I’ve done the whole backpacking thing and don’t get me wrong, it was great! But working in a pub to save up the money to go and enjoy the escapism of backpacking, only to go back home and work a job I don’t like, and then repeat the cycle wasn’t something I could sustain long term. Plus the whole ethos behind travelling is exploring new things so I wanted to try a different way of travelling…  After a magical 4 months in South America I was deep in the post-travel blues. I started looking on the internet for ways that I could work and travel simultaneously. I discovered Native English teacher jobs, and began looking at the various training paths that could get me to becoming a qualified teacher – a possibility that had not crossed my mind before. 


Why is it better to work AND travel rather than work THEN travel?

In this blog, I will explain why Native English teacher jobs are the best way to travel and work. Whether you are a seasoned traveller looking for the next step, or whether you are a ‘curious yet noob’ traveller, you should train to become an English teacher! Here are the many benefits of Native English teacher jobs:



backpacking life, before becoming a native English teacher, tefl Barcelona


  • Sustain yourself while travelling 

You can find native English teacher jobs almost anywhere in the world. Native English teaching is a skill that will earn you money in most countries. You don’t have to earn money at home to save up to travel, instead, you can earn good money while travelling for as long as you want to! And with the confidence and knowledge that you have a skill to sustain you.

  • Develop a career whilst doing so

As opposed to working only when you are home and then pausing your career whilst travelling, teaching English is a way to develop your career and progress while you are travelling. So you don’t have to go back to unrewarding jobs just to finance your trip. Instead, you can develop a highly in-demand skill, grow your career, and get paid for it!

learning transferrable skills as a native English teacher, Tefl Barcelona

  •  Live more authentically in each new place you work in (not just hostel parties and city tours)

If you are travelling through places, even as a backpacker, it is hard to get beyond the tourist, one dimensional experience. However, if you are staying somewhere to work then you are no longer a tourist! Native English teacher jobs will enable you to meet locals. Doors will open up and you will experience the real authentic side of the countries and cities you live and teach in. 



passport empty, with no stamps of someone who is yet to travel, tefl Barcelona


You will benefit from all of the above! Plus, here are the benefits especially for those who are still on the fence:


  • Learn a rewarding and in-demand profession

Taking the time to invest in training to become a Native English teacher will be rewarding in itself. Learning new skills is not only great for self-development and confidence but also for your career. You will become qualified in an in-demand profession that will be valuable to you, and could earn you money at any point in your life. Study now, and you can still teach 10 years later.

  • Learn excellent transferable skills

Training to become a native English teacher will give you many other interdisciplinary and transferrable skills that will be useful in many other careers. For example, learning to teach well will mean that you will become good at classroom management, public speaking, explaining your points clearly, adapting the way you explain things to suit different people’s needs, etc. These are all excellent skills to have and can transfer to any job you choose later on in life.

  • Looks banging on your CV

Having a TEFL or TESOL certificate and experience teaching abroad will look excellent on your CV. Having studied and lived abroad is highly regarded by employers as it demonstrates independence and open-mindedness.

learning transferrable skills as a native English teacher, tefl barcelona


So you’ve decided to train to become a native English teacher, excellent choice! Now, where should you do your course?



  • Barcelona is beautiful

Barcelona is a beautiful city to live in. You have the beaches and mountains right by you, Gaudi designed buildings that thousands of tourists flock to see every day, and beautiful plazas to chill in. It is proven that your environment will affect how well you learn, so study somewhere beautiful!

  • Huge international community

Barcelona has a huge international community, you will make friends from all around the world, which is lovely in itself but also useful for your career. It is a very valuable resource to have a network of people around the world who can help you find jobs.


  •  A safe first step into travelling the world as an English teacher

Getting a taste for teaching while doing your course abroad, in a welcoming, safe environment, will help you realise if this is really the career for you. For example, if you study at home, before having experienced travelling you might realise later that it is not for you. You don’t want to get your TEFL certificate back home, then commit to a year-long contract in Asia only to realise you hate it!

And if you do realise you’d prefer to live and work at home, then that is still a very good option for you! Once you have got your TEFL certificate you can always find work back home teaching English!

There are really no negatives to it!

international friends that make up your teaching network as a native English teacher, tefl Barcelona


Written and photographed by Emily Badescu.