I want to become an international teacher!! But.. how do I start?

Welcome back friends! I'm glad to see you here!! Some updates: we are out of school till February 25th because of the coronavirus that is making its way around the world. That's okay though because it gives me tons of time to work on both my blog and my TPT stuff!!!

Today, I want to talk to you about international teaching. If you're here, you've figured out that I am an American from North Carolina but have been living in Taiwan for four years now! I have a degree in elementary education from University of North Carolina at Charlotte (#ninernation) and am working on my M.Ed. in Elementary Education also from UNCC.

I didn't start out with the goal of international education, but I definitely have found that I love being abroad and working with so many other cultures! I get tons of DMs asking me how I got where I am and what they may face in the process of getting a job and moving. So it got me thinking that it might be cool to do a little mini series on living abroad, teaching abroad, and all that comes with it. Today I'm going to address ONLY getting a job... so let's get started!

Some pictures of my recent travels (Taipei, Taiwan; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Saigon/Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam).

So you are considering teaching abroad, but you’re also thinking… how can I do this? Well I have some info for you that I want to share to help you either sort out what you are wanting to do or begin making that next step!

The first thing is to decide what your goals are for moving abroad.

  • Are you a licensed teacher wanting to work in the international sector?

  • Are you a licensed teacher wanting to travel & see the world but also need to continue making some money?

  • Are you NOT a licensed teacher but are interested in teaching English abroad so you can travel/experience life in a new country?

  • Are you NOT a licensed teacher but you are slightly interested in becoming a teacher and would like the chance to experience the career before really diving head first into it?

Your goals and plans for moving will be key in how you approach your next steps.

For me, I am a licensed teacher and I wanted to experience the world. I wanted to get out of my hometown (although it means everything to me) and be a little different than the “norm.” I also wanted to continue to grow my career to reach my goals that I have set out within education. While my husband and I were originally planning to go to Europe, a family friend who owned a school in Taiwan reached out to me about an English teaching position she had. We decided WHY NOT and accepted the job and started packing to move in less than 3 months! That job ended up not being for me, and I left it not long after I started. We were so happy being abroad that we didn’t want to move back to America at all. So I moved into the international sector and I got a job at an international school here in Taiwan. I have grown sooo much in this job, and seriously it has been one of the best choices I have made for my career. But that’s my experience… yours may look very different, so let’s talk about how to get a job in the international sector & then I will discuss moving to be an English teacher without a license.

International teaching is amazing. International can mean many things, but if you are American (like me) it typically is thought about as working in schools in any other country… this isn’t necessarily the case. You can work in a public school in a new country and technically be an international teacher! But if you work in the international sector, you are working in schools that label themselves as “international schools” and usually require (but not always) students to hold international passports. This is the type of school that I work in.

Getting these types of jobs aren’t necessarily difficult but it is good to have an open mind usually when going into this process. Most people create applications through different websites (such as ISS and Search Associates) to help them get in touch with schools- there are more but these are two very popular ones.

Then from there, you will attend a job fair and meet with schools that you are interested in. They will conduct interviews during that time and usually you find that people come away from those with jobs! You may have to travel for these job fairs but there are some in America! The more open you are to going ANYWHERE the better chance of finding a job, but it is possible to find a job even if you know where you want to go specifically.

Of course you can pick a country specifically and begin researching and reaching out to schools there as well!

Now, if you are a teacher who just wants to travel & have an easier schedule or you are not a teacher but would like to travel, you can go into teaching English in a non-native English speaking country. There’s a huge market for teaching English! Teaching English can be a great way to start out in teaching or just get away and experience a new place. You can look into different companies that help candidates get placed in a new job. You can join online teaching English, which would then allow you to be a bit more remote. You could (if you’re brave enough) just pick up, move and find a job once you land! I mean, that’s very scary but it’s totally possible!

Some places require you to received a TEFL certification, but that's not too difficult. It's good to note though that not all places require this though (like teaching English in a shadow education school here in Taiwan- just have to be a native English speaker).

Obviously, if you’re interested in moving abroad and teaching… you should do some more research into the location you want and what life is like there. But I hope this gives you some different options as to how to start the process!

What other questions or concerns do you have about teaching/living abroad? Leave them in the comments below and I'll address them in my next blog about how it can work financially!



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