Throughout the world, there are international schools looking to hire American, Canadian and British teachers. With over 900 K-12 schools in locations as diverse as China and Italy, the opportunities for teaching overseas are incredible. Despite the differences between each international school, they are all first-rate, private schools with great faculty members and top-notch facilities. Most of these schools also boast small class sizes and diverse student bodies. Considering the fact that there are over 5,000 vacancies each year at international English-language schools, there is bound to be a position that fits your personality and experience.
Many of these international English-language schools were formed to serve expatriate communities and other English-speaking families residing throughout the world. However, regardless of location, every school you discover will possess a unique vision and curriculum. Many schools will feel like private schools in the U. S. , while institutions in smaller countries that enroll more local students might have more creative, native atmospheres. In schools with large numbers of native students enrolled, classes might also be offered in the host country’s language. Almost every capital city in the world has such an international school. Many of the schools are directly affiliated with the U. S. Department of Defense and are generally referred to as American international schools, while other schools may call themselves colleges. However, all of the schools you will find during your search of international, English-language teaching opportunities will be U. S. accredited. Generally, international teaching opportunities pay about as much as private schools in the U. S. However, your salary will usually be tax free, both in the U. S. and your host country. Furthermore, nearly all of the international teaching opportunities offer paid housing or a housing allowance and round-trip travel between your home and the school.
Many even offer pension funds, insurance packages, home leave and free or discounted tuition for family members. Depending on where you decide to teach, you will also have the opportunity to save money, whether for additional travel or use back home. It should also be noted that the application process for overseas teaching positions isn’t as complicated as most assume. While there isn’t a formal organization governing all the international schools, placement agencies offer comprehensive services that allow you to organize your job search. In addition to newsletters and job search tools, the placement services act as liaisons between the international schools and prospective teachers. One of the best ways to learn about the international teaching opportunities is to attend a job fair organized by a placement service. Such conferences will allow you to meet the administrators of overseas schools, personally deliver resumes and analyze your teaching options. As very few schools are willing to hire an educator without an interview, this is also a good time to make yourself known to your schools of interest. When analyzing the available overseas teaching opportunities, here are a few extra tips to help you find the right school:
- Remain flexible. Target a particular region of the world or type of school, but keep your options open. You may find yourself teaching in an exciting location that you would have otherwise overlooked!
- Don’t wait to fill out your applications! You should always try to file your applications early – usually by October before the upcoming school year – to ensure the school receives the proper materials.
- Practice your interview skills. When it is time to meet administrators at the job fair, you don’t want your hard work to go to waste.
- Even if you aren’t looking for a fulltime teaching position, many language institutes throughout the world accept instructors on a more limited basis.
- Rely on your resources. Your placement service can answer your tough questions and help you avoid costly application mistakes.
This article was drafted by Justin Burch who from time to time writes select pieces about teaching abroad for TIEonline.