What About Teaching Overseas?

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What About Teaching Overseas?
With the job market looking bleak, teaching is an option many recent college graduates are considering. Teaching overseas has all kinds of attractive features. We look at private school teaching jobs and explain what is involved in finding one, applying and more.
If you are a recent college graduate looking for a job in this horrible employment market of 2009,  you probably have thought about teaching from time to time. We need teachers. We need talented teachers. In both public and private sectors. At home and abroad.

Abroad? Yes, there are plenty of teaching jobs overseas. Hundreds of private schools in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean are always looking for qualified teachers. Of course, you probably have already seen dozens of emails from ESL schools in Taiwan. Are those jobs real? Yes, they most certainly are. But, caveat emptor. Do your research carefully. There are some lemons in the bunch.

But we are not talking about only ESL teaching jobs. How about teaching in a country like Argentina? Say you are a Spanish speaking graduate with a degree in American language and literature from Brown or Boston University. You have worked hard getting that degree, but the job market here is nasty and you don't want to start your master's degree for a few years. So, why not get out into the world and gain some real life experience. Alejandria will show you listings of all the schools in Argentina.

Many of these are international schools whose students are English speaking. Why is that? Places like Buenos Aires have large expat communities. They usually insist on sending their children to a school with an American or English style curriculum so that their children can fit in more easily back home when they finally return home.

What's it like living outside the United States? It's different, that's for sure. But learning about local customs, understanding different points of view, getting a feel for the centuries of history in some of these locales, well, as the credit card commercial says "That's priceless!"

Finding an Overseas Job

The first thing you have to decide is which country you want to work in. Because you will need a visa to work in a foreign country, you need to focus on one country or you will be overwhelmed by red tape and expense.

The U.S. Government has thousands of families posted overseas. The Department of State offers a useful list of schools it has vetted. Contact schools on the list to see what vacancies exist. Email makes this part of the job search process easy and fast.

When you contact schools what should you say in your email? Treat it just like a formal letter of interest. Something
along the lines of the following will work. Write in English unless you are fluent in the local language.

 

I am a graduate of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in American Language and Literature and a minor in Chinese language and literature.

I was a member of the debating team, played soccer and badminton.

I seek a teaching position at your school. I am available immediately.

Arthur Phipps
102 Somerville Avenue
Boston, MA 02138

 


On the back end make sure that you have your resume up to date and ready to send. If you have a curriculum vitae, update that as well. Many foreign countries will expect you to submit a CV. What's the difference between a resume and a CV? Read Alison Doyle's explanation.

Have your references lined up. Obtain actual hard copy letters of reference for your files. Overseas employers might ask for them. Have a photo taken. This should be a head and shoulders shot. A high quality photo always makes a good impression. Copies of transcripts, diplomas, awards, etc. all need to be collected for your files.

Be patient with the process. If there is an opening and your are a good fit, expect to be interviewed by phone. You should also plan to attend any job fairs which scheduled for a major city near you.

When you are offered a position and accept it, the visa process gets underway. More paperwork, photos and appointments to get that important document processed. Once you have your visa, the school will send you a plane ticket and instructions as to when and where to report.

The adventure begins!

 


Additional Resources [+]
Timeline for Finding a Private School Job
Timeline for Finding a Private School Job
Private School Employment Do's and Don'ts
Private School Employment Do's and Don'ts
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