Why should you consider teaching English abroad? To gain experience, soul search, have a productive gap year, pay off student loans, save money, learn a language, and try your hand at teaching. The great news is that any major can do this and little-none knowledge of a language is needed. Due to the presence of English as a lingua franca, English teaching programs can be found in most countries.

The highest demands for English teachers are in 1)Taiwan, China, Korea 2)Japan, Việt Nam, Thailand 3)Portugal, Spain 4)Russia. Majors in demand include 1)linguistics/foreign language majors 2)STEM and special education 3)sociology.

  1. Types of programs
    • CRAM schools or after school (teach in the afternoon)
    • International school
    • Professional (Business– private tutoring)
    • Bonus: can take university classes for cheap (eg Taiwan)
  2. Certification/License needed? Depends.
    • Most require only a bachelor’s degree, passport, and resume
  3. Getting a leg up
    • Experience: CASP, tutor, volunteer
    • Certification: CETL, etc.
    • Necessity: excited attitude and desire to teach in your audition demo
  4.  Books
    • TEFL
    • Teaching English Abroad
    • The New Tales from International School Teachers
  5. Websites

Expose yourself to different events/talks/activities on campus. Even ones that you’re only mildly interested in. I’d never considered teaching English abroad or even thought about being a teacher. But listening to Diamond talk about her experiences and the meaning she found in her work, made me question why I’d never thought about doing it before. Teaching English abroad isn’t a commitment to becoming a teacher. Instead, it is an opportunity to teach, meet new people, explore new places, and figure out (or confirm) what you love to do. It can be the jumping off point for your career or a productive (or fun) gap year. That part is up to you.

Diamond Andress. “Fill the Gap: Teach English in a Foreign Country After You Graduate”. The University of Oklahoma. September 2017.