Published on May 8, 2013 | by Clare Hiles

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Unemployment drives graduates abroad

Recent graduates are moving abroad to teach in foreign countries after declaring it’s impossible to earn a living in Britain.

TEFL book

University degree holders can earn up to £1,500 a month by enrolling on a ‘teaching English as a foreign language’ (TEFL) course and travelling overseas.

The popularity of TEFL courses and other equivalent qualifications has escalated since Britain’s descent into recession in 2008.

Fiona Allen, who travelled to South Korea, said: “I couldn’t get a job in England. I’ll admit I didn’t look very hard, but from what I did do, I saw it was very very difficult to find work. There are barely any jobs going except for teaching.”

The University of Essex graduate who teaches English to children said: “I went to a lecture at my university with my friends and it was about this guy who spent his whole life going different places and teaching.

“I made plans initially to go to Spain and teach there with friends, but when their economy went downhill, I decided to do it myself elsewhere.”

Alternative options

Unemployment in Britain currently stands at 7.7 per cent of the population, which is a 0.7 per cent downfall over the past year.

An increasing amount of graduates are searching for alternative options.

TEFL courses have no upper age limit and require no previous teaching experience – making them an ideal choice for people seeking employment abroad.

Brain Drain

Allen said her cousin’s experiences abroad influenced her decision: “My cousin has been doing it for years and he’s really happy out there in
Thailand.

“He won’t come back. He’s just got a job at a Thai university after having been out there for three years. After finishing his teaching contract with the school he’s at now, he’ll come home for two weeks and go back out.”

Once she applied, Allen waited before she was contacted with a placement in Gyeonggi province, including their flights, accommodation, and £1,500 a month each.

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