I just received an email from a girl I used to go to school with and she asked me about how to teach abroad. So I got thinking about what I’d tell her and I came up with this (see below). I figured I’d publish this information because I’ll probably use this blog as proof that I know how to write for a future job, especially since I hope to get an international career.
A lot of people have come to me asking how they can do volunteer work in another country or how to teach English. Maybe they ask me because they know about my work experience with the Office of International Affairs at UC Denver or because they know my background with study abroad, but whatever it is, I have now sent 2 great friends to study abroad (Jeana and Erin Berg) and I’ve helped others (Miranda) try and find volunteer positions. I’ve also helped a number of classmates find programs to teach abroad or study abroad.
Anyway, since I am now living abroad as an English teacher, I know the paths to getting the opportunity to live and travel in another country. Although I wouldn’t call this a career, it’s definitely a great opportunity and I know it will build upon my resume that will hopefully get me that job I’ve always wanted. There are a million websites out there that explain how to live abroad and teach abroad but it’s really overwhelming. And usually the people that want to do this sort of thing are college kids, whether they are in college or are recent graduates. I fit into that “recent graduates” section, so hopefully this information will be relatable for you youngsters out there that want to go abroad for a while.
I do recommend you go abroad, it’s a great way to learn a new language and see the world. It looks great on resumes (supposedly, I’ll let you know if this actually helps in say, 5 years from now when I start to apply for a “real” job), it makes you do things you’d never dreamed of doing, you learn a ton about a new culture and country, but also about yourself. And the surprising thing is, it’s actually really easy to do. A lot of people tell me that they can’t go abroad because they don’t have time, or money, or they have some other excuse. But if you really want to, it’s quite simple, and you can honestly make enough money to survive.
[Also, side note, if you are still in college and interested in studying abroad, send me a message and I’ll tell you ALL about it. I studied abroad myself and then I worked for a study abroad office for a year and a half and I know how the whole program works. Also, I’ve been to NAFSA so I’m well experienced.
Also, if you are looking for volunteer opportunities abroad, talk to me as well.]
So here we go…
There’s a lot of ways to do it. The typical thing is to get TESL or TEFL certified. All of these certifications are to teach English as a foreign language. They cost somewhere from $900 to $1300. Then you’ll still have to send your resume around to actually find a job. But usually the program you go through to get certified will help you locate a job in a country that you want. A lot of times you can get certified in the country/city that you want to teach. That makes it even easier to find a job. Also, it’s pretty easy to get an English teaching job because they are in pretty high demand all over the world. For a great website with a ton of TEFL certification sites, please visit:
Also, there are companies that provide English teaching programs that don’t require TEFL certs or they have their own training. You can go to the link below to view some locations, but you have to pay the program so it’s not free and it can be a little expensive, even though they do pay you and find you a place to live.
Also there is a program in Japan that is well-renowned and a bit more competitive to join, but it’s a terrific way to know Japan, learn Japanese, and have an incredible experience teaching English for a year.
Another thing you can do is find out if the government of the country you want to go to has any programs. That’s what I’m doing here in Spain. I didn’t have to pay anything to apply or to join and I get paid 1000 euros a month. The only downside is that you have to know the local language or they won’t consider you. So if you don’t speak Italian, Italy might not be the best place to look. But there are a lot of great perks with these jobs: No certifications are required, you don’t even have to have a bachelor’s degree, and you can meet other Americans.
However, you are pretty much on your own. It’s up to you to find your own housing, etc. But this process, as stressful as it may sound, is a lot easier than you think. If you do decide to move to a foreign country, I’d recommend looking at places personally before making any decisions, especially committing to an apartment over the internet because advertisements can be deceiving.
If you want to teach in Spain, here’s an option (this is what I’m doing right now): http://www.mec.es/sgci/usa/en/programs/us_assistants/default.shtml
If you want to teach in France, here’s another: http://www.frenchculture.org/spip.php?rubrique424&tout=ok
For a comprehensive list of English teaching jobs world wide, please visit: http://www.teachabroad.com/
Anyway, I hope this information is useful to somebody. Now go out there and go abroad!