Published 21st September 2018


Most people take a TEFL qualification because they want to teach English as a foreign language abroad. There are some of you out there though that don’t want to commit to teaching for a full school year and would prefer a short-term position such as TEFL volunteering.

This might be because you don’t want to travel abroad just yet, you want to gain more classroom experience, or, it could be because you want to see more than one country for a short period of time before you decide where to settle.

If this is the case, then teaching English as a foreign language by volunteering is a great way to get classroom experience and travel without having to stay in one place for too long.

If you have a look at The TEFL Academy jobs board, you’ll see that there are volunteering posts in the UK, in Cambodia, Africa, Bolivia and even exotic places like the Galapagos Islands.

Many of the volunteering opportunities are in developing countries. It means you will be teaching English as a foreign language to adults and children who might not otherwise get the chance to learn. So, you’re not only helping yourself, you’re helping others too.

Some volunteering posts require you to pay a fee towards accommodation and food. For example, the International Humanity Foundation (IHF) charge $150 per week, but the maximum duration is 4 weeks, so it won’t cost more than $600.

If you want to enjoy free accommodation and food, then look for a post teaching English as a foreign language as a volunteer in Europe. Angloville is a large volunteer provider of cultural exchanges. You can choose from locations in:

  • Malta
  • Hungry
  • Romania
  • Czech Republic
  • Poland
  • Ireland
  • England

In Spain there is the Homestay programme. You live with a Spanish family and in exchange for accommodation and food you spend 2 hours a night from Monday to Thursday talking to them to help improve their English. You have Fridays and the weekends free. You could be anywhere in Spain including:

  • Madrid
  • La Coruña
  • Vigo
  • Cadiz
  • Jerez

If you would like to volunteer to teach English as a foreign language, check out the TEFL Academy jobs board or their dedicated TEFL Volunteering programs or e mail them if you want any further information.