Have you thought about moving abroad to teach English, but were unsure of where to find that teaching job? Well, look no further! I'm here to help you through the process. There are 2 main ways to find English teaching jobs abroad, let's take a deeper look into both!
1. Look on International Job Boards
I personally think this is the best way to look for teaching opportunities around the world! If you're not picky on what country you want to live in, you can search international job boards for all possible English teaching opportunities around the world. Even if you have a country or two in mind, you can still easily browse through these job boards to give you an idea of current job opportunities.
Personally, my favorite board that I alway look on first is Dave's ESL Cafe just because I like the interface, they have new job postings everyday, and you apply through emailing the company/school directly. I really like this because sometimes you apply directly from a site and you forget which ones you applied to or you have to continuously log into your account to see if they responded to your application. But this way you just get an email directly and can keep track of which ones you've applied to!
But of course, after looking on Dave's ESL Cafe I always look at the rest of these as well because there are different jobs posted on all the sites. The more places you look, the better your chances are of finding that perfect opportunity for you!
2. Look for Well-Known Companies
If you have a specific country or two that you're dead-set on moving to, you can start researching well-known English teaching companies in those countries. Then, directly apply on their company websites. Below are a list of some well-known ESL companies in each country listed:
*Full disclaimer: I have not personally worked for any of these companies besides EF in Chongqing, China and EMG in HCMC, Vietnam, so I cannot say if they are great companies to work for. I am merely stating that they are some of the biggest & most well-known companies in these countries
This will be the easiest area to find a teaching job abroad (along with the Middle East). There is an abundance of jobs and decent wages.
Europe can be a lot more difficult to find jobs than Asia, and typically the pay is less. Unless you can get hired at a high-ranking international school. Check out these 2 that have locations throughout the continent:
British Schools of English
There are quite a lot of opportunities in South America, just like Asia. Although the pay is a LOT lower and sometimes it's hard to find a job online in advance. It may be easier to fly there and get hired at a language school.
Brazil: Red house International School
Chile: Nido International School
Colombia: Colombo Americano
LOCATIONS ALL OVER THE WORLD
This is a great way to apply if you know someone who has worked for this company and can highly recommend it, or have done a lot of research and know this is the company or school you want to work for. It definitely is more limited than searching on job boards for all companies and countries around the world, but it can still be a great option!
Make sure to do your research
Once you've found a company you're interested in applying to, make sure to research them. Browse through their company website to make sure the salary/benefits are good, and make sure to check their reviews on job review sites like Indeed and Glassdoor. Here are key things to look for when reading reviews online:
This is a major one that you might not think of if it's your first time teaching abroad. It is so important to make sure that your company will help you with the visa process, so you are legally allowed to work in that country. I've heard of several horror stories of different ESL companies that are sketchy about this and just ask you to leave the country every time your tourist visa expires, and then come back. So technically you're illegally working there because you're only supposed to be a tourist for a certain amount of days.
Make sure that the company will pay you every month what you are owed. Sometimes I've looked at reviews for a company and literally every review said they were late on monthly paychecks every month or the amount was always different, not what was signed in the initial contract. So be aware of this and make sure there are no negative reviews about the company doing this before you apply.
Another big one is working hours. In the initial contract you sign, it should say how many hours you are expected to work each week. It might even say the actual times, like 9am-5pm or whatever it may be. And if you work overtime, it should state in your contract how much your overtime pay rate is. If you see lots of negative reviews about a company saying they were overworked or worked more hours than they agreed to in their contract without overtime pay- run for the hills. Don't apply for that company. The last thing you want when you're living somewhere new and trying to travel is to be over-worked and under-compensated.
Make sure to do a thorough research job, but also make sure to take things with a grain of salt. Trust your gut. If literally every single review is saying they overwork you, trust it. But if only a couple say that, just know that it could just be those individual's experience. It always helps to be prepared for your interview with both good and bad reviews you read online and let your interviewer know. For example, I was interviewing with a company in South Korea and they had multiple bad reviews online about not giving as many vacation days as promised. So I straight up asked the interviewer. I said I read these things online and just wanted to confirm with you because I don't want to put myself in a negative situation. And she reassured me that she had personally taught with this company for 4 years before she became a recruiter for them and never once had a problem with vacation days. So again, do the research and inform yourself. But make sure to follow your gut and know that you can't base a company on one negative review.
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