Guest post by Lauren David
Although the pandemic continues to affect our lives and our jobs, teaching programs continue to hire English teachers. If you’ve been interested in working overseas and enjoy interacting with kids or teenagers, teaching English may be a great fit.
Many countries hire English speakers to work alongside teachers in the classroom each academic year. It's a wonderful opportunity for students to improve their pronunciation, get accustomed to hearing the accent while learning about another culture and their customs; basically, learning the language in a real-life context.
Whether you have a teaching degree, have plenty of experience or none at all, there are many options for getting in the door. Most programs require a four-year university degree or proof you’re enrolled and that you’re from a country where English is an official language.
Teaching abroad can be a great opportunity to live in another culture, expand your own language skills and gain international work experience. The best part is depending on what country and program you choose, your workweek could be as short as 12 hours, giving you time to pursue other hobbies and endeavors.
English Program in Korea (EPIK)
The English Program in Korea offered through the Ministry of Education in Korea offers a 1-year teaching assistant contract where you’ll work directly with teachers in the classroom. Workweeks are 22 hours and assistants are expected to develop the curriculum. There are three different ways to apply; all requiring plenty of paperwork and a video interview. All assistants receive housing, flights to and from Korea, medical insurance, and an allowance to get settled.
The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET), Japan
JET is known to have a rigorous application process with lots of paperwork and a video interview. Assistant language teachers are hired each fall to work in elementary to high school classrooms, where you’ll co-teach. Preparing and creating lessons, helping lead the class, and participating in after-school and club activities are all part of the role. Teaching assistants have a 10-month contract and typically a 35-hour workweek, Monday-Friday, with the occasional weekend obligation. Health insurance and flights to and from Japan are provided.
Language and Culture Assistant Program, Spain
If living in Spain has been high on your list, the Auxiliares de Conversación Program offered through the Spanish Ministry of Education may be for you. Teaching experience is a plus but not a prerequisite, however be prepared to lead conversational classes and create lesson plans. Workweeks are twelve to sixteen hours, depending on your placement. But don’t get your heart set on a specific location, like Madrid, Barcelona, or Seville. You can select whether you prefer to live in a city or the countryside and in which region but placement isn’t guaranteed. Speaking basic Spanish is recommended but proving your ability isn’t required to be considered for the program.
Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), France
The TAPIF offers a similar program to Spain but requires documentation that you have an intermediate level of French. Teaching experience isn’t required, but volunteer or jobs working with kids will give you an advantage. Although you can specify if you prefer living in a city or rural area and ages you prefer to work with, placements aren’t guaranteed, so plan on being flexible. Assistants receive a six-month contract with health insurance and a 12-hour workweek. You’ll be expected to assist in leading the class, planning lessons, and sharing cultural tidbits.
Central European Teaching Program (CETP), Hungary
Previous teaching experience will be beneficial with CETP because you’ll be the only teacher in the classroom. The Hungarian government offers 6 and 10-month contracts and you’ll receive the same salary and paid holidays as Hungarian teachers. A workweek is Monday-Friday, with 22-26 teaching hours; expect an additional 10 hours per week for preparing curriculum, creating and grading exams, and attending meetings. Orientation, language classes, health insurance, flights to and from Hungary, and housing are provided.
Lauren David is a Chilean-American freelance writer. When she was 24 years old, she embarked with a one-way ticket to Tanzania and a 60-liter backpack traveling for nine months via public transportation and ending in South Africa. She has visited over 30 countries and has been living abroad for over eight years. Check out her portfolio.