What's The Best Time To Apply For A TEFL Job: Before You Leave Or After You Arrive?

10th April 2024

The ideal technique to acquire a job teaching English is a topic of much controversy, particularly about the timing of applications. Which is superior? To board an aircraft and hope for the best, or to get your work secured before you leave?

Both alternatives function and each has advantages and disadvantages. It all boils down to understanding what's optimal for you. These are some advantages of each route that you may wish to take into consideration while you're determining how to obtain ESL employment overseas.

Should You Get An ESL Job Before You Arrive?

If you are planning to get a job before you arrive at your TEFL destination, here are some pros and cons of this option.


  • All Paperwork Is In Order

Aside from ethical issues, global rules are becoming more uniform, making border runs more challenging. Preparing for your job interview requires learning about the immigration procedure and ensuring that all of your paperwork is in order.

There are several nations where obtaining a work permit and resident permit within their borders is not permitted, even if you are allowed entry on a tourist visa. You will be informed of any visa requirements before departure and will have the opportunity to collaborate with your employer to ensure that the procedure meets all of your comfort levels.

  • The School Invests More In You

A school will be more motivated to ensure that you come on over if you work with them for a longer period to smooth out all the hiring specifics. They are not interested in beginning over with a new instructor any more than you are in beginning anew with a new school.

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  • You Will Have Time For Networking

Naturally, you will work on a contract and establish agreements before beginning any assignment, but having all the specifics and expectations worked out before you board the aircraft provides a certain level of security. It is not as serious if you read over your contract and find something is off.

  • You Will Get More Options

Does Vietnam and Turkey appeal to you? Willing to ship to any location? Perhaps possibilities for progress, assistance during a change, or professional development are more essential to you than location. Securing a position before purchasing a ticket gives you the freedom to look around and select the ideal opportunity.

  • Your New Life Will Start When You Land

When you first go to your new nation, you have immediate assistance. You may begin working immediately, your company will assist with your relocation, and you have a pre-existing network of acquaintances that you should be able to get along with.


  • Might Be A Time Taking Process

Getting the job you want might take longer. You are limited to universities that post advertisements on their websites, the visa application procedure may take longer (and cost more) than anticipated, and once you arrive, you may discover the school is not a suitable fit.

Should You Get An ESL Job After You Arrive?

If you first want to land at your TEFL destination and then look for jobs, here are some pros and cons of considering this option.


  • Some Jobs Can Only Be Found Offline

If you think that just dropping off your CV was a desperate, meaningless move, you might want to rethink your decision. It works for most people and helps them land meaningful, long-term positions. Employers may find it unnecessary or impossible to market to applicants abroad. They have applicants close to them, so they can fill the vacancies. If you just use internet job boards, you can pass on a lot of profitable opportunities

  • You Might Start Sooner Than Later

Moving abroad may be an arduous procedure that requires considerable time. In addition to managing your affairs, there are instances when the processing of documentation takes longer than expected. However, if you've already moved to your destination, you can begin the next week. or even the following day.

  • You Might Have Some Leverage

Your TEFL is very valuable. You might be able to make use of this for greater advantages if you live somewhere with a low concentration of native English speakers or TEFL-qualified speakers.

  • You Can Check Out The Working Environment

Hearing everything there is to know about the school from a single interviewee over the phone or on video is one thing. It's another to take a self-guided tour of the school, visit with other educators, peruse the available materials, and gauge the general mood. You can find that a school is a perfect fit for you right away, or you might realize that you don't get along at all.

  • You Always Have The Option To Leave

Going first will let you decide if you'd like to make a long-term commitment to this culture and nation if you're not sure you want to live there. You can leave if, upon arriving, you find the language difficult or you are lonely.


  • Immigration Rules Might Be Complicated

It's not always clear what you're getting into. You're restricted to one location, you don't know exactly what the market will be like, your immigration status may be more problematic, and you may have to pay unforeseen fees to obtain a visa. In any case, it's essential to learn about the immigration laws of your intended country. Before leaving, make sure you are aware of the residence and employment requirements; don't just trust what the school tells you.

  • Be Wary Of Work Permit Rules

Furthermore, as work permits are sometimes linked to companies, be sure you understand the consequences of quitting or changing schools. Being stuck in a difficult job position while visiting a foreign nation is the last thing you want to happen if you don't know how to legally leave your company.

So What Should You Choose?

The demand for learning English is growing at an unstoppable rate each year, making it the most popular language in the modern world. Thus, you need to figure out if you want to go there and find a job or be prepared for your home country. Read on the pros and cons of both options to make an informed decision. However, for starters make sure to equip yourself with a Bachelor of Education in TESOL if you have not pursued it yet.

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Written By : Sudeshna Guha Thakurta    Share

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