About Teaching Abroad
Frequently Asked Questions
about Teaching English Abroad
- I think I am interested in teaching abroad. Where do I start?
- Do I need to have a college degree to get a teaching position overseas?
- Is it necessary that I speak a foreign language to teach English abroad?
- Is a teaching certificate required to teach English abroad?
- Can I teach abroad with an online certificate?
- Do you offer job placement assistance?
- Will I save money while working overseas?
- What kind of benefits/assistance can I expect from schools abroad?
- Will I be able to support myself working for only one school?
- Will I need to sign a contract, and if so, what are the general obligations?
I think I am interested in teaching abroad. Where do I start?
To get started, there are a number of questions you should ask yourself. The first, of course, is "Where do I want to go?" Selecting a country is based on various factors, including language(s) spoken, cost of living, cultural and geographical attractions, climate, health issues, distance from home, social atmosphere, and local economic and political conditions.
Another question you should ask yourself is "How long do I want to stay?" Some schools will ask you to sign a 1-year contract, while others will ask only for a verbal promise that you'll to stay for a few months.
The final question you should ask yourself is, "How should I prepare myself to teach?" BridgeTEFL offers a variety of options for teacher preparation, including TEFLOnline.com, on-site courses, and job placement. For more information, please visit Our Services.
Do I need to have a college degree to get a teaching position overseas?
In most cases, yes. The majority of schools around the world prefer that you have a 4-year college degree; many will not hire a teacher without one. In most locations in Asia—as well as in some other countries—it is a requirement in order to receive a work visa. However, in a few places, teachers without degrees can sometimes qualify to teach English. If you do not have a college degree, it is best to ask about the specific location in which you are interested.
Is it necessary that I speak a foreign language to teach English abroad?
No. Some schools do appreciate it if you know the native language, if for no other reason than to be able to handle yourself more comfortably in the environment. In some cases, you may even be offered more money. However, if you've been trained in the Direct Method (the method utilized in BridgeTEFL programs), you should be able to teach English successfully in any country in the world, whether you know the language or not. Furthermore, many schools offer language classes and social activities to help familiarize their teachers with the local culture.
Is a teaching certificate required to teach English abroad?
Although some schools may require only that you be a native speaker, most institutions prefer to hire teachers with some training. Often the best jobs with the best salaries are reserved for certified teachers. And in an increasingly competitive environment, it's an absolute necessity at certain schools and in certain locations.
Can I teach abroad with an online certificate?
Yes. TEFLOnline.com qualifies you for many of the thousands of teaching positions overseas. Based on our rigorous on-site courses, TEFLOnline.com is an internationally recognized certificate program that gives you a solid foundation to teach English anywhere in the world. While the most important thing for many language centers is that you be certified by an accredited provider with a comprehensive course such as TEFLOnline.com, some employers in some countries may prefer to hire graduates of onsite courses. For information regarding our onsite TEFL and CELTA programs in over 15 countries worldwide, please visit www.BridgeTEFL.com.
If you have questions about specific requirements, please contact your potential employer or a BridgeTEFL advisor. For more information on job requirements by country, please visit www.TEFLJobPlacement.com.
Do you offer job placement assistance?
Yes. TEFLOnline.com includes a comprehensive module on professional development and employment. You will receive a job database with specific contact information for organizations that hire English teachers, a list of the best Internet sites for researching TEFL, and job search advice. For more information, please visit Teaching Jobs. If you would like us to find you a job abroad, please visit www.BridgeTEFLJobs.com.
Will I save money while working overseas?
A lot depends on the location you choose, the cost of living, and how you budget. The higher paying jobs are generally in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. However, the cost of living is generally higher in these locations as well. Some schools in Korea provide housing for teachers, allowing you to save extra money.
What kind of benefits/assistance can I expect from schools abroad?
Some schools offer housing assistance for their teachers. Some actively place teachers in subsidized housing where they live with other foreign teachers. Other schools have a staff member dedicated to helping teachers find accommodation. In many locations, you will be expected to pay for your own transportation to the country, as well as health insurance. However, some schools and programs in Asia provide insurance and reimburse you for your airfare upon completion of a long-term (1 year) contract.
Will I be able to support myself working for only one school?
Again, this depends greatly on the location in which you are teaching. In Asia, or elsewhere if you work full-time for a public school, you are likely to sign a contract with a guaranteed salary. You should be able to live comfortably on this salary, and maybe even save some money, especially if the organization subsidizes housing. However, in many situations it is difficult to support yourself working for just one school. Teachers usually compensate for this by teaching private classes on the side, working for several schools (if permitted by local visa/contract laws), or having some money saved up before they venture abroad.
Will I need to sign a contract, and if so, what are the general obligations?
Contracts vary depending upon the organization and on the labor laws of each country. The points covered by a contract may include the minimum number of guaranteed hours, amount and frequency of pay, length of service, hours the teachers must be available to teach, whether teachers can teach classes outside of the school, and conditions under which the contract can be broken. Be aware that schools in certain countries will ask you to teach on the basis of a verbal contract only. If this is the case, be sure that you and the administration are clear on the conditions of your employment, so there are no surprises later on.