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How to Start Your Own English School Internationally

If you’ve always had a passion for teaching but decided to pursue a different career, now’s the time to make it happen. The need for English teachers is at an all-time high, both internationally and locally. But to open an ESL school, you need more than appropriate licensing. You also need the right qualifications and marketing plan to get the ball rolling.

Choose Your Location
If you live somewhere with a lot of foreign residents, opening a language locally might be the right way to go. This is especially true in urban areas such as New York City or Chicago. These areas are melting pots with people immigrating from all over the world. On the other hand, if you’ve been bitten by the travel bug and want to teach internationally, you can still teach English on the go. For example, a lot of teachers choose to teach in exotic locations, like Thailand or Europe.

Gain the Appropriate Qualifications
Regardless of where you choose to teach, you need the right qualifications. If you don’t already have teaching credentials, you have several options. To teach abroad, even on your own, you should still have a bachelor’s, although a master’s is better. You also need to complete a TEFL certification. If you want to go back to school but aren’t sure you can afford it, you should consider taking out a student loan with a private lender. While you can apply at your local bank, the rates are usually higher, and you might not be approved for the total cost of tuition.

Identify Your Target Market
Once you’ve gained the proper certification and decided on the location, you need to identify your target demographic. Some people prefer to work with adults only while others enjoying teaching children. You can also teach a variety of age groups if you have the time and proper resources. However, it’s usually best to choose one age group, build a client base and then expand. It’s also during this time when you need to decide whether you want to have a physical location or only teach online. There are a lot of perks for both types of language schools. For instance, brick-and-mortar locations may help some students learn more efficiently. Other people may love the flexibility of online learning and appreciate smaller in-person meetups here and there.

Create a Business Plan
Whether online or in person, you also need a solid business plan. This should include an executive summary, mission statement and financial projections. You should conduct a market analysis prior to opening shop. If you plan on hiring other teachers, you need to decide whether they will be employees or freelancers and draw up the appropriate contracts. Finally, take into account the cost of supplies. If you’re providing students with reading materials and workbooks, you need to factor that into your financial plan. If you’re starting out online, you should still think about worksheets that you can create for your students to make their learning experience more personalized.
Author: Justin