The majority of teaching positions abroad are for English teachers. With the rising availability of qualified, credentialed English teachers, it is becoming increasingly competitive to get an international teaching position. The more experience you have teaching ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages), intercultural experience and sensitivity, as well as personal experience abroad the better. Teaching positions come in many different forms, with varying lengths of time and pay. Many positions are volunteer, but help you acquire the skills and experience necessary to obtain a more sustainable position. Some programs also have fees associated, so carefully screen the organizations and positions that you are researching.
Salaries vary widely depending on role, geographic location, and level of experience. Look at specific roles in the the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Do your research to get a better sense of what specific companies in particular cities are paying entry-level employees. Check out Glassdoor and Salary.com to get an idea. Also, a cost of living calculator can be very useful when trying to compare salaries in different parts of the country.
Postgraduate Opportunities and Fellowships
- Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships: Teaching positions worldwide in schools and universities. The Bowdoin College Office of Student Fellowships and Research can assist you with the application process.
- Princeton in Asia: Offers primarily teaching fellowships with additional fellowships in the fields of journalism, international development, and business.
- Princeton in Latin America: Offers fellowships in a variety of public interest fields including education, healthcare, economics/finance, and human rights.
- African Leadership Academy: ALA seeks to enroll the most outstanding young leaders from across Africa and around the world; ALA is not only looking for young people who are smart and and excel in the academic environment, we are looking for young people with the potential to lead and impact the world around them through their courage, initiative and innovation.
Nonprofit Programs and Placement Organizations
- WorldTeach: A nonprofit, non-governmental organization founded by a group of Harvard students in 1986 and based at the Center for International Development at Harvard, WorldTeach provides opportunities for individuals to make a contribution to international education by living and working as volunteer teachers in developing countries. Program fee required.
- Teach Away: Headquartered in Toronto, Teach Away helps North American teachers find employment overseas. Partners include a wide range of educational institutions including elementary, middle and high schools, international schools, public schools, businesses requiring English language instructors, summer camps, adult learning centers, and private English schools.
- Teach for China: Teach for China (TFC) is an innovative non-profit working to address educational inequality in China by enlisting the most promising future leaders in the effort. TFC recruits, trains, and supports top graduates from China and the United States to work side-by-side as full-time teachers in China’s most under-resourced schools. Beyond their two-year teaching commitments, TFC supports alumni to become leaders in the broader movement to address educational inequality. As the first and only organization to partner outstanding recent college graduates from the United States and China in a long-term service initiative, TFC’s approach provides an innovative model for strengthening Sino-US relations and building bilateral solutions to global problems.
- CIEE: The Council on International Educational Exchange offers teaching abroad programs in Chile, China, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, Spain, Vietnam, and Thailand. Requires a program fee.
- Teach Abroad Search Associates: Placement agency for for K-12 American/International college preparatory schools around the world. Teaching positions usually require certification or 2 years of experience, while paid teaching internships simply require college graduation. Requires a placement fee.
- SIT Graduate Institute: Offers master’s programs in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation, International Education, Sustainable Development, Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Requires tuition fees.
- Language Corps: Paid teaching positions and volunteer teaching opportunities. Requires a program fee.
- Cross-Cultural Solutions: A placement organization that offers one- to twelve-week volunteer opportunities in education and health fields at locations across Asia, Africa, and South America. Requires a program fee.
- Teach Thailand Corps: Sponsored by the American-Thai Foundation, Teach Thailand Corps seeks qualified recent graduates to teach English in underserved primary and secondary schools. To qualify for consideration, volunteers must have a bachelor’s degree in any field. Corps members are provided with housing, a monthly stipend, and a Thai visa and work permit.
- Teach Thailand Corps Short-Term Volunteer Program: An abbreviated version of the American-Thai Foundation’s teach abroad program, the Short-Term Volunteer Program is open to students who do not yet have a bachelor’s degree and/or have existing commitments that make them unable to participate in the full-term Teach Thailand Corps service year. The duration of service is based on the availability and interest of each volunteer; short-term volunteers are responsible for their own travel and living expenses.
- Jet Programme: A grassroots Japan Exchange and Teaching program.
- EPIK: EPIK extends invitations to responsible, enthusiastic native English speakers who are motivated to share knowledge with students and teachers. EPIK seeks to cultivate open-minded and well-rounded Korean individuals capable of advancing Korea in the modern world through English language education.
- English Opens Doors: Offers English teaching fellowships in Chilean public schools sponsored by the Chilean Ministry of Education. Volunteers are placed in classrooms from grades 5-12 and live with a host family for the duration of their service term.
- Department of Defense Schools: Offers teaching opportunities at US Department of Defense schools in military bases around the world.
- Overseas Schools: Overseas teaching opportunities offered by the US State Department.
- The Teaching Assistant Program in France: Paid English language teaching assistantship program administered by the French Education Ministry that offers placement in schools throughout France. A minimum two years of college-level French and conversational proficiency in the language are required and experience working with children is a plus. Applications should be submitted directly to the French government.
- Peace Corps: Volunteers serve for 27 months in one of 77 host countries while providing valuable service in the areas of education, youth and community development, health, business/information and communications technology, agriculture, and environment. Students are encouraged to apply nine to twelve months in advance for this long-term service commitment.
- Cultural Ambassadors: North American Language and Culture Assistants in Spain: Spend an academic year in Spain teaching English and getting to know the culture and people The Language and Culture Assistants program is coordinated by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. It gives recent graduates an opportunity to visit Spain and become acquainted with the Spanish education system, teachers and students, while sharing aspects of your own language and culture. Application period is usually from early January – April. Check website for updated application
- CIEE: TEFL certification and preparation courses for teaching English abroad.
- Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages): Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Czech Republic, India, Italy, Japan, Malta, Morocco, New Zealand, Poland, Qatar, Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, US (Boston, NYC, San Francisco). This is the most widely recognized TEFL certification program, with over 240 centers in 49 countries!
- SIT World Learning TESOL Certificate: Credentials widely recognized and often collaborates with CELTA.
- There are also a number of opportunities to get involved with TESOL at the local level
- Portland Adult Education: Multiple English language courses for Portland’s diverse refugee and immigrant populations.
- Merrymeeting Adult Education: Evening classes for adult English Language Learners in Topsham.
- Mano en Mano: Serving migrant and immigrant communities in Washington County, Maine
(Executive Director: Ian Yaffe ’09).
- Book Buddies: Volunteers work one-on-one as tutors with ESOL students at Coffin Elementary. For more information, please contact the McKeen Center for the Common Good at Bowdoin College.
- Portland Housing Authority: Volunteers provide tutoring after school M-Th for mainly immigrant and refugee children in grades 7-12 at the Portland Housing Authority education center. For more information, please contact the McKeen Center for the Common Good at Bowdoin College.
- WATCH: ESOL, ESL, ELL, EFL, TESOL? What does it all mean?
- WATCH: Fulbright 101
- Graduate Schools of Education
- Independent Teacher Placement Agencies
- Teacher Certification
- Teaching Fellows Programs
- Service Corps
- Bowdoin Education Department: Summer Internships and Jobs
- The International Educator is a great resource with more than a thousand current international teaching and education opportunities. To get the log in information and password, please contact the Career Planning Center at 725-3717, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Check this regularly for updated postings.
International Job Search Engines
- The Omprakash Foundation – Co-founded by Willy Oppenheim ’09, Omprakash, a non-profit organization, offers a new model of global education that empowers people everywhere to become conscious participants in processes of social transformation. Omprakash’s website contains an ever-expanding database of grassroots educational projects with which it has established personal relationships.
- ESL Job Board: Listing of current ESL teaching positions worldwide.
- Dave’s ESL Cafe: Hundreds of international teaching opportunities posted here!
- Footprintsrecruiting.com: Job listings for those who want to teach English as a second language abroad.
- Teaching Opportunities Abroad: International teaching jobs posted by country. Some programs may require a fee.
- TEFL Professional Network: Offers career resources and overseas teaching opportunities.
- TeacherPort: While in essence a job board, TeacherPort also features a wealth of resources for students seeking teaching positions abroad including employer profiles and country guides.