How to See the World While Working in Education

Asako Maruoka's picture

Most professionals in the field of education feel passionately about what they do. It is no small responsibility to ensure that the next generation is equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive. Yet, even though you love your education career, you want to see the world — and the significant level of commitment required by most education jobs often precludes world travel to any meaningful extent.

Fortunately, there are ways to continue working in the education field and travel more significantly during your career. Here are a few ways you might do more of what you love: teaching and traveling.

How to See the World While Working in Education

Become a Travel Teacher

You may be familiar with the concept of travel nurses, who move around the country (or around the world) providing nursing services to communities with shortages of medical staff. Travel teachers operate in much the same way. As a travel teacher, you will move around the world to help meet local demand for certain types of educators. You will have little control over where you go and how long you remain there, but costs associated with travel will be covered by the organization through which you work. As long as you do not have specific travel goals and lack any major responsibilities at home, travel teaching is an excellent way to develop meaningful connections with different communities around the world.

Teach English as a Second Language

English is the current dominant international language, which means that native speakers of other languages are eager to gain proficiency speaking and reading English. Native English speakers can often find work teaching English as a second language in countries where there is a high demand for English educators, like Brazil, China, Mexico and Colombia. However, to work as an English teacher in more developed nations, like Europe, you may need to pursue some kind of ESL or TEFL certification. Still, because English is such a useful skill, you will likely find a high salary for any kind of English teaching job you find abroad.

Study Instructional Design

Instructional design is a relatively new field within education that focuses on the creation and optimization of learning materials to promote more efficient and effective acquisition of knowledge and skills. Often, instructional designers work with education institutions to develop and improve online learning resources for students and educators. Many instructional designers also find work with business organizations, government agencies and military facilities in the design and management of employee training programs. Because instructional design tends to focus on digital classrooms, you should be able to perform this work from anywhere in the world — as long as you have an internet connection. You can begin pursuing a master’s of instructional design today to help you achieve your dreams of travel tomorrow.

Find (or Create) an Online Teaching Gig

Online education is often marketed as an excellent tool for students, who can access incredible learning opportunities from anywhere in the world — but the same can be said for teachers. When you run an online classroom, there is no need for you to be in any specific location as you can update your courses and communicate with students through the web. You might consult with your current employer to determine whether they have online education opportunities for you, or you might develop your own online courses through services like Teachable.

Tutor International Students Privately

Few countries have education systems that operate similarly to what you might be used to in the United States. In many other places around the world, students learn not through formal institutions like schools but from private tutors, who may be directly responsible for the education of a single student. If you are willing to remain in a single destination for a prolonged period, you might look into tutoring opportunities, which can pay much higher salaries than other teaching jobs abroad. Alternatively, if you are looking primarily for flexibility in your teaching position, you can look for part-time tutoring contracts as you move from place to place.


Most teachers love being teachers — but that doesn’t mean they don’t dream of doing something else, too. You can be a teacher and travel the world at the same time, as long as you can pivot your teaching career in any of the above ways.