Why confine your travels abroad to the books that you assign to students or the documentaries you watch in class? Working as a teacher is awarding as is, but working abroad in education adds an entirely different dimension to the joys (and challenges) that teaching brings. Education jobs abroad are your chance to be educated while educating. Don’t just take journeys of the mind, it is time to find an education job abroad!
Why Work Abroad in Education
Teaching abroad and working within diverse education systems will allow you to reexamine your own approaches, both inside the classroom and as part of a greater methodology.
By exposing yourself to new student populations, you will challenge and improve your ability to relate to students from all different backgrounds; this will eventually make you a stronger educator and a more engaging mentor to students. For those in the field of education for the long haul, having an international teaching stint under your belt makes for excellent career development (and an easy talking point when you’re kicking butt in your next interview!).
If you always tell your students that anything is possible and that they should live out their dreams, you should put your money where your mouth is and take the leap by applying for education jobs overseas!
With education systems existing everywhere, you have an assortment of options when looking for education jobs abroad. You could opt to play “work abroad roulette” and spin a globe before pinpointing a country at random, or if you’d like the universe to play a slightly less obvious role in your decision making process, here’s a shortlist of popular locations for education jobs overseas.
More and more expats are moving to China to work in a variety of booming industries; With this, many international workers are also choosing to bring along their families, which there are plenty of opportunities for foreign teachers to work at international schools that provide education for foreign students. Teachers can most easily find English teaching jobs in China or in education advising for Chinese students who want to attend foreign institutions.
The Middle East, home to some of the world’s most ancient civilizations, is an attractive destination for the most adventurous of educators. The pay is good, the packages are appealing, and the opportunity to work in such a rapidly developing area, rich in both history and resources, is unparalleled. Beyond teaching in a traditional classroom, you can also do research, become a writer, or contribute to foreign universities’ efforts to internationalize campuses in the Middle East.
Teachers keen to walk the same hallways as some of our contemporary greats will be drawn to work in the England. John Locke, Thomas Hobbs, Isaac Newton, J.K. Rowling, and YOU can all be linked by your shared love for “Old Blighty.” Education jobs in England means opportunities at some of the most reputable universities in the entire world, and certainly working with some of the world’s brightest youths. The large international student population in England makes for a unique and exciting challenge in the classroom, and let’s face it, England’s small children have the cutest accents.
Education Jobs Abroad
Opportunities to work abroad in education vary as much as the pedagogical approaches to classroom teaching! No matter if you already have a TESOL certificate in tow or you’re starting out fresh, there are many different kinds of teaching jobs overseas to choose from.
Government Sponsored Programs. Many foreign governments actively recruit native English speakers to come to their countries to teach English with the public school system. Popular English teaching jobs abroad such as this include the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET), Education Program in Korea (EPIK), Teach and Learn in Korea (TALK), the English Open Doors program in Chile, Teach and Learn in Georgia (TLG), and Language and Culture Assistants in Spain. These programs typically provide international teachers with a stipend or a living salary for teaching jobs that last one to two years.
Teaching Placement Programs. Teaching placement programs can come in many different forms, but usually it will entail a program provider organizing a teaching job abroad for you for free. This type of education job abroad ranges from a few months to a few years (on average). Most teaching placement programs require teachers to have a TEFL certificate. Teaching jobs abroad arranged by placement providers are a good option for those with less experience in education or those who are making a career move. While these teaching jobs abroad are generally paid, teachers may be responsible for covering the costs of your flights, housing, visas, etc.
Many folks assume that working in education abroad revolves solely around teaching English as a foreign language. Not so fast! There are plenty more opportunities where that came from.
Teaching a subject BESIDES English. While many teachers cite teaching English as an easy first international gig, don’t feel limited by it! There are plenty of education jobs abroad that will allow you to teach a subject other than English. Whether you love mathematics, history, or the arts, there’s likely a school abroad that can benefit from your expertise!
Recruitment. Other professionals looking to take a break from classroom teaching may opt to switch gears and find an education job abroad in the realm of recruitment. As more and more universities seek students from India, the Middle East, China, South Korea, and elsewhere, more native English speakers are needed to enlist potential students. Educators in this role typically do site visits to various universities, or work directly with students to get them the information they need to make an informed decision!
Other Jobs. Education job opportunities abroad are not limited to traditional classroom teaching. You can seek out education jobs abroad in training and development at a university or school or work for an education company to enlist future teachers, among many other options. This may give you a chance to work with a different student population than you are accustomed to, increasing the professional gains of your experience abroad. The options for education jobs abroad are essentially boundless! You can also check out GoAbroad’s hot jobs page is an awesome resource for finding immediate job openings in schools abroad.
Benefits & Challenges
Real Work. While your friend’s pictures would have you convinced that teaching abroad is an amalgam of weekend adventuring and cute kids behaving perfectly while smiling for pictures, education jobs abroad are not (always) all fun and games.
Cross-Cultural Understanding. Working in a foreign education environment means adopting an entirely new approach to teaching. Sometimes this can be for the better, as in foreign countries teachers are often lauded. In other situations, you may have to constantly battle unfamiliar cultural contexts and different societal norms, which can make your teaching job abroad all the more challenging. In the end, all the lessons you’ll learn will be ultimately enriching and help you bond with other teachers.
Communication Issues. Teaching alongside foreign educators is a recipe for language barriers and hiccups, especially for those who choose to teach abroad in a country where English is not the native language. You will have to tap into your inner pockets of patience and resilience to survive the day. This process sheds light on yourself and your teaching style.
All of the challenges are, eventually, AWESOME! With the right attitude and perspective, each challenge can be seen as a benefit too! When you return home, you will be all the more stronger (and wiser) of an educator.