There are almost 1 billion people in the world actively looking to learn English as a second language. This staggering number means that if you’re a recent University graduate from a native English speaking country – the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand – it is very easy for you to apply to teach English in a foreign country.
Appropriately qualified, native English speakers are in huge demand, especially in Asia where demand for English teachers far outstrips supply. You don’t even have to have any formal teaching experience – a university degree (in anything) and a passport from one of the countries mentioned above are enough. If you have these two things, it’s not even a case of IF you’ll find a job, but WHEN.
What Do You Want?
One important thing to ask yourself when deciding to teach English in a foreign country is what you actually want from the experience. Some countries pay much higher and offer better overall packages than others, so if your main goal is to save money, you’d do well to look for jobs in Asia.
South Korea, for example, has a program that’s completely funded by the government and offers some of the highest salaries available to ex-pat English teachers. You can earn between $1,600 and $2 000 per month, plus get a free furnished apartment, subsidized medical insurance and return airfares. Cost of living and tax rates are also very low.
Middle Eastern schools also pay well, but they tend to prefer applicants with Masters degrees in education and several years of formal teaching experience.
By comparison, schools in Vietnam pay in the region of $1,000 to $1,500 a month, while ex-pat teachers in Costa Rica would only earn around $400 to $800 a month. But you would be living and working in a tropical paradise, so it all depends on what you want to gain from working abroad.
Typical contracts are for 12 months, but there’s nothing stopping you from applying for a post in another country after that. Once you have successfully completed your first international teaching contract, you are a more desirable candidate going forward, as you’ve proved you can live and work in a foreign environment.
ESL Job Link is a recruitment agency specializing in finding English teaching jobs in South Korea. Visit www.esljoblink.com right now to see how we can help you.