So you studied abroad and instantly fell in love with the idea of living in a foreign country. You are itching to travel again and are looking to immerse yourself in a new culture. You can do exactly that by teaching English abroad! Plus, you’ll get paid, gain valuable professional and personal experiences, and challenge yourself in unique and unforeseen ways.
Most teaching jobs abroad require at least a completed Bachelor’s degree by the time of the contract start date. The teacher must also be a native English speaker. More competitive candidates will have some sort of international experience, previous experience with children and non-native English speakers, a TEFL certificate (which I highly suggest you do) and some ability to the speak the language of the country in which they are teaching. But, every school is different and will have varying requirements. The school will usually offer housing assistance and visa assistance to some degree and airfare if you are lucky. People usually go through a recruiting company (i.e. Reach to Teach) or can apply on ESL websites and forums like Dave’s ESL Café .
The Next Steps
Once you’ve found a recruiting company or job that interests you, create a resume specifically for teaching English abroad. Make sure to highlight any international or internationalized experience you have (i.e. study abroad, working with international students), previous work tutoring/counseling-centered jobs and demonstrated experience working with children (which is very important!) Only highlighting the jobs that directly relate to the position will make you a stronger candidate. After you’ve completed your materials, send them off to your recruiter or the school. The responses may vary, but they will notify you if they are interested in interviewing you. This usually occurs over Skype.
So You’ve Got the Job…Now What?
They offered you a contract for a job. Congratulations! Now make sure to start the visa process as soon as possible. Paperwork can take a long time and depending on the position and location, there may be required special documents (i.es apostilled documents, background check) which take even longer. Securing the documents can also be costly depending on the country. Your school recruiter should help make the process smoother during this period of time. Just make sure to complete your paper work as soon as possible.
Preparing to Leave
Make sure to research the country and the city where you will be teaching. Take time to research the school in-depth, learn about their educational philosophy, etc. Email current teachers about what to bring. Sometimes I like to research airport maps and see where I need to go ahead of time for my flights as it makes traveling less stressful for me. Ask as many questions as you need until you feel prepared.