Can I cancel my contract early when teaching English abroad?

Teaching English abroad is a job much like any other and if you are not happy with your employer or things just haven?t worked out as you hoped they would, you are free to head back home or look elsewhere for employment at any time.

Why do some teachers cancel their TESOL contract early?

Although the vast majority of ESL teachers see out the entire length of their contracts, there will always be some who are not able to complete it for a variety of reasons. A family emergency back home, difficulties with work colleagues, and unsatisfactory working conditions are all common reasons why teachers feel they have to terminate their contract.

Will there be any consequences if I cancel my TESOL contract early?

If your job is based on an hourly pay rate there are unlikely to be any repercussions if you decide to leave. This scenario will apply to a large percentage of people teaching in Latin America and Europe where it is common to work without a work permit meaning you are under no particular obligation to your employer. However, if you have signed a contract that includes a monthly salary and potentially other benefits such as housing, airfares, and vacation pay, there will most likely be some consequences to quitting before the contract is up.

What consequences can I expect if I cancel my TESOL contract early?

Across Asia and the Middle East in particular, it is standard practice for teachers to sign a contract that specifies their salary and other benefits. If you decide to leave your job early you are likely to lose your return airfare or whatever travel expenses were laid out in the contract. If you leave in the first few months, you may also be expected to pay back the cost of your initial flight into the country. In most situations you will also have your work visa revoked which means you will probably need to leave the country within a few days, so it is important that you have everything sorted out before you hand in your notice. Whatever the circumstances that have led you to terminate your contract, it is advisable to go about it in a professional manner to ensure a trouble free exit.

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