Published 6th February 2019
Yes it is possible to teach English abroad as a couple but there are a few things to consider.
For many people, the idea of packing up, moving across the world and teaching English can induce panic attacks. They would love the opportunity of the adventure but would prefer to do it with a trusty companion. Other people are so loved up they cannot bear the thought of being away from their significant other for even a minute. Luckily, even if you don’t want to leave your partner behind, you don’t need to give up your dream of teaching English as a Foreign Language.
There is no reason you cannot teach English as a Foreign Language abroad as a couple.
For the most part, everything would the same as it would if you were going it alone as an individual. Doing the TEFL course would be the same, with the added bonus that you would have a study partner. Booking flights and getting visas would be the same. Packing your bags and finding someone to water your plants while you’re away would be the same. But there would be a few considerations when it comes to looking for and applying for a job.
What you need to consider if you want to teach abroad as a couple
You might not teach in the same school…
While it might be first prize for you to teach in the same school, this is very seldom the reality. Firstly, it’s pretty hard to find a school that is looking for two teachers at the same time. Secondly, even if you do, you would both need to be suitably qualified for the jobs. Thirdly, schools often prefer not to hire couples because if one wants to leave, they are likely to lose both teachers at the same time.
…but you can teach in the same place
Even if you aren’t working in the same school, it’s very possible to find work in the same town or city. This may mean you have different schedules but you’ll be able to live together (and save on rent) and explore together when you’re not working. Not to mention that you’ll have someone around who is experiencing the same culture shock as you are, which is priceless.
To make sure you can both teach in the same place, focus your job search on big TEFL markets and the bigger cities. This way you can be sure there are loads of jobs available and you’ll be able to find jobs that suit both of you.
Don’t count on one job
If you are moving abroad with only one guaranteed job, make sure you are financially prepared for this. An EFL teacher’s salary is usually only enough to support one person so while you’ll be able to share living costs, if you’re sharing a salary it can be a bit tight.
Make sure you know the law
Most countries will have no problems whether you are married or not, but be aware that there are countries that have different laws for married and unmarried couples. Specifically, some Middle Eastern countries do not allow two people of the opposite sex to live together if they are not married. Some conservative countries also have unwritten rules about public displays of affection so bear that in mind as well.
Try to get a package as a couple
If you are married, try to get a family package. Some schools or countries offer packages for the whole family. This means you will be given a housing allowance or accommodation and possibly a living allowance. This is usually done to entice you to accept a job so you’re more likely to find it if you are qualified and have a lot of experience.
Teaching English abroad as a couple is not an impossible dream, but you do need to take certain things into consideration so that your TEFL adventure is not doomed from the start. But possibly the most important thing you’ll need to think about is, do you really want to work with your partner?