More and more Spartan teachers are looking abroad for their first teaching opportunity. Did you know that 5% of last year’s interns are now working abroad? That may not seem like a lot to you, but when you think about the commitment of packing up and moving thousands of miles from friends and family, that’s a pretty significant number. Remember, teaching abroad is not always “teaching English abroad.” There are many positions for actual certified teachers.
Things to think about before applying to teaching positions overseas
- What type of teaching experience do I want?
- Do I want to be that far away from home for the duration of my contract?
- Am I ready for a possible cultural shock?
- If looking at non-English speaking countries – would it be helpful to have language skill?
- What is the educational system really like in _______ country?
- Do I need to understand International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs to qualify? www.ibo.org
Where to look for opportunities
- Handshake – MSU’s online job board http://msu.joinhandshake.com
- U.S. Department of State website http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21946.htm
- Department of Defense Schools (DODEA) http://www.dodea.edu/Americas/officesAM/amHR/amJobs.cfm
- USA JOBS www.usajobs.gov/
- JoyJobs, http://joyjobs.com/ (membership required)
- International Schools Services https://www.iss.edu/ (membership required)
- Among others…Use Google to find other agencies, online job boards, etc.
MSU’s Teacher Fair will host a handful of overseas opportunities, but you can also check out these fairs for more exposure:
- University of Northern Iowa Overseas Recruiting Fair http://www.uni.edu/placement/overseas/fair
- GVSU Out-of-State Teacher Fair http://www.gvsu.edu/careers/out-of-state-teacher-fair-schedule-89.htm
Desired Candidate Qualifications
- Preferably single with no dependents or a “teaching pair” (go in on this with your friend or significant other)
- A strong academic background and a commitment to strong principles of teaching and learning
- Considers at least two geographic areas (Remember, it is tough to teach as an inexperienced teacher in Europe. More opportunities exist for new teachers in China and the Middle East)
- Realistic expectations
- High enthusiasm
- According to employers: flexibility, resilience, adaptability, sense of humor, creativity, team player, love of teaching and young people, complete command of subject area and teaching methodologies, risk taker, strong organizational skills, commitment to professional development, and communication skills
For more assistance on deciding if teaching abroad is right for you, you can always make an appointment with your Career Consultant or talk to someone else you trust to help you weigh your pros and cons. You can also view more information here.