Teaching abroad is an excellent job for many reasons. Whether you have a teaching background or not, working as a teacher in a foreign country opens up doors to new experiences and professional development. It has certainly garnered up a large amount of popularity in the last few years. Many new graduates are looking at it as a way of developing their teaching skills in a setting that is both rewarding and challenging and a perfect opportunity to travel. I began as a tutor in Hong Kong and decided I liked teaching so much that I wanted to make it my career.
There are a few things you’ll need to do before you start teaching overseas though. Here’s a short checklist of tasks you’ll need to complete before you head overseas.
- Get An ESL Qualification
Check to see if you need a EFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) qualification. There are a variety of other acronyms for the course like TEFL, TESL or TESOL, but essentially are the same thing. Not all, but most countries and schools will require this course to be deemed fit to teach English to students. The course can taken a few ways, in a classroom or online. The majority of people take the course online which takes about 120 hours to complete. Once completed you will be given a certificate that you can pass on to hiring schools.
- Choose a Country to Teach In
Now comes the exciting part. Decide where you would like to teach. There are countries all over the globe in pretty much every continent that have a demand for English Teachers. Asia has been a big hub for NES (Native English Speaking) teachers for many years. They often have many openings for teachers who would like to teach other subjects other than English. South & Central America is another popular spot. If you know a little Spanish or are interested in learning this could be an ideal area to teach English. Really there are so many countries to choose from, think of a place you would like to learn about and would enjoy because you will likely be spending a year or more there.
3. Apply for Jobs and Work Permits
You’ve decided on a country now it’s time to start the paperwork. Apply to public and private schools in a region where you’d like to work. Be sure to emphasize that you have all required credentials. Also state the age group you’d prefer to teach. Once you get a call back start planning work permits and salary with your new employer.
Get ready for some exciting times in your life. The teaching community overseas is a tight group of people. Everyone has started where you are about to and they are there to give you a helping hand. Remember to have fun and absorb all you can from this fun and fulfilling experience.