Teaching While Abroad

Interested in teaching English abroad after graduation from UCSC? See below for information and resources on how to get started on an international experience to jump-start your career. Post-graduation may be one of the best times to take advantage of an opportunity to live abroad. International teaching experience looks great on a resume, and demonstrates your versatility, adaptability and willingness to try new things.

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:

Things to Consider

  • 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.

Opportunities to Teach Abroad

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.

Additional Resources

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