Working as an ESL English teacher abroad
Your qualification to Teach English as a Second Language is more than just a piece of paper. It’s also your passport to living and working more or less wherever you want in the world. Good quality, well-trained and properly qualified ESL English teachers are in demand all over the world, and the opportunity for overseas travel is one of the biggest advantages of being an ESL teacher.
It shouldn’t be your only reason for becoming a teacher, but it’s certainly an immense perk!
Teaching English overseas isn’t for everybody. Some love the freedom it brings, the ability to experience new lifestyles, new cultures and of course to see the world, but others say it’s only for those with no desire to settle down. Teacher experiences of working abroad vary greatly, from positive to negative, but one thing you can be sure of is that working as an ESL teacher will never feel like a mundane office job. It truly offers the chance of a life less ordinary.
Variety becomes a part of the ESL teacher’s life; who you teach, where, how and when you teach – all of these will vary depending on where you are, who you are and of course the job you choose. You could be teaching Business English to sales executives, teaching children how to count in English or help teenagers through their pre-university exams. Then, outside of working hours, you’ll be learning about the country and culture you’re living in. In our opinion it’s a great life. Try it!
Guides to Teaching Abroad
As the ESL Careers website was created by a couple of English teachers, each with more than a decade of teaching English abroad, we feel qualified to urge other teachers to give it a try too. There are always ups and downs, no matter where you live or what you do, and teaching is no exception, but it beats the hell out of working 9-5 in a mundane job and walking the same streets every day of your life. It can be an escape, or a career. The choice is yours to make.
Although we think teaching abroad is a great idea, you need to be sure you know what you’re doing and what you’re letting yourself in for before starting to look for teaching jobs. Research the country you are think of moving to, the visa and other legal requirements, necessary qualifications, typical salaries and contract terms, local culture, and so on. Teaching English in Spain, for example, will not be the same as teaching English in Saudi Arabia, nor Russia. In this section we offer a several brief but, we hope, useful guides to working in various countries. The list is isn’t complete but we will add to it as time passes.
Teachers who have experience of working in specific countries, listed or not listed here, are most welcome to submit their own comments and experience. If they are useful for other teachers, we will gladly add them to our list of articles.