Anyone looking to teach overseas needs to think some key steps to getting the right qualifications, the placement you want for your skills and experience, and a country that will allow you to make the most of your trip. It’s also worth thinking about different visa requirements for countries, as well as what you may have to deal with in classrooms in terms of learning methods and how you’re expected to behave as a teacher. First, though, it’s worth looking at what you’ll need to be qualified to teach.
1 – Getting the Right Qualifications and Contacts
Most educational institutions overseas will expect you to have a college degree, and ideally one in English. Having a postgraduate degree can help if you want to teach in a university or a private or international school in another country. In terms of teaching English as a foreign language, you can take a range of TESOL qualifications, with the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) being among the most popular. State level teaching certificates up to K-12 can be accepted if you have experience, although this will depend on the individual schools. For contacts, compare a number of agencies and try to get recommendations from people that have been involved in courses. Internet forums and sites are best for getting a sense of how many different jobs are out there.
2 – How Do You Want to Teach?
A large majority of Americans that go overseas to teach take on English language positions, or work as teaching assistants on a fixed term basis. This kind of work can involve a wide range of different class sizes and requirements – always look at contracts to make sure that you’re not being asked to do too much, and try to find a school where you can find out more about a curriculum, and whether you’ll be paid for marking homework and taking class trips. Recruitment companies should be able to help match you up to the right institution. By comparison, if you’re planning to teach in private and international schools, find out whether they want a long term contract.
3 – Picking the Right Country and Interviews
Where you go is perhaps the most crucial decision you can make. Some countries will offer a high quality of living for your wages, and are most notably represented by South Korea and Taiwan. You can probably expect to receive a higher wage for working in the Middle East, as well as very low expenses for working in Thailand and Vietnam. However, you will have to decide on how far you want to travel, and whether you can take a culture shock when you move. Posts nearer to home in Latin America tend to be more competitive, and there is less demand overall. Whichever country you choose, though, be prepared to interview over the phone or via Skype, where you will likely be quizzed about your experience, qualifications, and how you would deal with particular situations.
4 – Sorting Out Visas
Getting your work visa can take a long time, and can include a number of extra requirements. Research what individual countries need online, and check with the American Embassy website for that country. Most countries will require a work or a specialist teaching visas, while some may allow you to teach on a renewable tourist visa. When applying, make copies of your passport, college transcripts, and other requested documents. Also, remember that many countries, such as Vietnam, will ask for a criminal record check. If working in the Middle East, you’ll need a proof of marriage certificate to live together with your partner.
5 – What to Expect
Depending on where you work, there will be some major cultural differences that will take time to adjust to. These differences might include the climate, the food, and how you’re expected to act in work. In South Korea, for example, you shouldn’t try to be too informal with students, while in other countries, it’s best to research any politically sensitive issues before classes. As with any kind of teaching, it’ll just take practice to know what students expect, and what techniques can work best for a particular classroom.
Also be aware that in some countries you might not get health care coverage, you would want to know and plan accordingly.
Here’s a website that offers a list of jobs around the world in teaching profession: gooverseas.com
The following infographic is courtesy http://visual.ly
About the guest post author:
Albert Roberts is a secondary school teacher in Essex, UK. He found his job while browsing GSL Education’s teaching jobs in London. Albert can be found blogging about the different pressures placed on teachers, and how to further your teaching career.