Teaching ESL Abroad
- 1). Decide if you want to obtain certification. While it's not necessary, some people choose to obtain certification such as the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate. There are a variety of organizations that offer certification. Some are online, some are U.S.-based and some abroad. After completing the course, these organizations typically have job recruitment services to help you obtain a teaching job.
- 2). Choose the type of teaching job you want and the country where you want to work. There are many programs that place ESL teachers abroad, so it's important to do research and decide on the best fit. For example, the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme recruits English speakers to teach in Japan for one year. Participants are well compensated and may live in either a large city or rural area. Yet if you choose to join the Peace Corps to teach in rural Africa, the monthly living allowance is small and it's possible that you'll be teaching in a school without resources while living without amenities such as electricity or running water. Therefore, it's important to not only decide if you would like to teach adults, children, successful businessmen or underprivileged communities, it's also important to determine the type of living situation and culture you would like to experience.
- 3). Research teaching employment options. Once you have decided where you want to go and what type of teaching job you're looking for, look into all the possibilities. Below are a few examples of organizations that place teachers without specific teaching credentials.
• JET Programme (jetprogramme.org): Teach English in Japan.
• Peace Corps (peacecorps.gov): Provide teacher training or teach subjects such as English, math or science in a variety of settings worldwide.
• Council on International Educational Exchange (ciee.org/teach/): Teach English to primary school kids or university students in locations such as Thailand, Chile and China.
- 4). Apply for the job you wish to obtain. After thoroughly researching teaching programs, select the one you feel best meets your needs and send in the required information.
- 5). Research the country and customs. Working in a different country can be enjoyable yet challenging. Customs in the workplace may be different than in the U.S. so make sure you have fully prepared yourself for this new working environment.
- 6). Start planning your move. Arrange travel and a place to live (if the teaching program does not provide it). Make sure you have adequate funds to cover expenses until you receive your first paycheck. Pack up your belongings and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.