Still thinking about what to do this summer? Teaching abroad could be a fantastic way to enhance your communication and project planning skills whilst giving you an opportunity to travel and experience the culture of another country.

Gracie Roman is currently studying at LSE and has outlined her experience teaching abroad below. She is studying for an MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation at the LSE Gender Institute and has specialised in issues related to gender and migration. She’s hoping to get a job as a policy advisor in this area or will use her skills from teaching to work with NGOs concerned with migrants and refugees.

GracieI decided to do a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) course after finishing my undergraduate degree – I knew I wanted to do further studies but lacked the funds and wasn’t certain of what I wanted to specialise in. All I knew was that I wanted to travel. The course is an intense four weeks, but when completed you can teach all over the world. The upside of a CELTA/TESOL compared to other online TEFL courses is that it’s a life-long qualification and employers will pay you a liveable and often well-paid salary. It’s the ideal option if you want to combine stable work with travel, and save some money along the way. I’ve taught in the Middle East, Finland, France, and the UK.

I had no idea where to begin looking for a job, and the TEFL website proved invaluable. You can upload your CV and personal statement, making it easy to apply and be recruited for jobs. For jobs in Europe, most schools follow the academic year starting in September. Many European schools will also offer good summer contracts, with the option of extending to a year if it’s been successful. However in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and South America it’s common for schools to recruit teachers all year round. Always research the school and contract that they are offering you, and think about:

  • How many hours a week will you be contracted (don’t teach more than 24 hours a week in my opinion)
  • What’s the rate of pay and the conversion?
  • Will they provide accommodation, food and travel?

A useful thing to consult is any TEFL blacklist where they report schools and recruiters that have behaved badly.

I began with short term contracts as I finished my CELTA in November. These can be great and often you’re offered a permanent position at the end. I taught in the UAE (Sharjah), Finland, and the UK but wanted to find a place and contract where I could settle for a few years. I found a job at a private prépas in Versailles, France. Often these jobs are the most stable and you get good benefits, such as accommodation and a fixed timetable.

Whatever your preference, whether it’s the place you want to live, the contract (short or long-term), the age of students (adults, teenagers or children), you will be able to find a school or organisation that fits your needs. Even better, a CELTA doesn’t expire. Although I’ve been studying for my MSc and am not planning on teaching come September, I’ve no doubt I will again in the future. The skills you learn from teaching and living abroad are very transferable, and can take you down many paths you wouldn’t expect.

If you have any further questions on teaching abroad or are looking for immediate vacancies please go to CareerHub to book a one-to-one appointment with a careers consultant.

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