If you’ve always dreamed of moving to an exotic location and helping the locals learn how to speak English, you might be surprised to find that there are quite a few teaching English abroad programs that can help you do just that. However, before you apply for a program, it’s a good idea to know whether or not you’re qualified. Use these criteria to determine if this career is actually right for you.
English Should Be Your Native Language If You’re Applying For Teaching English Abroad Programs
One criterion that many teaching English abroad programs share is that the teachers need to be native speakers. This doesn’t mean you have to be from England, though! Oftentimes, a program just wants a native speaker, which means that teachers from the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and other counties are eligible. However, it’s important to realize that these countries all have their own dialect and accents. A program may prefer an American accent over a British one so make sure to ask this question before applying.
In rare cases, teaching English abroad programs will accept teachers with a different native language. However, this isn’t common and these teachers will likely need to prove themselves in order to receive a position.
Do You Have A Certification?
It’s not necessary to have a degree in education in order to work in teaching English abroad programs, however, you will likely need a certification that says you’re qualified for the position. These certifications include the TESOL or the TEFL. Both courses are available through online or in-person programs and the right one depends on your program. If you want to move abroad and teach to non-native speakers, the TEFL is likely the better choice.
Do You Need A Visa?
Put your credit card away — it’s not that type of visa! Some countries require teachers to have a visa in order to work in the country, or if they’re planning on staying more than a month or two. The visa can be obtained through the country’s consulate or travel office, but if you’re planning on working with a company that places teachers, the program will likely help take care of the visa for you. Whatever you do, don’t arrive in a country that requires a visa without getting one ahead of time. The immigration office could refuse entry or ensure that you leave the country when the approved travel maximum is met.
Are You Good With Children? You May Not Need To Be!
Although many people think that companies that place teachers overseas only cater to children, the opposite is actually true. Many of these programs actually teach adults — business men and women. If you do want to work with children, it’s important that you find a program that caters to schools, instead of corporations. Both age groups come with unique challenges so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for you.
Participating in teaching English abroad programs is a fun and exciting way to see a different part of the world. However, before you apply for one, use these tips to ensure that you’re qualified. If you’re not, try to gain the certifications that can help you land a job.