On the daily, people at various stages in their lives inquire about short-term teaching English abroad programs, and most are surprised to find they actually exist. The beauty of this industry is that there really is a country and a program for everybody, whether you’re a high school graduate, college student or recent graduate, working professional or retiree.I know when I first began looking into my options for teaching English abroad, I found that many places wanted me to commit to 1-2 years before I’d even stepped foot in the country. That’s a long time! What if I don’t like the place? It was also my first time teaching, ever. What if I didn’t like teaching?
That’s initially why I ended up in Thailand. I found it was one of the few countries that allowed me to teach for short-term (one semester or less), and then decide if I want to stay longer. Guess what? I did. But at least the choice was mine.
Now that I’ve sourced the best programs from around the world and created Teach English: ESL, one of the benefits of each program is that it does not require an initial commitment of longer than six months, and many are even shorter.
1-2+ months (Perfect for meaningful summer travel)
Volunteer in Thailand
We have two unique volunteer teaching programs in Thailand — one teaching young monks in their temple school, the other teaching in a primary school near the beach — where you can choose to stay for 1-4 months. You’ll get airport pickup and transfer, orientation, home stay accommodation, and the experience of a lifetime in the location (and for the timeline!) of your choice.
Qualifications: 18 years of age; fluent English speaker; TEFL certificate preferred
Au Pair in China
Perhaps the most complete immersion experience, the Au Pair China program allows you to live with a Chinese host family and teach the children English (no housework involved!) for anywhere from 2-6 months. You’ll get airport pickup, home stay accommodation, meals, a stipend, Chinese lessons, cultural activities and more!
Qualifications: 18-29 years of age; fluent English speaker; TEFL Certification required
3-5 months+ (Perfect to test the waters of teaching)
Teach English in China
This 4.5-month stint is unique for the country of China, where typically 1-2 year contracts are found. That’s because the primary goal is to “bridge the gap” between East meets West, so the Teach in China program is catered to you, the one looking to get a lifetime experience with a short-term teaching English abroad program. You’ll teach in a public school (kindergarten through high school) and earn a full-time salary with a free orientation in Beijing, free accommodation for the duration of your stay, most meals, contract completion bonus, airport pickup and transfer and more!
Qualifications: 20-50 years of age; fluency in English; bachelor’s degree or higher; TEFL certificate OR two years teaching experience
TEFL & Teach English in Thailand
This is by far our most popular program because it’s a complete teach abroad package. The TEFL in Thailand program is for a three-week (120-hour) TEFL certification course followed by job placement in a Thai public school. Job placement occurs year ’round, allowing teachers to tailor the length of their stay from three months to forever. The courses are in Chiang Mai and Krabi, two of the most beautiful destinations in Thailand, and job placement is countrywide. They are internationally accredited, meaning they’re accepted in 80+ countries around the world, and the premium course option includes lodging and breakfast as well as airport pickup and all course materials. Also included are weekend excursions such as hiking and island hopping, a welcome party, Thai language course and lovely training centers. The courses provide cultural immersion as well as information about history, culture and what it’s like to teach specifically in the Thai classroom, all while exploring the city of your choice with teachers from around the world.
Qualifications: 18 years of age, fluent English speaker, interest in Thailand, bachelor’s degree preferred
Teach English in Colombia
If you have five months to spare or longer, consider our English teaching Fellowship in Colombia, South America. It’s technically a paid volunteer position sponsored by a government body (Ministry of Education, SENA or Secretary Office of Education) to teach English in the public sector in underprivileged schools around the country. Fellows earn a living stipend, orientation in Bogota with all expenses paid, housing assistance, visa assistance and more!
TEFL & Teach English in Costa Rica
Take our highest quality four-week (190-hour) TEFL certification course with job assistance in Costa Rica and live in the land of pura vida. Most employers only expect an initial 6-month agreement, with the opportunity to stay longer if you wish. You’ll get one of the best training courses on the market, followed by teaching in the private sector in Costa Rica (language schools, universities, private lessons, etc.).
Qualifications: 18 years of age; fluency in English
TEFL & Teach English in Nicaragua
This is exactly the same program as in Costa Rica one, but the Nicaragua TEFL certification course with job placement is held in the gorgeous colonial town of Leon, and just 20 minutes from the beach. You’ll get one of the best training courses on the market, followed by teaching in the private sector in Nicaragua (language schools, universities, private lessons, etc.).
Qualifications: 18 years of age; fluency in English
Whether you’re looking to teach English abroad for one month, five months or three years, these short-term teaching English abroad programs can be a great place to start. Sometimes the fear of commitment can keep us from making a life changing decision. These programs remove the fear (well, mostly — I know moving abroad can be terrifying!) of the contractual commitment, and leave the decision of timeline up to you.
Still not sure which country is right for you? Take our Quiz to find out!