Short-term TEFL jobs and summer TEFL jobs [updated for 2019]

Many jobs teaching English abroad require a year-long contract, or sometimes longer. Most of the time, if you are going to move to another country, you’ll want to stay for at least a year. However, we’ve all been in those situations where we want or need temporary work – just a short-term job teaching English abroad. There are many different options for this, from one semester university jobs with Westgate, Japan, to summer camps in Thailand and summer jobs in Malta. Here are some suggestions on short-term TEFL jobs.

short term teaching english abroad jobs short term TEFL jobs Summer camp jobs in Europe summer camp Italy Summer camp Thailand summer camp Spain summer jobs Malta Angloville Westgate Japan

Short-term jobs teaching English for Westgate Japan

Westgate Japan provide teachers to various schools and universities all over Japan for one semester, either Spring or Summer. You need to apply for one of the programs, either university or elementary school and then you are placed somewhere in Japan. If you teach English for Westgate Japan, they pay you a salary and provide you with accommodation, which they deduct the price of from your monthly pay. They look after everything including visas and flights and give you training when you arrive.

Westgate Japan require you to have an undergraduate degree and a TEFL certificate or teaching qualification, although if you have significant teaching experience, it seems that they will waive this.

Find out more about TEFL certification in our post: Teaching English Qualifications: which one should you do?

Westgate Japan is one company that offer short term jobs teaching English abroad

We know a few people who have taught English on the Westgate Japan programs and liked it, but until we get one of them to blog about it for us, This Open Road and Gone Seoul Searching have written lots of blogs about it.

Teaching English for one semester in China or Thailand

Although schools might prefer to employ a teacher for a full academic year, there are plenty of short-term TEFL jobs available in both China and Thailand – for one semester. In Thailand, the school semester runs from April to October, and October to March, so they are around five months each. China follows a more traditional semester system of September to January/February (depending on when Spring Festival (otherwise known as Chinese New Year) is, and then from February/March to June/July.

Particularly before the second semester (October for Thailand and January/February for China) schools look for teachers for one semester because teachers have left. This can be a warning sign – they left because they didn’t like the job, but there can be a variety of reasons why a teacher leaves mid-year.

Teach English in China on a short term TEFL job

In Thailand, you can find jobs in kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools, both private and government. Look for jobs on Schools do prefer that you are in the country before they will reply to your application, though, as they are usually working to a short deadline to find a teacher.

Related post: Read about other Types of English teaching jobs abroad.

Because of the demand for teachers at schools all over Thailand, programs exist like the one we trained on. They put you through a four-week course in how to teach English, and then place you in a school for one semester. This can be a great opportunity to get your TEFL certificate and see if you like teaching English and teaching English in Thailand.

Be aware, though, that some of these positions are empty for a reason, and such programs are sometimes used to fill vacancies that others don’t want. There are stories of participants being sent to remote areas of Thailand when they expected to be in Bangkok or Chiang Mai.

Read more about How to get a teaching job in Bangkok in our post and find out about our Bangkok Cost of Living.

Thailand is another country with short term jobs like summer camps in Thailand

In China you can also find short-term TEFL jobs for one semester in universities, teaching communication classes, which are basically to improve the spoken English of their students. These jobs usually provide accommodation and flights, as well as a salary. The salaries can be quite low, but then so is the cost of living in the smaller cities in China.

If you’re interested in teaching English in China, we’ve got interviews with people teaching English in China.

Teaching English at UK TEFL summer schools

If you hold a European passport there is a lot of work at TEFL summer schools in the UK. Students from all over the world come to the UK to improve their English during their holidays. Many language schools in the UK increase their temporary staff then, and many other companies set up short-term schools all around the country.

While a lot of summer school work is with kids and teenagers, you can also work with adults.

Most of these schools run from around June to August, some for a month and some for two. Most are residential, so you get accommodation provided. You are often also responsible for other activities, like organising sports or games and taking students on day trips. You may even have to supervise bedtimes. It depends on the school.

Jobs at summer schools are advertised on from January onwards. You can still find work in May and even later. The British Council accredits summer schools in the UK and inspects them to check on conditions. If you want to check out your summer school, the list of accredited schools is here. You might want to start by applying to the top-ranked schools, which you can usually find a list of through ELT Gazette.

To teach on a British Council accredited summer school, you will need a teaching certificate, preferably a CELTA or Trinity certTESOL. Other schools will accept other certificates, and you can get a job without one I’d imagine (I did after I graduated, although that was a loooong time ago now!).

Some UK summer schools that people we know have worked on include Embassy, Oxford International and Elac. Both Oxford International and Elac also run Easter camps.

If you don’t have a teaching certificate, you can get a job as an activity manager, organising all the sports and craft activities as well as trips for the students.

You also need the right to work in the UK, so an EU passport, student visa or working holiday visa. If you are from the USA or Australia, the same summer schools happen there too, although being British, we don’t know much about them.

Some work is also available at Easter, and from then until the summer, as this is when the schools get busier.

TEFL summer schools in the UK

Teaching English on a pre-sessional course

I would think that if you are qualified to teach on a pre-sessional course, that you already know of them, but this is for people who might want to do this in the future. International students are big business for universities in many western countries. The students need to attain a specific level of English before they start to study. Many of them will get the required IELTS or TOEFL grade before they arrive. However, for those that don’t, there are pre-sessional courses. These run for the summer before the September start and work on improving students’ academic English level.

The influx of students for pre-sessional courses means that universities employ more teachers to work on them. To get a job teaching pre-sessional, you will need a recognised teaching certificate, if not a Diploma or MA. You’ll also need significant experience, usually of academic English.

Pre-sessional jobs are advertised on, the portal for university jobs in the UK, as well as on the BALEAP website (the association for teaching of English for Academic Purposes).

Summer Camp Jobs in Europe

As well as the UK, there are summer camps in Europe in various countries, especially those with long school breaks in the summer. During July and August, the heat sends people out of the cities. Summer camps in Spain usually take place in the mountains, where it’s a bit cooler. They are residential, so you spend the whole time with the students. This might include playing sports and organising activities, supervising them at night, eating with them and taking them on trips.

This blog gives lots of information about teaching on summer camps in Spain, including a list of the more common ones. Popular ones are TECS and Enforex.

Another option for summer camps in Europe are summer camps in Italy. These take place all over Italy, including Lake Garda, in the mountains and by the beach. Sometimes teachers stay with host families and in others they stay at a camp with the students. Some popular summer camps in Italy that employ English teachers are ACLE and Lingue Senza Frontiere.

Summer Jobs in Malta

Don’t fancy teaching English on a summer camp in Italy or Spain? How about a summer job in Malta?

English speaking Malta is a popular destination for students wanting to learn English. As you can imagine, the summer is the busiest time as European students spend their summer studying in the sun. This means that there are many summer jobs in Malta teaching English. Unlike summer camps in Italy or Spain, you can expect mixed nationality groups of adults as well as young learners and teenagers.

Sprachcaffe is one option for a summer job in Malta. They take on English teachers for the summer period to teach on their beautiful campus set around a swimming pool. If you have a CELTA, or a TEFL and an A’ Level English, it looks like a cool option. Classes are Monday to Friday so there are weekends off for exploring and relaxing.

Short term volunteer jobs in Europe

If money isn’t a big issue for you, then you could volunteer. While you might not get paid, volunteer positions usually cover accommodation and food in return for meeting people from all over the world and chatting.

Angloville Poland has 1-3 week programs where English language learners stay in a hotel in Poland and take part in 1-1 conversations as well as English games and activities. They have adult, teenage and kids programs.

Pueblo Ingles is a similar program to Angloville Poland. Native speakers from all over the world stay in ‘English villages’ for a week and get free accomodation and food in return for chatting to Spanish and German language learners.

There are also camps in Ukraine, which are generally volunteer programs where you get bed and board in return for lessons. Most of these takes part in the summer and the teaching is usually to children from poorer areas who can’t afford language schools. One organisation that comes recommended by a friend of ours is Go Camp.

Read more on Teaching English in Ukraine.

Summer Camps in Thailand

Summer camps in Thailand are not during the northern hemisphere summer of June – September. Instead, Thai schools have a long break in February/March, and a shorter one in September. During these breaks, companies run English summer camps in Thailand where students come and stay for a week and take part in English activities and games. Summer camps in Thailand usually pay teachers a weekly salary of a couple of thousand baht, and include accommodation and food.

You can find adverts for teachers for summer camps in Thailand on and on Teaching in Thailand Facebook groups.

TEFL summer camps in Spain

Teaching English short-term in Europe – January – June

As with Thailand and China, schools in Europe sometimes need to fill vacancies mid-year. Teachers go home or change their jobs for whatever reason at Christmas, and so in January there are a lot of jobs available. Many of these will accept a teacher until the summer, so that would be a 5-6 month contract.

We did this in Madrid back in 2008, after we finished our contract in Thailand. Madrid is a city that seems to be always in need of teachers. My school, Cambridge House, had one teacher leave at Christmas and they needed someone to take over her classes.

If you have an EU passport, you don’t need a work permit, so there is no problem with visas either. You can get work without a degree too. Check out for vacancies all over Europe during the academic year.

Temporary jobs teaching English in Language schools

While there are a lot of short-term jobs teaching English in schools and universities, language schools are also big business. The major difference in terms of time is that language schools teach year-round. In fact, they are often busier during the holidays, when students come during their school breaks. Although you may sometimes sign a year contract to teach in a language school, you can break this if you want to leave earlier. Some language schools can’t guarantee hours longer-term, and will just give you a few classes during the week. Once these classes end, they might not have anything else to offer you.

If you do decide to teach short-term for a language school, I would keep it quiet and I wouldn’t do it too often. If school directors see too many short-term jobs on your c.v you will look unreliable. They would much rather have someone longer term than to keep recruiting and training someone new.

If you are looking for a longer-term job teaching English, check out our post on Where to find jobs teaching English abroad.

Do you know of other places you do short term jobs teaching English abroad. Let us know so we can add it to the post. 

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short term teaching english jobs

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16 Responses

  1. Sachi says:

    I need to apply one of those.. Thank you for the information.

  2. Sachi says:

    I too need to know about the couse

  3. Michelle says:

    Hey there! I’m really interested in teaching for one spring semester in China, but where can I find the communications classes postings from universities?

  4. Jeannie says:

    This is very useful as I can’t currently go overseas for a long term position. Do you know of any age restrictions with the countries mentioned above? I am 58. Thanks.

  5. Pravashnee Moodley says:


    I have completed a 120 Hour TEFL Course. I am very interested in teaching in either Thailand Or China. How can I go about applying for a short term teaching position,in either one of these country’s ?

  6. Nastaran says:

    Hello, my name is Nastaran.I live in Iran and have bachelor degree of English Literature. I teach in my country but now I want to apply fot teaching in other coutries too. as I understand from your content you said I should have a TEFL certificate but I dont have. my question is 1)could I apply for Thailand schools? (because you said through this way we can get TEFL certificate,[Because of the demand for teachers at schools all over Thailand, programs exist like the one we trained on. They put you through a four-week course in how to teach English, and then place you in a school for one semester. This can be a great opportunity to get your TEFL certificate]).
    2) is there any other ways to get TEFL certificate?
    3) may I find any Teaching English on a pre-sessional course jobs as Im not living in Europe and dont have EU passport.
    4) I’m really eager to teach in university as English teacher, what do I need except my bachelor degree?

    • KateandKris says:

      Hi, in order to teach internationally, generally you first need to ensure you have CEFR C2 level English, so IELTS 8.0 or higher. If you do, the next is a teaching qualification. CELTA or certTESOL would be good.

      In terms of the program we did in Thailand, it is also a way to get a TEFL certificate. You need to apply for a course there and then they will place you.

      For pre-sessional course jobs, you generally need an MA TESOL or Delta/DipTESOL, as I said. It is also very hard to get a place on one without an EU passport.

      Universities in other countries could be an option. They vary on what they ask for depending on the country. An internationally recognised MA TESOL would help here.

  7. Zoe says:

    Thanks for the information! I’m hoping to volunteer for a month or 2 in south east Asia next year 😀

  8. Prathmesh says:

    How to apply?

  9. Raul says:

    Hi kate, hi kris
    Your story is wonderful even if one isn’t inclined towards teaching, but you miss to add more for instance your most interesting days during those twelve years of experience. You must had maintained diaries and jotting down the events which shaped, I hope you do understand
    Yeah one thing I would like to know how hard it may be for an Indian to land a teaching job in canada or China.

    • KateandKris says:

      Hi Raul, we’ve got lots and lots of blogs here with many experiences. Have you read them all.

      As for getting a job in Canada, you will need the right to work there first. For China, they currently restrict on passport, so it’s not easy at all to get a legal teaching job.

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