There are many opportunities for teaching English abroad that are open to anybody who is able to speak English fluently. Whether you have a teaching degree or a certificate in English language teaching you can find work almost anywhere in the world.
This article looks at two options for people who want to teach English abroad including private language schools and teaching English abroad in International Schools.
International schools are elementary, middle and high schools for expatriate children whose families live abroad. There are international schools that offer an American curriculum, those that offer a British curriculum and many more. The language of instruction in most international schools is English but many of the students have English as a second or third language, and so most international schools have teachers who support these students by teaching them English language.
Teaching English abroad in international schools can be done with the same qualifications that are required for teaching in a private language school however you will be competing with people who have teaching diplomas. With over 4000 international schools worldwide, there are many positions vacant every year. Teaching in an international school often offers better pay and more benefits than teaching in a private language school.
Some benefits you are likely to receive teaching in an international school are annual flights, accommodation allowance, medical insurance and, free tuition for your children in the school. International schools follow the regular school year, so you will only be teaching for around 200 days, and you will be paid for your vacation time, unlike private language school where you will receive 3-4 weeks holiday in a 12 month contract.
Private Language Schools Teaching positions in private language schools are easy to secure. English language tuition is a growth business in many areas of the world, in particular in Eastern Europe and throughout Asia. In order to teach English in a private language school you need to be able to speak English fluently and have a certificate from either Trinity or RSA CELTA.
These courses are around 4 weeks long and can even be completed online. Some language schools will hire native English speakers who do not have any ESL qualification, but usually these schools are not as reputable as those that insist their teachers have the appropriate qualifications.
For some countries you will need to have a Bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for a work permit. You need to check this out if you do not have one because you could end up working abroad illegally. Usually your degree can be in any subject, it does not need to be in education.
Working at a private language school can be rewarding as you learn about the local culture from your students and see the progress they make. You are likely to have a combination of classes with 12-20 students and private lessons where you teach only one or two students.
In Asia you can land an English teaching contract at any time, but in Europe most contracts are from the beginning of autumn in September through to the beginning of summer in June or July.
Having taught English in both private language schools and worked in international schools, I recommend you try and focus on landing a position teaching English abroad in an international school because the pay and benefits are better and you get longer holidays too.
Teaching couples are very popular with international school recruiters for many reasons but the main one is that couples can often work out cheaper to hire in the long run. This article however, is all about teaching jobs overseas from the viewpoint of the teaching couples, rather than the schools.
Whether you are married or not you can look for jobs as a teaching couple, most schools do not discriminate against couples who do not have a marriage certificate. An obvious exception is schools in the Middle East. It is very difficult for non-married couples to land jobs in international schools in the Middle East, where governments’ regulations stipulate that couples seeking working visas produce a marriage certificate. Read more
Teachers who are looking to move their teaching career overseas have two options, teach at an international school or teach at a private language school. I’ve done both and I think that teaching at an international school is the best option. I’d like to share 5 reasons why I think this is true. Read more
International schools come in many different shapes and sizes. There are American schools, British schools, IB schools, Department of Defence schools, privately run schools and non-profit schools, to name a few.
One distinction teachers looking for a job overseas should be aware of is that of locally run versus foreign run schools. Being aware of this one difference can ensure that you sign an overseas teaching contract with your eyes wide-open. Read more
You need to teach overseas! Pick a country, any country, and there will be at least one international school there. International Schools offer private education for expatriate’s children worldwide. And, while most of the parents have to pay school fees, one of the conditions nearly always included in the contracts of international teachers is free education for the teachers’ children. There are over 4000 international schools worldwide, all requiring teachers to staff them, many of them offering excellent quality private education. Read more
There are a number of factors to be considered when you are looking at taking a job at an international school, on the financial side there is: * salary * medical insurance * housing allowance * annual flights. On the conditions side there is: * class size * facilities * contact hours * teaching days in a school year
Most of these factors can be taken at face value. However, if you like to travel and want your work to pay well as I do, you may be turning down lucrative positions if you take a salary offer at face value and don’t take the cost of living into account.
For example, when I moved to Poland in the late 90s I accepted a job that only paid 900USD a month. It doesn’t sound like much, does it? I can tell you, I lived well on my money. During that year I explored Poland, spent Easter in the Czech Republic, went skiing in Austria for two weeks, started a Masters through distance learning and saved a little as well. Read more
If you have read any of the articles I have written prior to this, you will know I’m a proponent of spreading yourself around in order to secure a teaching position in an international school. This is the approach that I have used successfully and I still believe it is an excellent strategy for kicking off your international teaching career. However, I thought I’d better write an article on strategies for educators who are looking for their second or third overseas teaching position. Those international educators with some overseas work experience under their wing may choose to use this longer-term strategy to secure their next teaching position. Read more
When you consider that there may be 100 schools represented and 400 pre-screened candidates, your chances of securing a teaching position at an international school is high. Additionally, many of the top schools will only consider interviewing candidates who are pre-screened by a recruiting agency.
Whether or not you decide to register with a job fair might depend on your ability to get to where one is being held. Job fairs are held at locations worldwide, with a particular concentration in North America and the United Kingdom. Some of the organisations hosting the job fairs do not charge participants to attend, they make their money from charging the recruiters.
There are several organisations that hold job fairs for international teachers. International School Services (ISS), Search Associates and the Council of International Schools (COIS) are three of them that hold job fairs around the world. These organisations pre-screen the candidates and invite those candidates that meet the criteria published on their websites to attend their job fairs. You can go to their websites and check if you meet their criteria.
Both ECIS and Search Associates are very professional and experienced in their approach to organising job fairs, and it shows at their events. Read more
When you attend an international teaching job fair you are in a completely manufactured environment. The organisers have brought together a large number of recruiters from international schools and teachers desiring to teach overseas, into what is usually a confined indoor space like a hotel, and the participants’ sole objective is to fill teaching vacancies.
In order to make the most of this pressure-cooker-like environment, you need to network.
Networking is common place in the business world. Business people meet and exchange business cards, then either keep in touch or contact each other when they have a mutually beneficial need of each other’s services.
When teachers attend a recruitment fair such as the international teacher job fairs, networking can enable you to leverage the time and expense involved in getting there. Teaching Job Fairs can be overwhelming to the uninitiated, check out The Complete Guide to Securing a Job at an International School for a detailed strategy dedicated to preparing you to make the most of the job fair opportunity. Read more
There are as many contract conditions as there are international schools, almost.
International schools are sometimes caught in a difficult situation. They need to comply with the regulations of the country they are operating in, ensure their conditions and salaries are competitive with other international schools and balance this all with the fact that they have to work within a salary budget.
Here are some items to consider when you are thinking about contract conditions for you and your family. Read more