Teaching ESL Overseas – TEFL Certificates and Essential Tips

Teaching ESL, or English as a Second Language, is quickly becoming one of the most popular routes for those looking to start a new adventure overseas. With such high demand for ESL teachers, the TEFL course market is growing daily.

There are however things to watch out for when both choosing your TEFL course, as well as dealing with employers in your chosen destination country. To ensure you have all of the information you need regarding TEFL courses, certificates, and using the qualification overseas, we continue to create informative and helpful articles here on our blog.

We’re the most experienced company in the industry when it comes to handling TEFL awards and we have partnerships with many course providers around the world. It’s important for us to work together to make the process of achieving your award and being able to use it overseas is as stress-free as possible.

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TEFL Verified List

If you’re in the UK and looking to study a TEFL course, make sure you check our verified TEFL provider list before you commit to a provider. This could save you a lot of time, money and stress in the long-run if your certificate gets rejected when you need to present it overseas!

See the list

Teaching ESL Overseas

Police Clearance Checks for Teaching TEFL


  • If you’re not sure that your course certificate will be accepted for legalisation, we always ask for a scan of the document so we can check this out for you. We have the experience to know whether most companies and certificate wording will pass the legalisation checks, but if we’re unsure of anything, we can check with our contact at the FCDO directly for you.
  • Not necessarily. Some countries require it as standard, like China and Vietnam. Some other destinations do not require the TEFL itself to be legalised as part of your job application, so we always recommend you check directly with your new employer before you apply.
  • Yes, some courses only supply a digital version of your certificate. Although we usually request original documents, in these cases, we can print and certify the digital certificate for you at our offices. Please make our staff aware if you are not sending a hard copy so we can make a note of this on your order for you.
  • Courses can be studied online or in-person. If you studied online, the legalisation process will depend on where the company you studied with is officially registered rather than where you were located when you did the course. This is because all documents must be legalised within their country of issue; therefore if you study online with a UK TEFL company but you are located in the US, the document will need to be legalised in the UK. If you’re unsure where the company is officially based or how to have it legalised correctly, get in touch with our team who will be able to make these checks for you.

  • Usually, yes. This entirely depends on which country you will be teaching in, and your employer. It’s standard to require some sort of police clearance certificate and in the case of China, a degree certificate. Check with your employer directly to get a list of required documents.