Teaching English Abroad

Before I began school in Oregon I attended a high school in San Jose, CA. I took your standard array of classes, and met many fabulous teachers along the way. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for teachers—and have always been drawn to the idea of sharing knowledge with others.

Near the end of my sophomore year one of my favorite teachers in high school, lets call him Mr. F, announced he would be leaving the country in a few weeks. He was headed for a position as an English instructor at an American school in Taiwan. I was fascinated—I had no idea people could do that.

Since Mr. F’s departure I have stayed in touch, and in his own words, “Taiwan has been an amazing adventure… It’s easier than you think, and lots of expatriates find their way here through working in language schools.”

So what programs exist? What are they like, and what do I need to do?

Well, it varies. The three programs I come across again and again are Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), and Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA). The first two are of greatest interest to me, as I have enjoyed working with youth in the past.

Requirements vary between programs but generally follow the following theme:

(1) Must be a native English speaker

(2) Must be older than 21

(3) Must have completed a Bachelors degree—any field is usually acceptable

(4) Complete a certificate course prior to immersion as an English teacher—these usually have a fee attached prior to getting paid for work

There are requirements within each program, and I’m sure individual schools and regions have their own rules, but these programs seem to be very flexible. As time goes by the prospect of immersing myself in another culture while sharing my own is becoming more and more alluring.

The idea of visiting a place like Taroko National Park (below) while teaching in Taiwan entices me.

Chang Chun Shrine in Taroko National Park, Taiwan.

Chang Chun Shrine in Taroko National Park, Taiwan.

If Mr. F has made it happen then I’m sure someone like you, or myself, could too 🙂

To find more info about Teaching English Abroad check out blogs like Kate’s,
or turn to your handy dandy Google search bar to find the most up to date opportunities!

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