How to teach and travel the world with children

child being shown a picture of the globe

There’s a common misconception that only young, fresh out of college adventure seekers can teach abroad. And although a large number of TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) teachers are newly graduated, it’s never too late to teach abroad and explore the world.

There are diverse expatriate communities all over the world, and with the correct teaching qualifications, you can be a part of those communities, too. 

Even if you have children and a family, it’s possible to move abroad. Although traveling with children can seem daunting, especially if you plan to go abroad long term, there are so many benefits from traveling as a family. 

This post is part of our expatriate life series – come and read everything from our global parenting interviews to managing your money as an expat


The perks of traveling with your children  

There are a number of perks of traveling with your children, especially when it comes to their education. First, travel at any age can boost a child’s development, specifically linguistic development. Immersing yourself and your family in another culture likely means that you will be surrounded by a foreign language.

Due to their developing brains, kids have the ability to soak in the new linguistic information much faster than adults. Your children might soon be bilingual and have to translate foreign languages for you! 

In addition to language acquisition skills, traveling abroad provides children with the chance to experience cultural diversity from a young age.

Children who live abroad and are exposed to different ways of life will likely grow to be more flexible and adaptable. They will also have a greater understanding and acceptance of cultural differences. In short, your child will have a chance to become a citizen of the world from a young age. 

Finally, travelling together with your family will help build long-lasting memories and a strong family bond. You can create new traditions abroad, and you can spend your holidays exploring.

Want to go scuba diving in the Philippines for Christmas and lie on a Thai beach for the New Year? Teaching abroad makes it possible for you and your family to do just that! Keep reading to learn just how you can teach and travel the world- even if you have children. 

1. Prepare yourself

Check your qualifications 

The first step to getting your family overseas is to make sure you are qualified to teach English. You’ll likely be able to find a job as a fluent English speaker with just a bachelor’s degree. However, because the market for teachers has become more competitive, you should consider getting your TEFL certification. Being certified to teach English as a foreign language will help your resume stand out and ensure that you and your family have a comfortable transition abroad. 

It’s really easy to get certified online. There are a variety of courses available, so you can find something that suits your current schedule and budget. You’ll find a number of accredited course programs from a trusted TEFL provider that offers a wide variety of international certification courses worldwide. 

Find a job!

Once you’re certified to teach abroad, it’s time to start applying for jobs. You can choose to be a freelancer and teach English online, or you can apply to teach through an established institution.

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While teaching online is convenient and flexible, it might be a little more difficult to do as you support your family. However, if you’re up for the challenge, check out renowned companies such as VIPkid and iTalki.

Your TEFL certification will help you to get an interview, and after passing a teaching demo, you can even start working before you go abroad. As an online teacher, you can expect to earn anywhere from $12USD (£9.25) to $24USD (£18.50) per hour, depending on who you work for and how often you schedule your classes. 

The other option is to teach at an established school or language learning center. If you choose this route, your new employer will not only assist you and your family with the visa process, but they will more than likely help you to find an apartment in your new home.

Where to teach abroad

Where you choose to teach depends on what your goals are abroad. If you’re looking to save as much money as possible while living abroad, try searching for jobs in east Asian countries, such as South Korea or Japan.

These hotspots for TEFL teachers have competitive salaries and offer a number of great benefits.You can look for jobs at public school jobs through government programs, such as Japan’s JET program. There are also plenty of job boards out there if you want to work at a private academy, like this South Korea based site

If you’re more interested in travelling as much as possible while you and your family are abroad, then Europe is just the place for you. Most European countries hire TEFL teachers through government-funded public school programs. So, you can teach in a traditional school setting during the week, and hop on a train to head to explore another country with your family on the weekends.

2. Prepare your children 

Before setting off on your big adventure, it’s important that you inform your children about some things in advance, like culture shock, language differences, and different manners that are culturally acceptable abroad.

Most importantly, you need to decide if you plan on continuing their schooling, or if you prefer for your kids to take a gap year and just enjoy their travels. 

Depending on your job, you might be able to enrol your children in the school you work for at a discounted price. Other than English immersion schools, however, the curriculum will be in a second language.

There might be private, international schools that teach in English, or you could also choose to homeschool your kids so they keep up with their peers. 

Child working on a computer with headphones
Consider how your own children will continue their schooling with a year abroad

Parents who choose to homeschool their children will need to coordinate with teachers well in advance. Explain that you will be going abroad, and ask for the material that will be covered while you are gone. Although teachers often improvise lessons, each grade level has required material to be covered throughout the year. 

You might receive a packaged curriculum that meets your state’s education standards, or you may have to create your own lessons around each unit. Either way, there are plenty of resources online among the homeschooling community to help you along the way. You can check here to make sure that you understand your particular states’ homeschooling laws if you are from the USA. 

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Once you start working with your children, set a school routine and stick to it. It’s best if your kids study at the same time each day to maintain a regular study schedule and stay on pace with their classmates back home.

Start Making Memories

Once you and your children are prepared to move abroad, it’s time to take off and let the journey begin. Although it will be challenging, teaching abroad with your family is an awesome experience. Your travel stories and memories will last a lifetime.

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