3 Ways to Launch a Teaching Career Overseas

Posted on 03/17/2014 ~ Categorized as Work
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Blake is Chief Content Officer for EscapeArtist. He lives with his wife and three sons in the Deep South of the United States.

3 Ways to Launch a Teaching Career Overseas

One of the most fulfilling careers in the world is teaching.  Whether it’s lecturing at the professor level or finger painting with toddlers, having the ability to positively influence the lives of others is a priceless experience.

If you love to work with people and have been looking for way to fund your life overseas, then working as a teacher abroad might be the perfect fit for you.  As a general guide, here are a few ways to acquire an international teaching job.

Teach English as a Second Language (TESL)

This is one of the most common and easiest methods of becoming a teacher overseas.  Countries all over the world are looking for qualified and enthusiastic people to join their school as an English teacher.

The basic qualifications needed are a four year degree and English must be your first language.  Having a TESL certification can be a bonus and good way to get your foot in the door, but it’s not typically needed for entry level positions.  However, some countries will accept the certification (and a two year degree) in lieu of a bachelor’s degree.

International Schools

If you already have teaching experience and the appropriate credentials, then a school with an international curriculum or alliances might be the ideal opportunity for you.  These schools tend to favor teachers who are experienced at high demand subjects like math or science and who are willing to be flexible on their location.

There are several ways to find these kinds of positions.  The easiest is to transfer with your current school.  If that’s not a possibility, then there are online associations and networks that specialize in placing teachers abroad (and are usually paid services).  Another option is to work with the military’s education department.  They place teachers all over the world, both on base and off.

Volunteering or International Service Opportunities

Programs like the Peace Corps work internationally in impoverished areas on all kinds of projects.  One of the higher demand teaching positions they seek are in areas like English, math, and science.  The pay isn’t much, but all of your housing expenses are covered while abroad, which is usually for about 2 years.  The process for getting admitted can be lengthy, but the outcome is incredibly rewarding.

Finally, while it might not immediately fund your life abroad, volunteering as a teacher is another viable option for gaining experience.  It will look great on your resume and can open the door for bigger and better opportunities down the road.


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