It’s time to bring new meaning to the term “senior trip.” If you’re retired or are planning to, you might be looking for life’s next big adventure. Maybe you’ve thought about wandering the world and getting to know it up close and personal, immersing yourself in a new culture, and trying out a new style of life. Teaching abroad is a great avenue to explore these things while earning a living.
Travel jobs for seniors are growing, so toss that rocker society thinks you’re relaxing on and trade it for job that lets you give back and teach a skill that can change lives. Besides, who says millennials are the only ones who can be #travelgoals? The life of seniors teaching English abroad is as dreamy as it seems, so read on to find out how you can make it a reality. Here’s the inside scoop on the best places for older travelers to teach English abroad.
Yes—You can teach English abroad when you’re 50’s+!
Your silver strands are not just there for aesthetics, it’s a sign to showcase your wisdom. Having years of career and life experience you have plenty of knowledge to share with your students. Teaching abroad requires nothing but your presence and dedication. Although most program’s target people fresh out of college or in their twenties, there are no age restrictions for teaching English overseas. With the exception of a few programs that might require a TEFL certification, you don’t even need a teaching certificate or degree to teach.
If age isn’t stopping you don’t let a “knowledge gap” prevent you from taking this opportunity either. Retired teachers teaching abroad are not the only ones doing it. Seniors teaching English abroad come from a range of different professional backgrounds. Even you have never stepped foot in a classroom it shouldn’t hold you back from teaching abroad. For these programs, having a range of knowledge and skills are what international schools are looking for.
Teaching jobs overseas for seniors can be based anywhere in the world.From nations of the Middle East, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe your opportunities are endless. While there can be age preferences in different countries, you’re never too old to teach abroad.
6 places with great job markets for seniors teaching English abroad
1. Mexico 🇲🇽
Open to novices to retired teachers, teaching abroad in Mexico is spectacular. As one of the largest job markets in the world, job opportunities are available all year round. Known for more than just tequila Mexico is an energetic country with beautiful nature and postcard-worthy beaches. If you’re looking to become permanent resident, its national healthcare system is regarded as one of the best in the world in addition to all the discounts you’ll have as a senior citizen.
- Pros: Seniors teaching English abroad will always be welcome here. With no age restrictions and mandatory retirement age you are free to teach here as long as you want.
- Cons: Salary is low here so it is highly recommended that you arrive to Mexico with savings that enable you to support yourself and take care of possible emergencies.
- Recommended job: Teach in Mexico with API
2. Ecuador 🇪🇨
With a large expat community, you can look forward to meeting people who share your love for experiences, making your transition to life in Ecuador even easier. Named a top retirement destination by Forbes, there’s also opportunities to meet other boomers and seniors to feel less isolated. With a low cost of living and real estate prices, Ecuador is also a budget-friendly city that you don’t need to drain your retirement savings to live in. With a friendly community, warm weather, and great senior discounts (50% off utilities!) waiting for you with open arms, it’s clear that all signs point to Ecuador.
- Pros: It’s easy to get around and stay healthy in Ecuador. With great medical facilities and a smooth running transportation system your safety and health will always be a priority.
- Cons: While the cost of living here is low as a teacher you will receive lower pay than what you’re used to. Meaning you’ll have less to save when it comes to traveling on your own.
- Recommended job: World Teach
3. Malaysia 🇲🇾
Known for its world class cuisine and food scene, retired teachers teaching abroad, regular joe schmoe’s from other career paths, and (most definitely) foodies alike should flock to this multicultural paradise. Home to islands, beaches, and rainforests there will be plenty of ground to cover when you’re not teaching. With a good salary and working about 20-25 hours a week, is there anything about teaching in Malaysia that isn’t appealing?
- Pros: With no peak hiring season Malaysian schools invite applicants all year round. As a result there are plenty of jobs overseas for seniors in this diverse Asian nation.
- Cons: Retirement is mandatory after 60. However some teachers in a survey done by the International School Review reported that in some cases they could keep their jobs but not without losing benefits and a lower pay.
- Recommended job: Teach Away Program
4. South Korea 🇰🇷
1,000 English language schools, paid vacations, AND paid national holidays?! Travel jobs for seniors in South Korea are full of opportunity and benefits.Teach students in private schools, public schools, cram schools, or universities where your skills are highly respected and rewarded. With the strongest market for TEFL teachers in the world, teachers enjoy a comfortable salary as well as a bonus for those who continue to teach in Korea after your initial contract is up. If you’re looking to grow and work long-term, South Korea will surely make it worth your while.
- Pros: If you choose to teach in South Korea, you’ll likely be provided with free housing with furniture included.
- Cons: Age restrictions for teaching English overseas in South Korea begin at 65. Because this is the national retirement age, schools don’t interview candidates after 65. However if you start teaching before then, many teachers have reported not having any issues continuing to teach after 65, especially in private schools.
- Recommended job: Korean Horizons
5. Thailand 🇹🇭
The “Land of Smiles” will make you smile everyday if you choose one of the teaching jobs overseas for seniors in Thailand. Working approximately 20 to 30 hours of work per week, you will have plenty of time to travel and explore Thailand’s parks, ancient temples, and beaches. Whether your breezing down the streets of Bangkok in a tuk tuk, or sampling Thailand’s street cuisine, your transition to living abroad in Thailand will be a joyful one. If you’re thinking of uprooting your life to teach in this southeastern paradise make sure you are TEFL certified.
- Pros: As one of the fastest growing markets for English teachers in Asia travel jobs for seniors here are growing and are in demand. There’s also a wide range on where you can teach, either in public schools, private schools or as a tutor.
- Cons: Like most Asian countries on this list, this country has a mandatory retirement age of 65.After this age it is up to the school to continue to renew your contract. So if you are looking for something permanent and like having control of your employment; Thailand teaching job market won’t help you make a life change.
- Recommended job: Teach in Thailand with i-to-i
6. Czech Republic 🇨🇿
The demand for English teachers in the Czech Republic is strong, especially in Prague, the heart of Europe.Commute through cobblestone streets surrounded by classic European architecture. Peak hiring seasons are in the months of September and January so make sure to get through the bulk paper work to secure your visa in time to get your dream job in the land of castles, museums and beautiful cathedrals.
- Pros: Age is just a number here. Schools in this country have no age restrictions for teaching English overseas and have instructors in their seventies.
- Cons: If you’re not from a country in the EU securing a visa to stay here will take longer without sponsorship. So if you want to teach abroad here, going through an agency will surely make the process less difficult and manageable.
- Recommended job: The Language House in Prague
BONUS: Important considerations to make before finding teaching jobs overseas for seniors
You thought you could get off this easy? To quote yourself back in the 90s—as if! ;-) Here are a few more things to think about as you prepare to retire and become a teacher abroad.
- Leaving life behind. If you’re not a seasoned traveler and don’t travel often it’s likely that teaching abroad will be the first time in a while that you have left home. Regardless of how old you are leaving what is familiar is going to be difficult. Taking the opportunity to teach abroad might force you to miss out on major family events whether it be weddings, or grandchildren. Thankfully, technology allows us to keep in touch with family and friends but if your fear of missing out is high you might want to explore teaching jobs with shorter commitments.
- Access to your health and medical needs. Your health is a top priority, especially when you are looking to move or temporarily relocate to a new country. When you’re far from your doctor and familiar pharmacy stores, it’s not going to be easy to refill your prescriptions. Before you leave make sure all your necessary medications are filled and consult with your doctor with how you can obtain your prescriptions worldwide. Specifically ask if your medicine goes under other names and ask for trusted pharmacy stores to pick them up from. Also make sure to secure health insurance in the country you are traveling to in case of any accidents or emergencies.
- Dealing with your house and other belongings. If you not willing to sell your house or your belongings there is an alternative. While you can always enlist your children to house sit if they are close by you can also make your move abroad profitable. You can rent out the house, or share your home with other senior travelers on sites like Expat Exchange.
- Mobility and Activity. If you have trouble moving around make sure to check if you new school and country are handicap friendly. It’s also great to consider how active you need to be, especially if you end up teaching a younger age group that might require you to incorporate more activity into your lessons.
Seniors—Teaching English abroad is your new calling!
Make your golden years truly golden and live life to the fullest. Don’t just retire, go do something new and fulfilling. Whether you decide to become a full-time teacher or a private tutor that makes your own schedule, travel jobs for seniors are out there! Getting old might mean a lot of things but it doesn’t require giving up your independence and living life they way that you want. It’s time to shed that “too old” mentality, like wine everything gets better with time. Time to start planning for your next chapter, there are no excuses left to sidestep your new calling.