How to Teach English Overseas - an Interview with Matthew Kepnes

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
May 21, 2009 / 0 comments

As international educators, we are often working with languages  - teaching, learning, speaking them.

Matthew Kepnes, also known as Nomadic Matt, writes a great deal on travel and living overseas at (we've got a featured interview with Matt coming in the next few weeks). I was so intrigued by his Teaching English site that I asked Matt to share his site with our Wandering Educators. Here's what he had to say...


Note: Please refer to Matt's original site, Nomadic Matt, for this information. 

WE: Please tell us about your site, How to Teach English Overseas, and how it started...

MK: I had a five part series on teaching english overseas on nomadicmatt and i wanted to expand it onto another website where i could go into much more detail about teaching and places around the world. I couldn't do a website within a website on nomadicmatt so the logical step was to expand it.

How to Teach English Overseas

WE:  What can visitors find on your site?

MK: You'll find information about tefl, whether you need tefl, what kind of jobs to expect, the benefits of teaching english, and country specific information about salaries, job types, visas, and living conditions in the country.

WE:  What is the difference between all the lingo - TEFL, TESOL, ESL, etc.?

MK: ESL is just short for english as a second language. TEFL and TESOL are two degrees that people can get in a short couse that certifies them for teach english. TEFL and TESOL are really two of the same. TEFL tends to be more popular in america and TESOL in commonwealth counties.

WE:  What are your experiences, teaching abroad?

MK: I've taught in Thailand and Taiwan for a number of 2 years.

WE:  What can people gain - and contribute - by teaching abroad?

MK: Well, besides making a good income, you get to experience a new culture, new food, learn a new language, and see a different perspective on the world than you would within your own borders.  Moreover, you help people learn the global language which helps make them competitive in the world.

WE:  Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

MK: I've really enjoyed teaching english overseas. I've met a lot of wonderful people and learned a lot about two different countries. I recommend that everyone do it at some point, even if it just for a short time.

WE: Thanks so much, Matt! I enjoy digging into your site, and think that you have a lot to share.