How quickly can I get a TEFL and go abroad?
There are a 5 things that determine how quickly you can get your TEFL certification before riding (flying!) off to your new job.
1. Are you legal?
If you are over the age of 18 and have a school-leaving certificate, you can get the process started.
2. Can you speak the lingo?
You also need to have native-level proficiency in English. Mastery in English means you have one less thing to worry about when learning to how teach it. If you want to improve your knowledge of English, consider an English language enhancement course before applying for a TEFL.
3. What other credentials do you need?
Depending on where you want to teach, it’s likely you’ll need a degree in addition to your TEFL certificate. Any degree is fine. It’s an immigration rather than a school criteria, meaning you can’t get a legal work visa without a 3-year degree. Some countries do not require you to have a degree. Keep in mind that options for EFL positions are more limited without a degree, so you may want to work on this first.
4. What’s your schedule?
The next thing to consider is the time you have available to do a TEFL course. If you are free during the week, do a 4-week intensive course. This is the quickest approach. If you are working or studying, then a 12-week part-time or blended course is ideal.
There are plenty of courses advertising shorter timeframes. Make sure the course is at least 120 hours and accredited! Teaching practice is also essential – you don’t want your first day in front of EFL students to be your first day on the job. We recommend a TEFL course with a minimum of 6 hours teaching practice with real EFL students.
The turnaround time for finding a job depends on where you want to go. Consider the main hiring seasons for your chosen country (often March, May and September), as well as the typical duration of the visa application process. Working with recruiters can certainly help speed up the process. They can tell you exactly what documents to prepare, help you book an interview at the embassy and track the progress of your application. Wits Language School recommends selected recruiters who can help start the job application process as soon as your TEFL course starts.
In short, if you have all your ducks in a row and work hard, you can get your TEFL certificate with Wits Language School and be abroad teaching in 2 to 3 months!