Pros and cons of being a TEFL Teacher

A TEFL teacher, teaching English as a foreign language, is a pretty fantastic job. You can teach in so many countries in the world, spreading your love of language to many, giving them opportunities all while you get paid to live abroad and explore new territory.

It is a win-win situation for fellow travellers who love the English language! Although, it can be pretty tough at times. Especially if you are abroad alone, and you cannot always rely on having the most behaved of students. That is just something all teachers know once they begin teaching. In this article, I will share you the pros and cons of being a TEFL teacher. Maybe it will help you choose your next career and give you an insight of the reality behind it.


You can live anywhere you wish.
The more languages you know, the more extensive the world becomes. Of course, anybody can travel anywhere and use an app for translation, but living in a country is entirely different. You can feel vulnerable if you do not speak the language of your peers, but if you pick up languages easily, then you have so many opportunities which you may not realise! It can be daunting for anybody to make a move, especially when you cannot speak the language. However, landing a job as an English Teacher is a great way to get to know people, and help others at the same time.

You get paid to travel.
You do get paid to teach English, but if you live in a country you have never explored before, you are open to see so many things and experience what is it like to be a local, not just a tourist.

You are helping people.
The number one thing in teaching is that you are helping others reach their goals, leaving you satisfied when you have done an excellent job. If the passion is not there, I advise you to choose a different career, because it just is not fair to sabotage people’s abilities and future for money.


It can be lonely.
Moving to a new country by yourself can be a struggle when you are used to being around family and friends. There may be the worry that you will not fit in, but that is all part of the challenge and one you should embrace.

It is a strenuous job.
Teaching is heavy work. Waking up early, teaching for most of the day, just to get home and mark papers and prepare for your next lesson. When you are going through your training to obtain your TEFL certificate, you will be faced with these challenges. If you feel unprepared for it then, then it most likely will not be the job you desire.

It is not going to make you rich.
It sure is a rewarding job, and you can travel, but you will not make excessive amounts of money. Also, you need to pay rent, food, and look after yourself. Although it sure is a decent wage, especially with the perks you receive.

I hope you have gathered useful information from this article. We must not forget how lucky we are to know and speak the English language fluently and the opportunities knowing languages can bring to us. I feel like the teaching of languages should be pushed to a higher category in school, because it allows one to have so many opportunities to curate a better life for themselves. As always, I wish you all happy travels and keep learning languages!


10 thoughts on “Pros and cons of being a TEFL Teacher

  1. vietnamtravelandculture April 13, 2018 — 12:15 pm

    I think your article is pretty good. I taught International English for Lawyers, International English for Business, IELTS, TOEFL and children of all ages. However, I opened up my own school and actually made very good money. But your right, it is a lot of work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it! It’s amazing that you opened your own school! Keep living your dream 😁


  2. Great list and I could not agree more, I am currently a TEFL teacher in Wenzhou, China, it is an experience and a half but does come with highs and lows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment! I agree with you, it’s a very demanding job but you get so much out of it! I am hoping to take time to travel and see more of Asia, and teach English too.


  3. Totally agree. I’ve been in the game for 15 years, and yeah it can be hard work and strenuous. It’s true you can live where you wish. I used to travel around a lot but now I’m based in Seville.

    Interesting article though.


    Barry O’Leary


    1. Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed my article. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A very good article. Thank you ever so much for sharing your opinions.

    I believe the benefits of being an EFL teacher include meeting students from all around the world, learning about a new culture and having an opportunity to experience something new (food, languages, etc.). I guess the drawbacks would include working within an industry which is perceived as a ‘backpacker’s job’ rather than a professional career, working with people who you may not get on with culturally or consider working with in your home country as well as being paid peanuts despite spending a large proportion of our career developing and undertaking professional qualifications.

    I suppose some of my points would echo your sentiments but again, thank you for sharing your opinion. How did you get into EFL teaching?


    1. Thank you so much for reading the article, and I am glad you found it interesting. I got my TEFL qualification while living in Peru for a year. I was still undecided career-wise what I wanted to do, I saw that this particular institution was offering a course and I thought it would be great for me. I am glad I did it, it’s a beneficial degree, in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

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