One thing you simply cannot do without when you move overseas is an income. A teaching job can be a plumb way to achieve your dream of life abroad, but you have to know how to go about getting one. Here are our tips to help get you on your way.
Decide on a location
If you really love a specific locale and you’ve always dreamed of living there, teaching may only be a means to an end for you. However, if you’re looking for a very specific type of experience – for example, you want to make a charitable difference, or you want to earn enough to save money before coming back to the United States – you’ll have to fit your location to your goals.
Work on your credentials
Whether it is acquiring TEFL certification for teaching English or earning a master’s degree in Education, the more educated and prepared you are, the better your chances of acquiring a decent job. Find out what credentials it will take to get the teaching job you want in the county of your choice, then begin working toward them. In some cases, you will be able to earn (or finish earning) those credentials in your chosen country.
Spruce up your resume
Go ever your resume or CV, and adjust it to reflect any experience or credentials that are relevant to the position you are seeking.
Carefully consider your options
If you already have the credentials you need, you may be able to secure a teaching job before you even set foot on a plane. Visit online education forums, moving abroad forums, and international job placement websites to find open positions. Research different schools, and send out resumes to those that look promising. Attend an international job fair, and find a recruiter who can help you make job contacts and go to bat for you.
Many schools will go above and beyond hiring you – they will pay for your plane ticket and help offset your living expenses, as well as help you ship some of your belongings over. This can (and often is) an amazing opportunity, but it can also be something of a “pig in a poke.” You may end up signing a contract, only to find once you get there that it’s a job you don’t enjoy, a location that’s not quite right, or a school you’re not quite happy with.
If you can stomach the uncertainty, a very worthwhile option to consider is moving abroad first, then work at finding a job. You’ll be able to personally visit schools and tour locations, search the local papers for positions that you can’t find online, become familiar with the community and the culture, and tell any prospective employer that you’re able to start immediately.
Have a plan
Even if your plan is to just show up in the country of your choice and wing it, it is important to invest at least a little bit of time in researching your options. Find out the demand for teachers in different cities so that you’ll know where you will be most successful at landing a job. Find out how much you can expect to earn as a teacher to get a good idea of how much you’ll be able to spend on rent, food and other necessities. Save up a bit of money in case you don’t find a job right away. And figure out what kinds of other kinds of jobs will be available to you, in case you must work somewhere while you actively search for a teaching job.
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.