Teaching abroad can be a great way to expand your horizons, learn new skills and travel. Here are some tips to get started:
If you plan to move halfway around the world to teach English, research all aspects of your international adventure to make it as successful and rewarding as possible. You can use GoinGlobal to research financial and cultural information about different countries to help you decide where to go and/or to prepare for wherever you choose to go. Go Overseas is another useful resource with lots of information and articles on teaching English abroad.
2. Get qualified
You might not need a TEFL qualification for all overseas teaching jobs. However, a qualification will give you the skills you need to teach effectively, improve your chances of finding work, and make a difference to how much you get paid. The two most well known qualifications are Trinity TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults). Both are widely recognised by employers and by official bodies. There isn’t much difference between them and they normally run over a period of four weeks, which involves full-time study at a course centre.
3. Find work
You could be employed abroad by commercial language and other schools, government departments, voluntary organisations, multi-national companies, or organisations such as the British Council. Many jobs are on fixed-term contracts of between nine months and two years, but you can also find some short-term programmes, for example during the summer. Having a signed contract will give you a lot more certainty when you go.
Some course providers offer work placements upon successful completion of the course. If you’re looking for work off your own back, the TEFL website is probably the largest database of ELT jobs for across the globe and provides a very useful search function. The British Council is another secure way to find a job abroad, although it does have entrance requirements that are higher than many other organisations. There’s also the JET programme, a scheme aimed at promoting grass-roots international exchange between Japan and other nations, which provides teaching opportunities for between 1-3 years in Japan. There are plenty of opportunities out there, but always remember to check the reputation of the organisation you are planning to work for.
4. Make the most of us
LSE Careers is open all summer, offering one-to-one appointments and events during the Summer Term and throughout the holidays! You can also read a our previous blogs about how travelling and teaching abroad can help shape your career path, an LSE alum’s experience of teaching English broad, and a current student’s experience of teaching English in Italy.