One of the great things about teaching abroad is that teachers often have flexible schedules, which enables them to take on extra work elsewhere to earn some additional pocket change. 

However, if you’re new to a country, you might worry about language barriers prohibiting you from taking on the same kind of part time work that locals do.

Don’t worry though, because your language ability is exactly what will help open a lot of doors to part time work for you. Here are some suggestions:

Tutoring and coaching

Just because you’re teaching ESL full time doesn’t mean you can’t also teach it part time. 

Many individuals – adults and children alike – look for part time tutors and coaches to help them improve their English skills. This can take place either in person or online, and you can set your own schedule around your regular work day depending on the students’ needs.

Other schools and programs may also need a teacher to take on classes only a few times a week outside your regular work hours. However, make sure you carefully check the contract for your full-time position to avoid violating any terms and agreements of your regular job. If the school where you work full time doesn’t need you during the summers, winters, or during long holidays, this is a great time to offer your services to other programs, or as a teacher or camp counselor.

Some companies seek out English tutors and coaches to help their staff improve their English language skills, and they are often interested in staff learning more business-oriented jargon and professional communication skills. Look for ESL teaching gigs not just at ESL programs but at companies who want to improve the English abilities of employees.

Become a blogger/vlogger

You could even start your own blog and/or vlog and gain some renown that way. There are many expatriates who have taken to blogging to document and share stories of their lives overseas, and have ended up making a nice chunk of change through advertising and sponsorships.

Zina Tara, originally from London, gained quite a following online documenting her experiences in Vietnam during the time she was teaching there.

Proofreading & editing

You would be surprised at how many companies and projects may need an English speaker to help them transcribe something. Although English might not be the native language of the region where you are teaching overseas, plenty of businesses, government offices, and universities hold events that are conducted in English or require an English translation. They may need proficient English speakers to do any number of things, from checking that the English portions of their documents and information pamphlets are written correctly, to doing actual English editing and writing for them. Get in touch with university lecture circuits and the coordinators for events around the city, chances are they will need a proficient English speaker from time to time.

Copywriting & freelance writing

In that same vein, if you happen to be a talented writer who can do more than merely proofread and edit English material that has already been written, you could also consider actually writing as a side gig. This kind of writing could include anything from journalistic reporting and article writing to developing scripts and copy for marketing and media-related agencies. Pitch stories to local English-language newspapers and seek out advertising agencies or the marketing wings of different companies to see if there’s something that is a good fit for you.

Translation & interpretation

If you’re somewhat proficient in the language native to the country you’re living in, you could consider offering translation and interpretation services. Oftentimes there will be programs and events that will need an emcee who speaks English, or an interpreter for English-speaking guests. Likewise, they may simply need someone to help translate content for an English-speaking audience. There are usually translation agencies that can pair qualified interpreters with events, so if you think you’re a solid candidate, put your hat in the ring.

There is no shortage of things you could do outside of your day job in order to make some extra money, as long as you’re open to ideas and don’t sell yourself short in terms of what you can offer. 

The ability to speak English in a foreign country is a much bigger asset than many people give it credit for. Armed with this ability, you would be able to take on most jobs where an English-speaker is required.

So if you’re already teaching English abroad, capitalize on this skill and make that extra dough!

Kaleigh McAdams

Kaleigh McAdams

Teacher in Taipei

Kaleigh is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States. She has traveled extensively throughout Asia and is currently teaching in Taipei, Taiwan. Her passions are mountain hikes and great food!