Until recently, if you wanted to teach English overseas—one of the most accessible gigs for job-seeking expats—you needed two things:

A bachelor’s degree…

And some experience in teaching—which, for many hopefuls, meant taking a TEFL (or similar) course before setting sail.

You can still go this traditional teaching route, of course.

But, if you don’t have the qualifications required by most foreign schools… or you’d like to have more freedom and flexibility in your new life overseas (and not be restricted by a school’s timetable)… then there’s another way…

The only requirements are that you speak English… and have a reliable internet connection.

I’m talking about teaching English classes online.

John Clites, one of the expats who spoke at our Make Money Overseas Event last week, told us how he teaches English to students all over the world from his apartment in Brazil.

And sometimes from a lounge chair on his patio in Brazil.

As John explained for everyone in the room last week, teaching English can be one of the easiest and best strategies for earning an income overseas:

  • Your income potential is solid, at US$15 to US$20 per hour… more if you settle into a good niche. And, after you sign up a student, you’ve put in place a steady income for months or even years.
  • The cost of entry is low. Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses can require a heavy investment and entail risk. You can get started teaching English on a shoestring.
  • It really isn’t that hard. In fact, it can be a lot of fun. Some of John’s classes involve listening to songs and interpreting the lyrics. And he’s currently reading “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” with a student.
  • You work from home, so you don’t have to go out in bad weather or deal with traffic or a daily commute.
  • Because you have no commute, you avoid transportation costs and you don’t lose time traveling from student to student.
  • You can schedule consecutive classes without gaps between them, allowing you to teach more in peak periods. That means higher earnings.
  • Students like online classes, too. Wouldn’t you prefer having class in the comfort of your own home, in a relaxed environment?
  • It’s a wonderfully portable profession. You could teach from wherever you’re living right now… or from your new home in Panama, for example. As long as you have a reasonably decent internet connection, you’re set.

John also told us that the demand for English teachers is huge and growing. In many parts of the world, English teachers—especially native speakers—are in very short supply.

Of course, teaching English is just one way to earn an income overseas…

In coordinating last week’s first-ever Make Money Overseas Event, our team identified 13 strategies for making money anywhere in the world—in some cases working as little as four or five hours a week and investing in nothing more than a laptop to get started.

Every one of these strategies works for anyone of any age. And they can work especially well for you if you’re:

#1: A retiree with some retirement income but not enough to enjoy the retirement you’ve long dreamed about.

#2: A 40- or 50-something looking to retire early and needing to generate enough income to carry you through.

#3: A younger couple with children, in which case you’ll need more substantial income long term.

#4: A 20-something looking for an unconventional global life. If this is you, our 21st-century world is your playground.

Right now, your life slots into one of those paths.

The question is:

Where do you want to take your life from here? 

You could move to another country full-time or only part of each year.

You could divide your time among two or more countries or you could travel the globe continuously.

You could support this adventure working 40 hours a week or 4.

You could embrace the digital nomad lifestyle or set out to build an empire.

And you could do any of it anywhere.

Kathleen Peddicord