Teaching English Abroad

Why Teach Abroad?

  • You have a passion for teaching and want to be part of the international community of teaching professionals.
  • You can explore new locations you might be interested in while really getting to know a community and/or culture.
  • International teaching experience looks great on a resume, and demonstrates your versatility, adaptability and willingness to try new things.
  • A teaching job can be a good way to finance travel while living abroad.
  • In many places in the world, teachers are the most important members of a community and of a person’s life; in these places, respect for teachers is unmatched.
  • You are serious about providing a service to others.

Teaching Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria ranges for teaching positions. Some employers may ask for basic requirements, such as completion of a Bachelor’s degree (in any field) and English fluency. Other employers may require more qualifications, such as certificates or Master’s in TESOL. Many certifications in the TESOL industry are recognized by international employers, but not all. It can be difficult to choose the right certification, as there is a diverse range of certificates offered in the field (e.g. a TESOL or CELTA certificate), administered by a wide host of independent institutions. Below are just a couple among a plethora of well-known TESOL programs: Cambridge English and Oxford Seminars.


  • Private employers, programs, and even government entities all over the world recruit English speakers for public and private schools, international organizations and businesses.
  • There are many TESOL/ESL certification companies, some of which will set you up with a teaching job abroad. Find out ahead of time what kind of career help they offer (if any) – do they have contracts with a few places? What happens if you want to work elsewhere? Are their career services free? If you’ve paid for a certification course, career services may be included.
  • Some private and international schools and government agencies will hire someone as an ESL teacher to also work as a subject teacher (math, science, phys ed, social studies, etc.), in the English language.
  • Pay will vary greatly depending on region of the world and your experience. Decide which your top priority is and go from there – location? pay? type of community? networking opportunities?
  • You can teach abroad by applying directly to an employer (e.g. applying directly to an English tutoring school for English learners) or going through a “program” (e.g. The JET Program) that offers services and support before and during the experience. Depending on your level of comfort, you may want to apply through a program that provides comprehensive support such as assistance in choosing housing, subsidies in living costs, resources to orient yourself in your new environment, health insurance, etc.=

Popular Programs and Opportunities

Here are some reputable programs and resources for employment to teach English overseas. The eligibility criteria, pay, and working conditions vary, so be sure to explore all options to find the right fit for you. Some opportunities are geared towards those looking to invest in a long-term career in education, while others are better for those who just want to spend a year or two abroad before starting a career in other industries.

China Educational Association of International Exchange (CEAIE) is a chance for teachers to live and work in China for twelve months. The aim of the program is to promote language exchange and mutual understanding among young people at home and abroad, and to improve foreign language education in Chinese schools.

The International Educator (TIE)

TIE is a private non-profit organization dedicated to helping overseas international schools find qualified teaching staff and helping qualified teachers find positions at these overseas schools. TIE services over 500 overseas, international schools around the world (outside the US). Grade levels range from pre-K-12.

Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS)

The Department of Defense recruits teachers for schools at military bases overseas. Contact DoDDS before arrival at post if possible, as applications for overseas positions are considered in the United States.

Peace Corps

The Peace Corps uses volunteer teachers for elementary, secondary, normal and vocational schools, and universities. Some teaching experience is required. Applications must be made from the United States.


Since its inception, EPIK has had the goals of improving the English-speaking abilities of Korean students and teachers, developing cultural exchange between Korea and abroad, and of introducing new teaching methods into the Korean education system. To help accomplish these goals, EPIK invites responsible, enthusiastic native English speakers with a motivation to share their knowledge and language with Korean students and teachers within the Korean public school system throughout the country.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistants

The English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs place Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETA’s help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. The age and academic level of the students varies by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level. 

​IIE Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program

Since 1968 the Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program (FLTA) has enabled young educators to refine their teaching skills by serving primarily as teaching assistants in foreign language classes or in some cases, as primary instructors. FLTA's often lead conversation groups, attend language laboratories, coordinate extra-curricular activities and appear as guest speakers in cultural courses. By participating in community events and campus activities, FLTA's increase their knowledge of American culture while sharing the values and customs of their own countries.


Interac teachers enrich the lives of hundreds of thousands of school children every year by delivering interactive and exciting English lessons. Commonly known as ALTs, which stands for assistant language teacher, Interac’s teachers, working in the Japanese school system, enrich children’s lives by sharing their knowledge of English and communication skills and giving insights into other cultures.

The JET Program

The JET Program is a competitive employment opportunity that allows young professionals to live and work in cities, towns, and villages throughout Japan. Being a JET is an opportunity to work and to represent the United States as cultural ambassadors to Japan. Most participants serve as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and work in public and private schools throughout Japan; some work as Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) as interpreters/translators.

For more information about the JET program, please see this The JET Program: Live, Work and Discover Japan! video produced by UC Riverside.

North American Language and Culture Assistants Program (NALCAP)

NALCAP is an educational outreach initiative of the Spanish Ministry of Education through the Education Office of the Embassy of Spain. NALCAP offers recipients grants to American and Canadian college students and graduates, majoring in any subject, who are native speakers of English and have a basic knowledge of Spanish. Participants partner with elementary and secondary schools to provide backing to language programs as teaching assistants (TAs) under the supervision and guidance of teachers of English as a World/Foreign Language.

Foreign English Teachers

In an effort to enhance the English learning environment for school-aged children in rural areas, the Taiwan Ministry of Education has been actively recruiting qualified teachers to teach in K-9 public schools in Taiwan. This program has two goals. One is to broaden English immersion experiences of Taiwan’s young minds. The other is to establish inter-school relationship between English speaking countries and Taiwan

Dave’s ESL Café

A well-known job board for teaching opportunities.


InterExchange is a nonprofit cultural exchange organization based in New York City that employs people who are passionate about connecting with an international community.