There are a wide variety of opportunities to teach abroad. Opportunities may be paid or unpaid. Depending on the opportunity, it is possible to receive housing support/stipend, travel costs, and salary/set stipend.
There is also a spectrum in the level of commitment in terms of number of students and classes, level of teaching responsibilities, amount of support, and hours of work per week.
School Based Setting for Licensed Teachers
- International Independent Schools
- Department of Defense Schools
Local Schools & Programs
- Government Sponsored Programs
Volunteer & Service Opportunities
- Non-Governmental Organizations
- Peace Corps Education Sector
- Language Instruction and Tutoring Companies
Be sure to note that experiences can also differ based on the population served (businesspersons learning English, local schools, under-served communities, schools for diplomats and ex patriates, etc.). Commitments for school based positions or the Peace Corps are often two years. Volunteer opportunities may be much shorter time commitments.
Location Impacts Opportunities
There are opportunities all over the world for teaching and English language instruction. However, there are some general guidelines about the likelihood of obtaining positions.
Western Europe, Canada, Australia
- It is much more challenging to obtain teaching positions as there is greater competition due to level of interest and number of experienced teachers. There is often a requirement of 2 years of experience for school based positions. Additional competition exists as there may be preferences for their own citizens, limit of visas from Non-EU or Commonwealth countries, and agreements between EU or Commonwealth countries. There are opportunities for English teaching jobs, but less so than other areas of the world.
Eastern Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Central/South America
- It is often easier to obtain school based positions as a newer teacher in these areas of the world. There are a variety of opportunities to teach English in these areas, especially in Asia.
To confirm interest and gain experience, seek out ways to participate in cultural exchanges and develop teaching skills. Demonstrating this will also help build your applications.
- International Institute of Metro St. Louis
- Webster International Friendship Program
- The Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs (MCISA)
- Academic Resource Center Tutors
- Ready Readers
- Boys Hope Girls Hope
- Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis
- Community Service for Federal Work-Study Awards
Webster Academic Programs
Job Searching and Application Process Tips
The process may look very different than you are used to as other countries have differing cultural considerations and employment law. For example, resume formats vary by country and may require information such as picture, age, nationality, etc. Check out GoinGlobal (accessible through Handshake) for country guides.
Start searching early. Since visa applications can be a lengthy process, you will need to search and apply for positions much earlier than you would in the US. Many programs have fall deadlines for the next summer or fall.
Build connections with individuals who have taught abroad or are current/former participants of programs. You can gain detailed information from their experience to assist you in your search process. See informational interviewing guidelines.
Ways to Find Opportunities
- Apply directly to or contact specific programs of interest.
- Look on professional association or job posting sites for opportunities.
- Attend overseas recruiting fairs.
- Work with reputable agencies or recruiters.
Review job search resources in the following section
Resources to Get Started
- GoinGlobal (accessible through Handshake Career Center Resources)
- Transitions Abroad
- Go Overseas
- Dave’s ESL Café
Government Sponsored Programs
- The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs
- Peace Corps
- English Language Fellow Program
- JET: The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme
- English Program in Korea (EPIK)
- Teach and Learn in Korea (TALK)
- Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF)
- English Opens Doors Program (Chile)
- North American Language and Culture Assistants in Spain