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How to Get an International English-Teaching Job

by Torsten Daerr

Do you want to teach English to non-native speakers who reside in another country? Even with all the online options for learners, there's still a huge demand for in-person instructors all over the world. This is especially true in Asia, India, and Africa. Being an instructor for one or more years can be a life-changing experience, but you need to set yourself apart and stand out from the competition to get hired. How? There are four things you can do to up your marketability in the eyes of the big companies that hire teachers every year. It's quite likely that you could snag one of the many open positions in this lucrative field. Here's how to prepare.

Get the Right Degree
Having a college degree will help you immensely. That's because most international employers typically only hire graduates. But if you really want to up your game, get a degree in English, linguistics, journalism, an English education teaching degree, or general education. Paying for your college degree should not be an obstacle, even if you need to borrow to cover all the education expenses for a four-year degree. The good news is that you can take out a student loan from a private lending institution and come away with a competitive rate, reasonable terms, and be able to choose your repayment option for the ultimate in convenience. For the vast majority of future English teachers, a diploma is the biggest hurdle. Borrow smart, and choose your major carefully in order to increase your chances of getting an overseas instructor position.

Take on Experience
It's relatively easy to get volunteer experience as a language instructor. If you live in a small town, consider signing up for one of the many online organizations that offers English language lessons to children in developing nations. This is an excellent way to develop classroom skills, get a feel for the job, and acquire a letter of recommendation for the company or organization you work for as a volunteer. If you reside in a city that has free classes for new immigrants, contact the non-profit that runs the program and tell them you are available. This option is even better than the online route because you gain actual in-person experience with students who will appreciate your time and effort.

Find the Best Job Boards and Listings
There are hundreds of international jobs listing boards for these kinds of positions. The best, most reliable ones do not charge a fee. Read the forums at the sites, interact with current instructors, and learn as much as you can about where the jobs are, what the market is like, and which employers are the best to work for.

Earn Certifications
There are two certifications you can get to make yourself even more attractive to prospective hiring managers. They are TEFL and TESOL, which stand for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. They're not hard to get but the organizations that grant them do charge a fee. It's worth the time and expense to get one of these two certifications.

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