Can I apply for a TEFL job with my friend or partner?
We’re often asked if you can TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) with a friend or partner. The quick answer is yes!
In fact, many TEFL employers positively welcome friends and partners applying for TEFL jobs together. After all, their newly recruited TEFL teachers are less likely to leave early due to homesickness if they are living and working with someone they know well.
It does take time and effort to find a destination that suits you both however – quite apart from the need to successfully apply for two TEFL jobs rather than just one. To help you on your way, here are our tips for applying for a TEFL job with your partner or friend.
Check your qualifications
Before you start your search, look at what qualifications you BOTH have. If you’re both TEFL certified, native English speakers with a degree, that’s great. However, if one of you doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to TEFL in a particular country, don’t waste your time looking there – even if it looks perfect in every other way. After all, there’s no point in landing your dream TEFL job in South Korea, if your friend or partner’s lack of degree means they’ve no chance of finding work too.
Go where the demand is high
You’ve got a far higher chance of both landing TEFL jobs if you’re looking in countries where the demand for TEFL teachers is high. Countries such as China, Thailand and Spain all have a huge TEFL market with recruiters often looking for multiple teachers at once. Focus your efforts here and you’ve got a great chance of landing a job for you and your friend or partner at the same time.
Concentrate on larger schools
Larger schools can have multiple TEFL roles and a fairly high turnover of teachers. Small villages may not even have two TEFL posts in the same area. It’s a simple matter of maths – you will significantly increase your chances of working together if you apply for TEFL jobs in schools with a higher number of TEFL posts.
Apply to different schools
Don’t limit yourself to only applying for TEFL jobs in schools that can take on both of you. In Europe and Latin America, it’s fairly common for TEFL teachers to work for multiple schools anyway and you’ll open up many more opportunities if you also look at vacancies in different schools, as long as they’re reasonably close by. In fact, working in different schools may be even better than finding roles together. You’ll have the security of sharing a house and exploring the country together, alongside the opportunity to make new friends independently.
Focus on metropolitan areas
If you’re only looking for one TEFL job, you can be flexible about where you work – whether that’s a village, island or city centre setting. When you’re looking for a TEFL job with a friend or partner, you’re far more likely to come up trumps if you focus your search around areas where multiple jobs are likely to be available. In big cities there’s often dozens of TEFL jobs available within a few miles. This means that you can find TEFL jobs in different schools and still live within easy commuting distance of both.
Okay, so we don’t actually think you should get married in order to get a TEFL job (unless you want to yourself, of course). However, do bear in mind that some cultures frown upon unmarried couples living together. If you’re planning to live and work together as an unmarried couple, apply for TEFL jobs in parts of the world where this is not an issue. Alternatively, consider whether you’d be happy to have a shared work and travel experience but live separately. You never know – you might actually enjoy a bit of individual space among all the pressure and excitement of travel. Either way, always remember to respect local attitudes, wherever you are.
Be patient and flexible
Finding two jobs is always likely to take a bit longer than one. You may strike it lucky and land a joint post with your first application but be prepared to apply for a number of TEFL jobs with your friend or partner before the right opportunity comes along. Remember to be flexible as well as patient. Your first TEFL role may not be precisely what you had in mind but it could be that initial step towards the perfect TEFL job – and amazing travel adventure – with your friend or partner.