Among the tens of thousands of ESL teachers working overseas, it is relatively common to find friends or couples who set off to teach English abroad together. Although it is common practice, there are still a few things to think about before you both pack your bags and head to the airport.
Where can couples or friends teach English abroad together?
If you plan to set off abroad with a friend or partner, it is vital that you choose a destination where you both have a good chance of finding employment. Although you might dream of working in a tropical beach resort with swaying palm trees and a laidback lifestyle, this may not be realistic as the limited number of jobs and a high level of competition could make things difficult. In contrast, most major cities across Europe, Asia and Latin America have a high demand for teachers, making employment for you both much more likely. It is also worth remembering that in some destinations it is difficult for anyone who is not a native English speaker with a college degree to find an ESL teaching job. If one or both of you are in this position, a little research on the requirements of your preferred destinations should help you to make an informed decision on the best place to find work.
Do TEFL employers tend to employ couples or friends?
Although couples/friends sharing a house or simply living in the same area are common, it is not necessarily the norm for them to work for the same employer. In many cases schools are not keen to employ two people together as they fear if one leaves then so will the other. On the other hand, there are many employers who actually prefer to take on two people together as they feel the support they provide each other will help them to feel at home and to adjust to a new life abroad. The only way to find out a particular school's preference is to contact them directly or to simply apply for the positions and wait to see what happens.
When is the best time for couples or friends to find work teaching English?
As with any individual looking to teach English abroad, it is important that you arrive in your country of choice at the best time of year. Across Europe and Latin America there are distinct hiring seasons when the majority of teaching positions are filled. If you arrive outside of these times it will be considerably harder for both of you to secure suitable employment.