Teaching abroad is becoming an increasingly common option among underappreciated and underpaid teachers in UK. Not only will teachers likely earn significantly more money (tax free, in certain countries), they will also be able to enjoy a lower cost of living even as they partake in an exciting adventure while experiencing various cultures, lifestyle and cuisines around the world. If you are wondering about the requirements and qualifications needed to apply for international teaching jobs, the please read on.
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It goes without saying that the minimum educational qualification is a Bachelor’s degree. However, international and private schools tend to favour specialists teachers. This means, they prefer history graduates to teach history, English or Literature graduates to teach English, a chemistry graduate to teach Chemistry, etc. Obviously, applicants with a teaching degree or diploma on top of their basic degree will get extra points.
However, do not despair if you only have a teaching or liberal arts degree. Just adjust your target and aim for positions in primary schools, for a start.
Recruitment specialists and schools will rarely even initiate contact with applications without Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). So please make sure you have already obtained your QTS before sending out resumes to prospective employers.
A few schools and recruiter may not care if applicants hold QTS if they have sufficient teaching experience. However, finding such schools are really hard. Even if you did find one, chances are, their expectations in other areas will be much higher.
If you plan on teaching English as a second language, then you must possess a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification, ideally Cambridge CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL, since they are considered the industry standard (and favoured by foreign recruiters).
It’s even better if you have additional qualifications and certifications relating to childhood development, administration or management.
Speaking a foreign language is not compulsory, but it is certainly helpful, especially if you plan on teaching in mature markets like France, Spain, Brazil or Japan - many among your competition are fluent in French, Spanish, Portuguese or Japanese.
However, for less advanced markets, like Thailand, South Korea, Egypt or Indonesia, recruiters won’t have high expectations of finding teachers who are fluent in the local language. Nevertheless, make an effort to learn the local language as it will strengthen your C.V. and open up new career advancement opportunities.
Most established private and international schools prefer to hire teachers with at least two years teaching experience. They are not likely to give new teachers a place to learn the craft since they want their teachers to be able to hit the ground running and work independently. Besides, parents are paying good money and expect their children to receive the best level of education. You will get bonus points if your experience includes teaching abroad at a recognised school.
If you meet the requirements listed above, perhaps it’s time to give the thought of teaching abroad some serious consideration.
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