If you are yearning for a new adventure and want to advance your career at the same time, earning a TESOL degree abroad can be a great option. TESOL stands for teaching English to speakers of other languages, and is similar to an ESL or TEFL certification. However, there are numerous ways to go about earning this qualification, because there is no central agency that issues TESOL certifications. Instead, you can choose between independent organizations colleges, and universities.
The best type of degree may depend on what you want to do with it. If you want to teach English in English-speaking countries, it’s best to get a Master’s degree. On the other hand, you can get away with a short term certificate if you want to teach abroad in many cases. The following are five ways to earn your TESOL degree abroad, combining travel with study.
- Attend a TESOL Degree Course Abroad – The most straightforward way to earn your TESOL abroad is to enrol in a foreign university which offers TESOL degree programs. You can find these from the University of Costa Rica to Temple University in Tokyo, which all have programs taught in English. The benefit of taking a full degree course abroad is that you have a significant amount of time to immerse yourself in the country you’re studying in, while still taking courses in English. This may help you find a job later on if you want to teach in that same country.
- Earn a TESOL Certificate – Another option is to opt for a short course that leads to a TESOL Certificate rather than a full degree. This can be ideal if you want to work for a large company in countries such as South Korea or China, where there is such a high demand for ESL teachers that you don’t necessarily need a Master’s degree to find employment. These courses can take as little as 120 hours to complete, and may be available online so that you can start teaching right away in your country of choice while taking courses remotely from a college back home.
- Attend a Semester Abroad – If you’re already a student enrolled in a reaching course, you could find out if your school offers a study abroad program in education that will lead to a TESOL degree. Many universities at home offer these programs abroad for anywhere from one semester to a yearlong program, to enrich student experiences.
- Apply for a Work-Study Program – There are courses out there which are provided by TESOL training institutes. Many of these partner with local schools, so that you get a full immersion experience even if you haven’t had any prior teaching experience. You usually pay a single fee, and then have room and board provided or live with a local family. You’ll be expected to attend classes to work towards your TESOL certificate or degree, while at the same time working in the school so that you gain valuable real-world experience that will help you on your career path.
- Earn a Degree in Education with a TESOL Specialization – Some universities offer higher education degrees in Education, Applied Linguistics, or Special Education with a specialization in TESOL rather than TESOL being the primary focus. This is another way to earn your degree if you are interested in teaching abroad, but want to focus on other aspects of the educational process at the same time. You’ll usually find these types of programs at the doctoral level. For example, Columbia University has a PhD program at their Teachers’ College that’s explicitly in Education, with a concentration available in TESOL.