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SCG 03-23-2013 06:01 PM

Teaching English Abroad
Has anyone here taught English as a foreign language abroad?

I'm just trying to explore different options for after I graduate... I've got a little while, but I'm feeling like I really need to expand my horizons past what my major (International Affairs) usually offers. I really want to travel and see the world for a little while after I graduate, and this just seems like a nice opportunity.

I'd love to hear stories/experiences if any curlies have them! Also, what kind of certification did you get? It seems like most places in the US offer TESOL/TESL/TEFL, whereas CELTA appears to be more common in Europe, if I'm understanding things correctly. Is there an advantage one way or the other? I know that some countries don't require certification at all if you have a Bachelor's degree, but that sounds absolutely terrifying to me.

Saria 03-23-2013 06:23 PM

You forget kayb? :p
I don't remember if it's Tuchie, but there is at least one other poster who has mentioned it.
I have a few friends in Shanghai who do it.

SCG 03-23-2013 06:24 PM

Wait, is THAT why kayb was in Japan? (Er, Japan right?)

Omg. Suddenly it's all so clear! :lol:

murrrcat 03-23-2013 08:12 PM

My friend is doing it right now.

She loves it. I don't know anything else LOL.

kayb 03-23-2013 08:22 PM

That was in fact was I was doing in JPN.

There are quite a few programmes I know of that don't require EFL certification.

JET requires a uni degree in any area, but it can get super competitive depending on where in the US you are applying from. EG NYC/DC/Seattle too can be a bit harder.

There is INTERAC which is also in JPN.

However, there is a French programme which I don't know all the details about but I have a few friends who have been on that so I can get more info in you need it.

Another one is in Korea, EPIK, I think.

None of these require EFL/ESL training.

All the programmes I have listed have great reviews. Especially JET.

Living abroad is great, I would go back to Japan again but I would ask to be in a bigger city. Most of my friends who have been on the French programme were placed in the countryside, and they all loved it.

SCG 03-23-2013 08:44 PM

Thanks kayb! I'll definitely be looking into these programs. :)

By the way, off topic, but... I meant to let you know that I ended up applying for an internship I found on idealist! I hadn't heard about that site until you sent me those links!

kayb 03-23-2013 08:53 PM

YAY!!!! All the best, SCG, and you are most welcome.

If you need any more info/questions on any of the programmes (or JET) lemme know.

cosmicfly 03-23-2013 08:56 PM

A colleague's son is teaching in Korea- he loves it.

Rubber Biscuit 03-23-2013 10:31 PM

I know that Chile is working very hard to create a nation of bilingual people, so there are many opportunities to teach English there.

I also have an acquaintance who is currently teaching in Colombia. She attended a job fair, had a choice of countries, and the company placed her with a school and pay for her apartment. I could find out more info, if you'd like.

Also, when I was travelling throughout Central America (especially Guatemala), there was an abundance of opportunities to teach English.

goldy 03-24-2013 05:38 AM

My cousin did that in Italy. I can try to find out some more info from her if you would be interested.

curlyarca 03-24-2013 07:18 AM


Originally Posted by Rubber Biscuit (Post 2142976)
I know that Chile is working very hard to create a nation of bilingual people,

Not to totally derail this, but why aren't we in the US doing this?

For you folks who know something about these TESOL programs, is there such a thing here in the US? Also, if you teach English abroad, are you just teaching school aged kids, or are you also teaching adults?

Saria 03-24-2013 07:22 AM

It can be adults or kids.
Curlyarca, being bilingual with English as the second language is all that matters! We don't care about all those other peasant languages. ;)

curlyarca 03-24-2013 07:32 AM

^It's so ridiculous. The rest of the world is leaving us behind.

I should clarify: why don't we have T[Some other language]SOL programs here. I know we have ESOL stuff here. (Not trying to be purposefully confusing.)

Saria 03-24-2013 07:36 AM

Yeah, I got what you meant. I seem to remember that either Mandarin or Japanese was a language some countries are trying to teach. Not the US of course.

curlyarca 03-24-2013 07:46 AM

How much does it cost participants abroad in ESOL courses, anyone know?

Too bad there's no low cost sort of option like this for kids and adults here. I'd totally do it. Certifications are great, but if they make it cost more to learn a language, I'd be willing to risk learning from a non-certified teacher.

SCG 03-24-2013 10:55 AM

Yeah, I know what you mean, curlyarca.

FWIW, my Arabic teacher isn't "certified" in any way, and she's a better teacher than some of my college professors...

I also wish the US put more of an emphasis on multilingualism.

Sigi 03-24-2013 12:02 PM

In my city, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, German, and Spanish are taught in public elementary schools. There are only so many spots in each program and they are chosen by lottery. My kids are in the Japanese immersion program, one does really well, and the other struggles. I'm not sure about the other programs, but the Japanese program goes all the way through high school. In elementary they spend half their day learning in Japanese, but middle and high school it goes down to one or two classes a day.

And most of our schools have ESL teachers, too. There's a very diverse population here. I think another way to help adults would be to volunteer at a literacy program. My husband had looked into it and a lot of the students were immigrants.

mrspoppers 03-24-2013 12:17 PM

My friend's son taught English in Japan through Interac.

sarah42 03-24-2013 01:34 PM

If you are okay with a 2-year commitment and not having too much say on location, I recommend the Peace Corps. They have TEFL volunteer assignments in a number of countries. What's nice is that there are no fees or costs for volunteers, and Peace Corps takes care of travel arrangements, visas, training, etc.

kayb 03-24-2013 03:20 PM

Oh, I forgot about the PC. I think that would be a good fit for SCG.

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