What Documents Do I Need to Teach English Abroad?

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If you are considering teaching English abroad, you might be wondering: what documents do I need to teach English in Korea? or what documents are required to teach in Spain? or even what do I need to teach English abroad?

Knowing which documents you need to teach English as a foreign language abroad can be confusing because each country is different. The easiest way to see what documents you need is to look up the website of the Embassy or Consulate of the country you’re going to and have a look there. Meanwhile, here is short guide on what documents are needed to teach English abroad.

What documents do I need to teach English abroad?

Passport

It goes without saying that one of the key documents you will need is  a passport. Make sure that it’s up-to-date and valid for the date you want to travel. Some countries insist that you have at least six months or one year left on your passport, and also that you have free pages in your passport, so make sure you check this before you leave home.

What documents do I need to teach English abroad?

Visa

Many countries require entry with a visa to teach English as a foreign language.

A useful web page if you are an American citizen is CIBT Visas which you can use to get information on what documents you need. The same company has a website for UK citizens at Visa Central and Visa Link for Australians.

If you are Canadian then have a look at the web page at Visa HQ. South Africans should visit South Africa Travel Online.

TEFL certificate

You will need your TEFL certificate to show that you are qualified to teach English as a foreign language. A TEFL course should be at least 120 hours and cover all the basics of teaching English as a foreign language. The TEFL course provider must be reputable and internationally recognised. Don’t forget to hceck out their accreditation.

You may need to get your certificate notarised and legalised. You can find out more about this process if you read our blog here.

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University degree or college certificate

In some countries, the documents you need to teach English include a university degree or college certificate. This is not for all countries, but it may be a required document to get a work visa. A good example is China where you need a university degree to get a Z Visa. If you’re going somewhere a degree isn’t necessary, but you do have a degree, it’s still a good idea to make copies of your college or school certificates to show your qualifications. Thankfully, these days it’s super simple to save copies of all your documents in the cloud.

Read more: Can I Teach Englishh Abroad Without A Degree?

Criminal background check

Many countries want you to have a criminal background check before they will allow you to teach English as a foreign language there. To find out how to go about getting a check, just google “how to get a criminal background check from” and then put your home country.

Medical forms

Some countries will ask you to fill in a medical form either before or after your arrival. In some places, for example in China, you will also need a medical check-up within 30 days of entering the country. The form mostly asks questions about your medical history and if you have had any vaccinations.

This covers the important documents need to teach English abroad. Depending where you go there might be one or two more specific documents you need. Before you start applying for jobs, make sure you know exactly what documents you need to teach English abroad in that specific country so you can be prepared.

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Read more: The Ultimate Packing Guide For Teaching English Abroad

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