Teaching abroad is a popular way to see the world and make some money. Whether you are a graduate right out of college, a retiree who is looking for adventure, or you’ve decided to make a change mid-career, teaching English overseas is easily obtainable. The following resources and tips range from how to find a teaching job to learning the differences between the types of schools to resources for travel and teaching. Read below to find out all you need to know to get you started on an adventure of a lifetime.
All About Getting the Job
The following articles, websites, and blogs paint a picture of what teaching abroad is all about and offer suggestions for how to go about finding that job.
- International vs. Private Language Schools. This article offers an overview of these two options and explains why you may have a preference for one over the other.
- TESOL Courses. This company provides courses to obtain your TESOL certification–a common certification accepted with many employers for ESL/EFL teachers.
- ESL Jobs. This blog provides postings for ESL jobs all around the world. Choose to browse the site or sign up for "Job Alerts" to be emailed to you directly.
- Teach Abroad. Use this search for finding international ESL job postings. Just select a country from the drop-down menu and you will receive listings specific for that country.
- AAC. Focusing on Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China, this site offers information on teaching in each country, as well as job postings and links to visa information.
- Teaching Abroad. Read these helpful resources offered by the U.S. Department of State on teaching English in a foreign country.
- English Now the Foreign Language of Schools Abroad. This article offers an informative look at why teaching English in foreign countries is so popular right now and is a must-read for anyone interested in teaching abroad.
- Overseas Digest. This site offers lots of information for anyone thinking about teaching abroad. From how to land a job to ways teachers can earn extra money, if you want to know something about teaching overseas, you can probably find it here.
- Teaching English Abroad. Find articles, job search engines, advice, and forums that all focus on teaching English overseas.
- This Guy is Teaching Abroad. This blog updates with all the latest TEFL news. Written by an experienced teacher and journalist, this blog will keep you in the know.
- Teaching Abroad: Facts and Figures. This post offers interesting statistics on teaching abroad. It also offers teaching tips and red flags for choosing a school.
Recruiting and Placement Companies
If you don’t want to go it alone, most of these companies will provide assistance with everything from getting a visa to becoming certified. Be aware that some of these companies charge high prices for their services, while others have no cost associated with them.
- Footprint Recruiting. Out of Canada, but offering placements to both Canadians and Americans, this recruiting company specializes in China, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. All services are free of charge.
- Via Lingua. This company offers training for placement in Europe, Russia, and Mexico. After training, they will assist with job placement and claim that over 80% of their students already have a job before their training is complete.
- SaxonCourt Training and Recruitment. Pay for and take the training courses with this company, and they will find you employment and pay for your air fare and visa expenses.
- LanguageCorps. For a fee, this company will send you to a foreign country where you will participate in an intense certification program. Afterward, you will have a guaranteed job awaiting you. The company also helps with visas, accommodations, and more.
- Mission: Teach. This service connects teachers with international Christian schools. For those who are not certified teachers, they also place support staff in schools.
- CIEE. Offering positions in Chile, China, Spain, and Thailand, this company trains and places you in one of these four countries. Your fees go to accommodation, visa expenses, training, and transportation from the training site to placement.
- Cultural Embrace. This company places teachers in Latin America, China, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam for a fee. They also offer a "Travel and Teach" program that allows you to trade teaching your host family for room and board.
- U.S. Chinese Culture Center. Find out all you need to know about going this route to teach English in China. Fees, payment deadlines, and specifics of who qualifies are all laid out on this simple site.
- ELIC. ELIC is a "non-profit educational organization dedicated to sending Christian North Americans" to several Asian countries. They offer training and allow families and couples to travel together as well as individuals.
- TEFL Worldwide Prague. This four-week course takes place in Prague and will qualify you to teach ESL internationally. They offer affordable housing while in the program.
Many countries offer government-sponsored programs that bring native English speakers to their country to teach in public schools. The qualifications for teachers vary country to country, but generally, a Bachelor’s degree from a four-year university is all that is required.
- JET Programme. The government-run program brings native English speakers to teach in public schools in Japan. You must have a college degree to apply. Upon completion of the program, you receive return airfare.
- EPIK. Like the JET Programme, EPIK is the official program in Korea. Again, you must have a Bachelor’s degree to apply and commit to at least one year of teaching.
- TaLK. This program in Korea is available to university students and is a pared-down version of EPIK. Earn money and work 15-hour weeks while teaching after school English in Korean schools.
- Czech Ministry of Education. This opportunity allows teachers to work in both primary and secondary schools in rural communities in the Czech Republic. Accommodation, salary, and teaching materials are all provided.
- NET Scheme. This is Hong Kong’s version of the government program. The salary is much higher here, but in addition to a Bachelor’s degree, applicants must also have TEFL/TESL certification and recognized teacher training certification.
- Chatteris Educational Foundation – Hong Kong. This organization is a registered charitable non-profit in Hong Kong which invites recent college graduates to teach English. Airfare and accommodations are not provided, but teachers are given a salary.
- The American Scandinavian Foundation. Young Americans who wish to teach in Finland can take advantage of this government-sponsored exchange that provides paid positions with no specific training necessary.
- French Ministry of Education Teaching Assistantship Program. For those who have a working knowledge of French, the French Ministry of Education and the Cultural Services offer several teaching assistant positions in primary and secondary schools.
- English Opens Doors Program – Chilean Ministry of Education. This is a volunteer program that provides housing with a host family and a small monthly stipend. There may be some costs for specific programs.
The elite teaching jobs overseas are with international schools. From better hours to more time off, these are usually the best teaching jobs to find. Unfortunately, these jobs also have more stringent requirements for their teachers.
- International Schools Services. This non-profit corporation provides placement at international schools for teachers with a Bachelor’s degree and some classroom experience.
- International Schools Review. Find out about specific international schools and how they rate at this informative site.
- International Schools Worldwide. If you want to go straight to the source, scroll through this list of schools categorized by country to find each school’s website. From there, check out job opportunities to see what is available.
- Teaching Overseas. The U.S. Department of State provides this informative site full of links for teaching in American-sponsored schools around the world. Included are recruiting agencies and other organizations with teaching opportunities.
- Department of Defense Education Activity. If you are interested in teaching at a school for children of those in the U.S. military, this is the place for you. Find out what types of benefits and salary you can expect with this job.
- Network of International Christian Schools. Find a job teaching at an international Christian school at this site. Positions range from part-time preschool teachers to administrative positions.
- TIE Online. While you must pay $36 for a one-year subscription to gain access to job searches and resume postings to get a teaching position with international schools, this site also offers some free basic information on international schools and the advantages of teaching in them.
- International Schools for Students and Teachers. This site offers a listing of international schools as well as a few other sites related to international schools.
- Quality Schools International. This service only hires married couples to teach in their schools. You can apply online if you see an interesting school in their list.
- Wikipedia List of International Schools. Scroll through what is probably the most comprehensive list on the Internet of international schools to find a school where you might be interested in applying.
Private Language Schools
The most common way to teach English abroad is through private language schools. These can vary from giant corporations to small, mom-and-pop schools. Your best bet for an international teaching gig is right here.
- ELS. Read this article by a former ELS teacher in Korea for an honest description of teaching in Korea with this company.
- AEON. This private language school in Japan offers jobs teaching adults, while their counterpart, Amity, offers jobs teaching children.
- James English School. Teach English in Northern Japan with this private language school.
- Geos. This private company in Japan offers compensation, accommodation, training, and language lessons for their English teachers.
- EF English First. Find teaching jobs in China, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, and more through this private language school.
- ESL-Planet. Search their free job board for employment with private language schools around the world. To gain access to all their services, you will need to have a paid subscription.
- Hess. One of the biggest private language schools in Taiwan, Hess hires teachers with a Bachelor’s degree for one year contracts.
- Kojen. Another school in Taiwan, Kojen prefers their teachers to already have TESL, TEFL, or TESOL certification, but will hire those without it too.
- work n play. Search for ESL jobs in Korea at this site. You can narrow your search by full-time, part-time, locations, and more.
- TEFL.com. Find a teaching job with TEFL.com at any number of private schools around the world. This super-powered "career portal" offers great opportunities to find employment. Subscribe to their RSS feed to get up-to-the-minute job postings on your desktop.
- ESL Junction. Look for positions world-wide at this site. You can also find teaching aids such as games, activities, and flashcards here.
Information for Specific Countries
Need help narrowing down your country of interest? The following articles and blogs offer information for teaching English in specific countries.
- Teaching in Korea. Visit this site sponsored by the Korean government for a downloadable brochure touching on several aspects of living and teaching in Korea.
- Teaching English in Korea. While this site is specifically for Canadian citizens, there is still lots of helpful information for Americans as well.
- The Daily Kimchi. This blog written by a couple who lived and taught in Korea offers sections on teaching in Korea and how to find a job in Korea.
- Italy. This informative article gives specifics on how and what to expect to those looking for teaching jobs in Italy.
- Teaching English in Japan. This site offers resources for teaching, travel, and living in Japan. There are also articles on various topics such as how to create a resume for teaching in Japan.
- Teaching English in Thailand. This article offers a comprehensive explanation of teaching in Thailand, along with links and tips to help you start teaching.
- Teaching English in Chiang Mai. Find out about teaching in Chiang Mai, Thailand in this informative article.
- Teaching English in Europe. Learn about what you need to teach in Europe with this article. There is also a breakdown of a few European countries and the ease or difficulty of getting a job there.
- Teaching English in Europe. This blog offers links to other blogs, categorized by country, that describe what qualifications you need as well as companies that hire in each.
- Teach in Eastern Europe. With a focus on teaching in Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, this article offers a basic overview of what to expect and how to land a job in Eastern Europe.
- JourneyEast.org. This site offers information on teaching jobs, certification, and more for those interested in teaching English in China.
Visa and Passport Information
You’ve found a job, or at least decided in which country you want to live, so now you need the proper travel documents. Learn about passports and visas with the resources below.
- U.S. Department of State Passports. Find information on how to get a passport as well as online forms to speed up the process.
- Team English Recruiting Visa Information. This step-by-step article tells you exactly what you need to do to get your visa for teaching in Korea.
- Global Crossroads. This site offers a great description of the various Chinese visas and explains which you might need to seek.
- Employment/Work (Z) Visa. This is the official site for Chinese visa requirements for Americans. Learn what you need to do to get your working visa.
- Chinese Visa Information. Find out about renewing your visa if you are already living in Hong Kong here.
- Jobs–Obtaining a Working Visa in Japan. Learn how to get a visa to work in Japan. Please note that you must not be in Japan while applying for a working visa. If you are already in Japan, most people fly to Korea to take care of their visa.
- Royal Thai Embassy. Find out all you need to know about getting a visa to Thailand.
- Countries @ a glance. Use this handy guide to find out information about many countries. For visa information, choose the country of interest from the drop-down menu, then select the "Visa" option at the far left.
- Exploring Abroad Visa Information. Find visa information for Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and Australia Oceania at this site.
- Visa and Passport Information. Provided by Delta Airlines, this handy tool allows you to plug in your country of interest and find out what travel documents are necessary to enter that country.
Getting ready to go takes a lot of planning and work. Find out what you need to do with the following information and tips from those who have gone before you.
- U.S. Department of State. Find out all you need to know about international travel from this official site. Also, check out their country listing with country-specific information including embassy locations, crime, etc.
- Cool Travel Guide. Read about this travel writer’s adventures to get you in the mood for your travel experience.
- China Tour. This blog posts regularly about tourist spots and fun things to see and do in China. If your teaching job takes you to China, you should read this.
- BootsnAll Travel. While these blog posts are intended for shorter-term international travel than you will probably be doing, there are still lots of great tips on packing, navigating airports, and more.
- International travel: Staying healthy far from home. Find out how to keep yourself healthy when you travel to a foreign country.
- Dealing with Culture Shock. Even the most gung-ho teacher will find culture shock creeping in at some time. Read this post for ideas on how to make it through the rough patches.
- Expat blog. Find out about other people’s experience livings abroad, then share your experience once you begin your journey through a blog on Expat blog.
ESL/EFL Teaching Resources
Once you’ve landed that job, you can use the following resources to help enhance your teaching experience. From lesson plans to conversation starters, you can find lots of helpful information in this list.
- ESL Cafe. From news and job openings to resources in the classroom, this website offers lots of information for ESL teachers.
- ESL Teachers Board. Find lessons, printables, stories, and more on this site. You can also look for a job or post a resume for employment in America or internationally.
- Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities. Sponsored by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, this resource lists links to several ideas that ESL teachers can incorporate in their class.
- ESL KidStuff. This site, available for ESL teachers and parents, offers "over 1,500 flashcard images, hundreds of worksheets, crafts, games, jobs and lots more," and it’s all geared to teaching children.
- CAELA. For ESL teachers who instruct adults, this site offers resources ranging from fact sheets to bibliographies to activities for students.
- Karin’s ESL Partyland. Both teachers and students can get tons of help from this great site. Teachers can find lesson plans, downloadables, a job board, and links. Students have access to quizzes, discussion forums, and interactive lessons.
- ESLGold. This site offers lesson plans, handouts, and more for the teacher as well as lots of activities for the student–and they are all organized by skill level.
- Englishjet. Find links to the top English newspapers, dictionaries, e-books, examinations and more at this site.
- Adult Education ESL Teacher’s Guide. Get lots of information here for teaching adults. Lessons are broken down between beginning and intermediate.
- Conversation Questions for the ESL/EFL Classroom. This comprehensive list offers a wealth of topics to springboard classroom conversation. Browse by category or supply your own ideas.
- Wikigogy. This wiki is designed specifically for ESL and EFL teachers. Find useful information on teaching English in these pages.
ESL/EFL Teaching Aids
Whether you are giving your students some fun activities or are looking for a way to jazz up your lesson plan, the following teaching aids will give your students lots of extra help.
- VoiceThread. Offering a great way for students to hear native speakers, this high-tech teaching tool is a great resource for teachers.
- About.com English as 2nd Language. This blog is updated regularly with various ESL tips and tools such as pronunciation guides and helpful phrases.
- Readings for ESL students. This site offers a list of stories for ESL students. Each story is followed by a short quiz to test reading comprehension that offers immediate feedback.
- TEFLGames.com. Both teachers and students can access this site for tons of fun games and quizzes. Included are lots of downloadables as well as links to other game resources.
- Songs for Teaching. This list offers song lyrics as well as downloadable versions of the songs that feature teaching vocabulary.
- Musical English Lessons International. The songs on this site are organized by categories such as grammar rules, adjectives, nouns, and spelling. It is based out of the U.K., so American teachers may want to use it with the differences in grammar in mind.
- English Daily. This site provides links to activities for ESL learners such as conversation, idioms, grammar, slang, and even has movie lines and a joke of the day.
- Professor Meloni’s Study Hall. This fun site allows the student to select specific topics such as vocabulary, U.S. culture, or listening and provides links to many sites offering activities on that specific topic.
- English Learner Website. Find news stories, idioms, jokes, and recipes at this site. You can also sign up for a free newsletter.
- Learning Vocabulary Fun. Students can play lots of interactive games on this site to learn and strengthen their vocabulary.
- Real English. Watch videos of real people speaking English all around the world. These videos are free, but for more services such as live chat and lesson material, you will need a paid subscription.
- A.Word.A.Day. Learn a new vocabulary word every day. This site even provides an audio file so you can hear the pronunciation.
- English Grammar. Click through this list of basic English grammar terms to learn about the specific parts of the English language. Visit the "misteakz" page to learn what not to do.