Country Guides for Teaching Abroad
The best country to teach English in
If you’re thinking of moving abroad to work as an ESL English teacher, spend a little time checking out the various choices open to you. “Which is the best country to teach English in?” isn’t the right question. “Which country will I enjoy teaching English in?” is the right question. There’s always a balance between the availability of jobs for English teachers and which countries and cultures you will best adapt to. Our Country Guides aim to provide basic information about each country and although not intended to be definitive guides, they should give you a general idea as to what you can expect in each country.
There are usually plenty of jobs available for teachers in state schools, the majority of teaching jobs advertised on sites such as this are from private language schools. Aside from differences in salaries, the size, quality and organisation of language schools can vary considerably, whether you are looking at small local schools or huge international franchises. If money isn’t so important, you’ll also find lots voluntary teaching opportunities to take you off the beaten track.
Do a little research!
Before applying for a job it’s always worth doing a little research about the schools you are contacting. Search for comments about them online. Of course, in the same way that many hotel ‘reviews’ on popular holiday websites seem to be false, you shouldn’t take every comment as the gospel truth. However, a pattern of simlar comments might serve as a warning, or recommendation. Aside from being a good place to find job adverts, you can also get information on individual schools in the Linkedin teacher forums. The same applies if you have questions about recruitment agencies or working conditions in specific countries.
Working as a freelance ESL teacher
Working as a private teacher is a good idea in some countries, and many teachers prefer the freedom this option provides, not just in terms of how much you earn but also when you teach, who, and where. However, it takes time to find enough work, so if you’re only planning on staying in a country of city for a year, it’s probably better to work for a school and try to earn a little extra with a few private lessons.
If your dream is to teach English in Italy, for example, we have our own websites aimed at helping teachers find private students. It may be a shameless self-promotional plug, but the sites are listed below:
Teaching English in Rome
If you’re planning to teach English in Rome, our RomaInglese websites are worth a visit. You’ll find teacher information on Romainglese.com (all in English) and the public website (all in Italian, as it’s aimed at the locals) is Romainglese.it
Teaching English in Milan
If you’re planning to teach English in Milan or the surrounding areas, take a look at our MilanoInglese. You’ll find teacher information on Milanoinglese.com (in English) and the public website (in Italian) is Milanoinglese.it.
Teaching English in Italy
Insegnanti-inglese.it is a new website, open to registration from both mother-tongue English teachers and bilingual teachers (at least English and Italian) and covers the whole of Italy, not just the Milan and Rome areas.
One or two hiccups..
Be aware that some countries have restrictions which prevent you from teaching privately, and some employers also try to enforce such restrictions in employment contracts, presumably for fear of competition. In many countries you won’t be able to get a work visa unless you have a formal employment contract, and you almost certainly won’t get a visa on the basis of setting up as a freelance teacher. Every country has its own rules, so you need to research this. These rues will often vary according to where you come from. For example, a British teacher will have no problems teaching in Europe, but an American will need a visa to work legally in the same countries. For more information on this, visit the Embassy website for the country you want to teach in.
A word of warning; when searching ESL jobs online you’ll come across lots of very promising adverts which say things like ‘teachers wanted in xxxxxx, qualifications not required’ or something along those lines. Never forget that ‘too good to be true’ often means ‘don’t believe it’. You’ll often find that such ‘recruiters’ request registration fees in advance of any kind of work offer, and others are only interested in harvesting passport and identity details. Whilst documentation is often required as part of the application process, don’t give them out without cause.