ESL Teacher Guide to Overseas Teaching

People want to be an ESL teacher for various reasons.

Maybe you just finished University and want to explore the world before you settle down in your home country.

Maybe you have been working for several years and need a change of scene to explore and experience a new culture.

Maybe you want to relocate to another country to start a new life.

All the people above share the same need to gain new experiences.

If they also have the passion to teach, learn, connect and meet new people then becoming an ESL teacher may just be the best opportunity for them!

So you have decided to become an ESL Teacher. Your next question to yourself might probably be “Where do I start”? The first thing you would need to do is to look for a good ESL Teaching course. The best place to start is with the official ESL teaching qualification providers. These include CELTA, TEFL and TESOL and IELTS. Check out their range of ESL courses available on their websites. They run both online and classroom based courses. Check regularly on their website for their course price discounts. Be careful that you choose valid ESL teaching providers. There are some ‘Bogus’ providers!

Qualification Requirements

You should hold a Bachelors Degree in addition to your new ESL teaching qualification.  Some ESL schools employ only Native English Speakers. However there are other ESL schools which are happy to employ teachers from other countries where English is commonly spoken.

Once you obtain your ESL qualification your next action would be to start actively looking for ESL schools in various locations.

Popular Destinations

Below are some popular destinations. There are not listed in any particular order.

  1. Dubai (in the UAE)
  2. Japan
  3. Saudi Arabia
  4. China
  5. Vietnam
  6. South Korea
  7. Taiwan
  8. Spain
  9. Thailand
  10. Brazil

Once you have chosen your country of destination and picked some schools you might be interested in finding work then you could contact them directly. Some major points of your discussion should include the terms and conditions of your contract and your salary and benefits package. Alternatively you can contact a Teaching Employment Agency to help you.

Most schools provide the following benefits:

  • Housing or a housing allowance
  • Airline Tickets (Some ESL schools only pay for one way return journeys)
  • Health insurance
  • Free tuition (in some schools)

Once you have obtained an ESL Teacher job in the country of your preferred choice the next step is to begin your travel preparations. The school would begin the process to apply and obtain your work visa.  Here is a note of caution. Never agree to go to work in a country without a valid work visa. If you do so you’re in danger of being arrested and deported by the Police and Immigration officials.

You can start your travel preparations once you obtain your work visa. Make sure that you have enough money to last you for one month in your new country. This is because you will usually receive your first salary after your first month of work. Some schools might advance you some of your salary once you arrive. It is also a good idea to buy your own travel insurance. Buy suitable clothing and take some bedding with you. This way you are prepared for your first night in your new accommodation.

Always arrange with the school to make arrangements to pick you up from the airport. It is your first day in a new country so that support is useful. The decision to become an ESL Teacher may be daunting to some. However there is no doubt that it would be a life changing experience for those that take the steps.

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