Teaching abroad can be a fascinating and fulfilling career and an excellent learning experience. Are you wondering what kind of work experience and credentials you need to teach internationally?
This is a fundamental question to ask when looking into teaching abroad because there is conflicting and biased information. Some websites state that you need a certain certification to sell a course they are offering. Another reason for the conflicting information is that necessary qualifications change depending on which country you want to teach.
There are many critical things to keep in mind when considering teaching abroad. Let’s discuss some here.
Teaching Abroad Experience and Credentials Needed
Be Careful What Information You Trust
You may come across information about teaching abroad that states you need a degree in education, a license to teach, and two years of teaching experience. This is very misleading, as most of the time you will not need all three of these. Usually, you need some form of qualifications or experience. That being said, there are teaching opportunities for almost everyone.
If You Don’t Have the Experience—Don’t Panic.
If you don’t have two years’ teaching experience, you will need to search for job placements through advertisements instead of international teaching job fairs. One of the criteria for attending career fairs for teachers is having two years’ teaching experience. Without this, however, it is still more than possible to find attractive teaching positions.
If you hold a Bachelor’s degree and a Teach English as a Foreign Language Certificate (TEFL), you will be able to teach in an ESL position in most schools. You don’t necessarily have to have your degree in a subject matter relating to teaching – you need to hold a degree to qualify for a working visa.
Having your TEFL certification can help you teach ESL in international schools, and it is quite easy to get your TEFL certificate. It normally takes between 2-4 weeks of full-time study to complete, and you have the option of either distance or part-time study as well.
Even if you have no teaching experience and qualifications, there are still opportunities available to you. Look into one of the many non-government organizations that sponsor or offer internships teaching in different countries. Many of these are non-paid work training but will offer you free room and board, as well as great international experience.
Numerous of these teaching placements also tend to occur in lower economic areas and third-world countries where they need the most educational help. As a result, these types of teaching experiences are advantageous.
How Your Age Factors In
As far as age is concerned, there are many opportunities for both new and more mature teachers. Age may be an issue in some countries because of visa requirements, but international schools usually find mature teachers attractive. Mature teachers can be viewed as stable. That being said, many schools operate on a salary scale that makes less experienced teachers financially attractive. This often plays out as a tradeoff between experience and affordability. If you’re a veteran teacher with awesome experience and qualifications, you’re well worth the money to a school that needs those specialized skills. If you have less experience, your value could seal the deal.
How to Find the Requirements
The best bet for finding out what type of credentials you need to teach abroad is to decide which country you want to teach in and then determine the specific country’s requirements. As the credentials differ so much from place to place, this is probably the least confusing course of action to take. Overall though, it is probably best to have a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certification, as these two credentials will open the most doors for you abroad.
We hope this information has been helpful. If you have any job search tips to offer fellow teachers wishing to teach abroad, please comment and share this post.