Teach English Overseas
By Eric Hammer
One of the greatest adventures you're ever likely to have
is when you teach English overseas. This kind of job can be done
for years (there are people who spend their entire lives teaching
English overseas) or it can be the sort of thing you do for just
a few years or even a year as a way to see the world and perhaps
give something back.
And no, you do not have to teach English overseas only in
a poor country. In fact, many such jobs are available in wealthy
countries such as South Korea and Japan. The jobs are there because
there are few native English speakers in the area and you are
more in demand. Jobs can even be had in Western Europe, though
those jobs do tend to be harder to get because it's easier for
schools there to find English teachers from Great Britain willing
to cross over to the Continent.
Another myth that some people fear when they consider the
idea of teaching English overseas is that they think that they're
not going to be able to do the job unless they also speak the
local language. While speaking the local language definitely
can be a benefit, it's not a necessity for teaching so much as
it is for getting around and doing your grocery shopping and
the like in the area where you are teaching.
How Much Can You Make?
The salary varies widely when you teach English overseas,
depending on where you teach and who is hiring you. Entry level
jobs can pay as little as $15,000 per year, however it is also
possible to make a decent living doing this, especially once
you have experience in the business with top teachers making
as much as $100,000 per year.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Because there is such demand for people to teach English overseas,
advertisements for jobs are regularly posted on Internet message
boards and in major international newspapers such as the International
Herald Tribune. However, it is important to check out the places
offering the jobs very carefully. Some places will try to take
advantage of people who are interested in this kind of work by
offering very low salaries which you cannot possibly live on.
This is especially true when you take a job in a wealthy country.
It is also important to be open to new cultures. It is entirely
possible for example that your job teaching English overseas
will involve spending your time in a place where you are the
only English speaker for miles around. This can lead to a feeling
of social isolation unless you are willing to engage with the
local population and learn to understand them and treat them
as your social equals. This idea is also important in general
since your students will not appreciate being looked down upon.
Remember that you are a visitor in their country and not the
other way around so it's important to act as a respectful person
and not a loud mouthed American who insists that she knows the
"right" way to do things.
Qualifications / Requirements
Generally, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in order
to teach English overseas. It is also helpful to take courses
in English as a Second Language (ESL) and or TESOL/TOEFL courses
(Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Teaching English
as a Foreign Language). However, this is not necessarily an absolute
requirement in order to land a job.
Start by investigating the various possibilities online and
figure out where you want to teach. Then, contact a few schools
in the area and ask if they are looking for someone to teach
English overseas. Find out what their requirements are and send
out a resume.
Check out these helpful resources to learn more about how
to teach English overseas:
English First: Teaching Jobs - A good basic
resource on how to become a teacher overseas.
- More than just a site for those who want to teach English overseas,
this site also includes information on other opportunities to
study or volunteer overseas.
Teacher Hit - You
can find teaching jobs in Europe here.