Teach English Abroad!
Why are overseas teaching jobs so important? Simply put, being able to speak English is no longer an advantage; it’s a necessary skill that’s required to stay competitive in a global economy that’s dominated by the English language.
Is English recognized as the true international language? As of 2010 the World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), the international scientific community, multinational corporations, and many other prominent international organizations used English as their primary means of communication. If you take these factors into consideration then English is the true, and only, globally recognized language.
Why teach English overseas?
- There is a wealth of great teaching opportunities to select from
- A great way to see the world while earning a salary
- Help people learn a valuable skill that will give them more opportunities in the future
- Develop lifelong friendships with people from different countries and cultures
- Learn about foreign people and their culture
- Learn more about yourself as an individual
- Great way to save money (depends on the country you choose to pursue)
- Great way to show future employers that you’ve had overseas working experience
- Improve your language skills and abilities
- Put your people skills to work and develop personal traits you weren’t even aware of
- Enjoying new foods and cuisines
- Helping others understand more about your culture
- Increase your understanding of the world
- Gratifying to watch your students learn and progress
- Learn different ways of living
- The best way to see and absorb exotic cultures is to live it – vacationing doesn’t count!
Although there are numerous countries on most continents with English teaching opportunities available, East Asia continues to be ‘the place to be’ for most adventurous westerners. East Asia alone employs more native English teachers than the rest of the world combined and with China on the rise this trend is likely to continue in the years to come.
East Asia – The world’s biggest ESL market
- South Korea – Now home to more than 22,000 western teachers (the world’s largest) from Canada, the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa, South Korea is still the number one overseas teaching destination for western graduates.
- China – Although China’s ESL job market is quite small in comparison to the country’s population, the industry as a whole continues to grow exponentially and will likely surpass Korea, Taiwan and Japan in the next 10 years. Note: The ESL industry in China is still quite new and many schools offer unstable contracts in subpar working environments. Before you accept a position in China it’s important to do your research on the school and recruiter you’re using.
- Japan – Japan still has one of the most developed ESL job markets. Throughout the 1980’s and early 90’s Japan was the ‘hotspot’ for overseas English teaching jobs; however, the recent collapse of the country’s largest chain of English schools (Nova), and the extremely high cost of living has made Japan less desirable to many teachers in recent years.
- Taiwan – Other than Korea, Taiwan offers the most competitive benefits in Asia for first time English teachers.
Note: Salaries in South East Asia are substantially lower than those offered by countries in East Asia and many programs employ teachers on a volunteer basis with housing and meals provided. If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience and a chance to make a difference in the developing world then South East Asia is the place to be.
Europe: European destinations are no longer ‘hotspots’ for English teaching opportunities. There are still decent job prospects available in a number of European countries which include; Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Poland and Russia; however, these opportunities are limited and in many cases will only accept qualified teachers with related majors or former ESL teaching experience.
Middle East: Some countries in the Middle East have ESL opportunities available. Schools in this part of the world tend to offer very high salaries for experienced teachers with related majors.
South and Central America: English teaching jobs throughout South and Central America are on the rise. At present there is no single country in this part of the world that can be considered an ‘ESL hotspot’ but a few will likely emerge in the coming years.
Africa: At present, the majority of ESL jobs in Africa are on a volunteer basis only. This will likely change in the coming decade as numerous African countries enter industrial phases and the demand for English speaking workers increases.