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A Guide to TEFL Courses in Sydney

Australia is often at the top of every traveler’s bucket list, but is long forgotten when it comes to TEFL certification courses. Not any more! With a growing number of teaching certification opportunities and the lure of living among gorgeous beaches and wildlife unlike anywhere else in the world, Sydney has become the ideal location for prospective TEFL teachers. Upon arrival, you’ll quickly discover why travelers find it difficult to leave. Luckily, Sydney’s not only home to the famous Bondi to Cooge coastal walk and the iconic Opera House, it’s also where you can begin your journey to becoming a certified English language teacher.   

TEFL Programs in Sydney

Researching how to teach English as a second language abroad can often lead to feelings of confusion, and even frustration. With so many different certification names, places to teach, and companies with whom to earn your TEFL certification, these feelings are understandable! TEFL, TESL, and TESOL - what’s the difference, anyway?! In brief, all three are English language teacher certification programs with slight variations in where you plan to teach. All ESL teaching certifications are valid for life and allow participants to teach English worldwide. 

While TEFL is the most widely accepted certification, all three teaching certifications are available in Sydney, Australia. TEFL program options in Sydney include both online and in-person courses, with many companies now offering a combined certification approach as well. Deciding which is best for you will depend on your time availability, program costs, personal preference, and goals for your TEFL career.

TEFL courses in Sydney may include teacher-led lessons, coursework, student-created sample lessons, homework, and a required “teacher practice.” Keep in mind: previous teaching experience is not required. In-person TEFL courses in Sydney typically run full-time for four weeks, and online courses can last between six to 11 weeks. All ESL training courses must meet a minimum of 100 hours of academics, with six to 20 hours of practice teaching with real ESL students, in order to achieve accreditation. Beware of companies offering short-cuts as it may be difficult to find a ESL job abroad with an incomplete or non accredited certification.

Life in Sydney

Sydney offers residents the best of both worlds: beautiful beaches with a city skyline as its backdrop! What more could you ask for? Oh, breathtaking coastal hikes, a laid-back culture, and endless things to do, you say? Yep, Sydney has all of that, too! As Australia’s largest city and international hub, Sydney is where many travelers first fall in love with Australia.

TEFL students can fill their free time with a variety of activities, from exploring the many hidden beaches along Sydney’s harbor to visiting the oldest neighborhood in Australia, as well as bar hopping through some of the world’s best small bars.

Like history? Check out The Rocks neighborhood, located across from the Opera House and connecting with the Harbor Bridge. It was Australia’s first colony; convict homes were erected here and many still stand today. Ready for your first Aussie surf lesson? Head east to the iconic Bondi Beach (where shoes are never required). Looking for a late night drink and live music? Newtown is the happening neighborhood that comes alive after dark. Are festivals and markets more your speed? Sydney has plenty of those just about every weekend as well! 

With Australia’s largest international airport 20 minutes outside of the central business district, Sydney is a regular stop for foreigners from all parts of the globe. Sydney’s local population is equally diverse, with close to 40 percent of its population born outside of Australia. It’s common to walk into a local cafe and be served by people from all around the world. Remember: no need to tip here; Australia’s minimum wage is $16.87 per hour, making it possible for hospitality workers to earn enough money to support themselves without tips. 

English language students are equally diverse in age and nationality hailing from all parts of the world including Southeast Asia, South America, and Europe. ESL teachers in Sydney will also work with learners of all ages and levels of English, so earning TEFL certification in Sydney will be a great headstart.

Accommodation & Visas

Sydney offers something for everyone, including living accommodations to suit all tastes and budgets. TEFL/TESOL students can opt to stay in one of Australia’s finest hostels, share an apartment with their fellow classmates, or choose from one of numerous hotels around the city. Many TEFL certification programs in Sydney offer students support in finding accommodation. TEFL schools are generally located within the city district, with several hostels and hotels nearby. But, Sydney’s extensive public transportation options also allow students to live outside the city limits in one of the many neighboring suburbs of Sydney, including the eastern beaches and inner-west. 

Australia requires visitors to obtain a visa in order to enter the country, so TEFL program participants will likely need a basic tourist visa to complete TEFL certification in Sydney. Those looking to remain in Australia and find a TEFL job will need a temporary working visa, such as the Working Holiday Visa (417) or Temporary Work-Skilled (457).

Visit GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for more information about visa requirements, applications, and fees. Keep in mind: your TEFL program provider in Sydney will be able to provide further direction as well.

Benefits & Challenges

Located in the South Pacific, Australia is a top destination for Southeast Asian students to learn English. A typical English language course will include a 60/40 split of Asian to non-Asian students. With a large influx of foreign students seeking English language learning, Sydney is ripe with opportunity for certified teachers. Sydney has a range of public and private language schools throughout the city as well as universities and distance learning opportunities offering language courses to students. TEFL certification programs in Sydney often include job search assistance within course fees. 

Individuals that earn TEFL certification in Sydney will be able to find English teaching jobs worldwide, and earn a real living while enjoying life abroad. This is because ESL teaching is a rapidly growing profession and native English speakers are in high demand. Whether TEFL courses in Sydney are the start of a new career or simply a vehicle to live and work abroad, teaching English provides you with a wealth of personal and professional benefits. TEFL certified teachers will not only have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture, they will also get paid to strengthen professional skills and potentially learn a new language, too! 

Australians are generally laid-back people who work hard, but also enjoy their time off, a winning combination for aspiring TEFL teachers looking to become certified in Australia’s largest city. The city generally experiences warmer weather year-round thus providing Sydney-siders ample opportunity to spend days off at one of the many beautiful beaches around the city. With an ideal mix of the “always something happening city-life” and the “laid back beach-life”, Sydney is the place to earn your TEFL certification abroad! 

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