How to Teach English Abroad | Travel
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How to Teach English Abroad

One of the best ways to simultaneously see a region of the world, earn a decent living, and impact the lives of local residents is to get a job teaching English overseas. Many Americans take advantage of this opportunity as a means to travel the world and financially support those endeavors. Others see it as a fantastic way to improve the lives of local residents by giving them practical skills that can be applied in the global economy. Whatever your reasons for pursuing this activity are, you are sure to benefit from familiarizing yourself with that it takes to teach English abroad. While qualifications, locations, and institutions vary from place to place, these are some general points to keep in mind.

Get Certified

If you choose to get involved with a well establish English school or learning institute in a foreign land, you will likely be asked to provide credentials that you are qualified to teach English as a foreign language. Three major types of certifications are TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language), TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), and TESOL (Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages). As a native speaker, gaining any of these certifications usually requires participation in an online or in-class course and some related practical experience in the field. If you want to focus in English skills as they relate to business, academics, or another specific subject, there are other types of certifications that you can receive that will better prepare you to teach in these areas. Although it’s not always required, once you are certified you become a much more desirable and competitive applicant for teaching jobs abroad.

Focus On A Location

While there are many countries around the world that encourage native speakers to come and teach English, narrowing down your list of potential destinations will help you find a reputable program to work with. Popular destinations for teaching jobs include Eastern Europe, Korea, Thailand, China, Middle East, and Latin America. Each area presents a different set of pros and cons, so make sure you truly weigh your options and carefully consider where you would like to teach. Fluency in the local language is not required for most jobs, although it can make your daily life a little easier to manage. Consider if you would prefer to work in a major city or in a more rural setting, keeping in mind the potential differences in salary and living expenses.

Finding Work

There are a couple of different methods you could use to get a job teaching English abroad. Arguably the most legitimate and reliable way is to work with a professional association or government organization that recruits native English speakers to teach in their countries. This usually avoids any financial commitment on your part because the organizations will usually take care of major expenses for you. Another way to find jobs overseas is to browse job listings online or through the program from which you received your certification. Many times you can use alumni connections to secure a position abroad. You can also use a more traditional approach and send out your resume or letter of interest to multiple programs in a destination that you are interested in working in. In this case, you are more than likely at the mercy of the institution if they chose to respond to your request or simply ignore you. And for the more adventurous teacher, one suggestion would be to travel to a place where you have an interest in teaching and attempt to meet with local agencies in person for interviews. This also give you a chance to really get a feel for the area, living conditions, possible working conditions, and determine if feel comfortable taking on a teaching position there.

Alternate Ways to Teach Overseas

Of course, becoming a teacher in a foreign land is not only restricted to teaching English. Many communities want to learn other global languages such as French, German, Japanese, or Italian and will hire capable teachers in those subjects. You may also have experience in other academic fields, such as math or science, which would be highly desirable and sought after subjects on the part of foreign schools. Another way to teach abroad is to participate in an American university led program that works in conjunction with foreign schools, bringing native speakers to their country for seminars and other courses. And if you can afford to teach without a salary, volunteering abroad is an excellent way to have a similar impact and enrich the lives of local residents.
Talk to a Travel Agent
When planning to live abroad and teach English as a second language, you might find it beneficial to speak with an experience travel agent capable of aligning you with the best travel resources possible, including flights and international airports, hotels, and local travel information. Get started today by diving into the MagicYellow directory of experienced travel agents in your area. Learn how to get your U.S. passport and discover these tips for arriving in a new city.

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