An exciting slant to a teaching career can be teaching overseas. Whether it’s a program that provides summer jobs for teachers, or long-term teaching assignments, overseas teachers get paid to travel, learn new cultures, and gain valuable work experience they can use back in the U.S. Many teaching abroad programs provide free housing, travel expense, reimbursement, salary and benefits. The majority of jobs involve teaching English as a Second Languate (ESL), but other opportunities are available as well.
The U.S. Department of State provides a list of outside organizations with overseas teaching opportunities with American-sponsored schools.
Teachers can also find jobs abroad through recruiting events and in schools on military bases. Some of the countries needing teachers from the U.S. include South Korea, China, Thailand, Bhutan, and South America.
The process to prepare for an overseas teaching job has several steps. First is to get a certification to teach English as a Second Language. Many colleges, universities and online schools offer this opportunity. While this isn’t always mandatory, the best jobs go to teachers who are certified.
The next step is to decide which country you are interested in. You should look at what requirements each country has for overseas teachers and thoroughly research the culture to see if you might be a good fit.
It’s important to have a resume that emphasizes your ESL teaching objective, training and teaching experience. You can send your resume and a cover letter directly to schools or to recruiters in the U.S. that represent schools overseas. Interviews are usually conducted by phone or on Skype.
If you are offered a job, you will receive a contract that you should read carefully. It will outline the job requirements, limitations, benefits, etc. Be sure to jot down questions to ask before signing.
You will need a passport and visa to work overseas. If you don’t already have a passport, you should apply as soon as possible as it takes some time to process applications. Applications are available at your local post office.
Oxford Seminars, a school that offers ESL training, has a great checklist of pre-travel details you will need to take care of before you can leave for a teaching assignment overseas. This includes what documents you need, immunizations that are required, and other things you should do prior to departing.