in your life to do it and that’s probably now. One day you’ll have kids, a demanding job, back problems and other things that’ll make it impossible to teach English overseas and you’ll be thinking “Doh! I should’ve done it sooner!” But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Perhaps you’re not in this stage of life, but have a bit of freedom and flexibility that would allow you to travel and teach abroad. If you’ve never traveled, now is still a better time than later.

Food your tongue hasn’t tasted, a lifestyle unlike anything you’ve experienced, work experience that brightens your future outlook on job prospects. It can all be gained through teaching English overseas.

Maybe it’s overwhelming to think “Teaching English overseas?? I don’t even know where to start!?” but it’s a simple ten-step process that anyone can do!

You may have some reservations, I do understand. One worry could be the challenge of learning a different language. Or perhaps making that big leap to live overseas and be away from home so long is what breaks the deal. Well, there’s a solution!

Many employers on the ESL boards mentioned above offer short term contracts, seasonal opportunities and brief programs that don’t last too long. These are just perfect if you want to go just for a few weeks or months!

Recommended plan of action: Talk to your loved ones about going to teach English overseas and you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by their overwhelmingly positive reactions. Take some time to think in solitude about your life and the possibility of teaching English overseas. Maybe even check out some stories of normal people just like you who went off and traveled. Afterwards, take the quiz just once more.


Regardless of your results, one thing is sure. Teaching English overseas could be lots of fun.

Actually, allow me to rephrase. It will be a lot of fun.

You’ll help others, try new food, meet new people, find some new girls (or guys), get some solid life experiences and even more!

Not to mention, it’s a pretty simple job, it pays well depending on where you go…and you just might be better off than you are doing what you’re doing right now. Oh and jobs are everywhere, literally.

Think about it…

If you catch the travel bug, you can go right ahead and blame me!

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