Can I Teach English Abroad During COVID-19?

It’s been a year and a half since our lives were put on hold. Plans to travel the world seem like a distant memory and can anyone actually remember what a boarding pass looks like?! Well, the good news is things are slowly opening up again and that includes TEFL jobs abroad! While it might not be time for a beach holiday in Barcelona, travelling abroad to work as an English teacher is a worthy reason and as long as you follow the rules of the country you choose to visit now is the time to go! So where can you teach English abroad during COVID-19? How do you even begin to find a job? And what can you expect when you get there? Keep reading to find out!

Where can you teach?

It’s no secret that places like China and South Korea have seen things returning to pre-pandemic life and this applies to teaching English in these countries too! In fact, if you’re looking to start your TEFL adventure, Asia seems to be your best bet at the moment. Most countries will require you to quarantine for a period of up to 14 days upon arrival but they are handing out visas and the jobs market has been booming since a large number of teachers left during the first wave of the pandemic last year.

Let’s look at Thailand as an example: At the time of writing, on arrival in Thailand you’re currently required to quarantine for 14 days but this may be reduced soon to 7 days if travellers are vaccinated (good news for the UK where all adults are now able to book a vaccine appointment). The cases in Thailand have been very well contained with lockdowns and an ambitious vaccine programme which means that while a lot of schools are still teaching online for the moment things are changing and in-class teaching is slowly being reintroduced.

Stay up to date on the latest travel guidelines by visiting your countries government website and embassy websites for the country you’re thinking of travelling to.

How do you find a job?

Before you start the search for the TEFL job of your dream you’ll need to get TEFL qualified, talk to our team and choose the course that’s right for you! Next, decide if you are looking to dive straight into a TEFL Job abroad or one of your paid internships which will allow you to get a taste for teaching abroad for six months. TEFL jobs can be found everywhere from LinkedIn to Facebook but there is no better place to look than our TEFL jobs board in our opinion (although we may be slightly biased). Here you’ll find job vacancies from companies we trust and you have access to our specialised team of experts to help you every step of the way. Don’t just take our word for it read what our TEFL graduates have to say.

Teach English Abroad Guide

What can you expect when you get there?

COVID has changed a lot of things in the world and teaching English abroad is no exception. With so many changes it’s hard to know what to expect from your time abroad but don’t let this put you off there are still so many opportunities and adventures out there for you. On arrival as mentioned above, you will most likely be asked to quarantine for a period and produce a negative test.

Schools in China and South Korea have now gone back to full in-class learning while places like Thailand and Vietnam are experiencing a mix of both and it can vary from school to school. If you want to see what a day-in-the-life might look like as you teach English abroad during COVID-19 why not check out TEFL graduate Aileen’s video where she walks you through her life teaching in Myanmar.

Thailand is allowing travel within the country to certain areas. This is great news for diving fanatics as travel from Bangkok to the islands is now possible. Over in China life has returned to relative normality. A negative COVID-19 test and 14-day quarantine is still required for entry into the country and an app that tracks peoples COVID-19 status is essential for everyone whether they wish to travel around China or stay put in one place. Bars and swimming pools are open again along with all major tourist attractions and best of all schools are open for in-person teaching!

How can I get started?

As you can see the world of TEFL is really starting to open up again and it is possible to teach abroad during COVID-19. The worst is behind us and now we can look forward to sandy beaches and the smiling faces of our students to be! For more information on the best option for you why not talk to one of our experts and take the first steps on the biggest adventure of your lifetime.


I have been traveling and teaching ESL abroad ever since I graduated university. This life choice has taken me around the world and allowed me to experience cultures and meet people that I did not know existed.

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