This week is a very informative guest post from my friend Karah. She shares her experiences Teaching English Abroad and provides some really great tips for others who want to travel and teach english abroad. Thanks for all the great information Karah!
Karah’s Tips for Teaching English Abroad
I had always wanted to teach abroad. I’d see pictures of people I knew, teaching in different counties, immersing themselves in various cultures and traveling the world… I was envious of their lives. After I was denied a teaching position in the US that I had my heart set on, I took it as a sign and began my research for new job opportunities abroad. Soon enough I had job offers in two different parts of the world, neither of which I had ever visited before. After hours of research and convincing my frightened parents of my safety, I signed a ten month contract, booked my flight and left everything I’ve ever known behind. It was the scariest, yet best decision I’ve ever made and it has easy changed my life forever. Here’s how you can do it too…
- No teaching degree? No problem. If you have a teaching degree, great! If not all you need is a TEFL certificate which you can easy get online. Just sign up for the course and start taking classes.
- Next, start researching jobs. For jobs in Thailand I used the website ajarn.com. Keep in mind the location you would like to be and employers are more likely to hire a candidate that has a degree in the desired subject they would like to teach. For example… Finance majors would teach Mathematics, Biology mayors would teach Science etc. Apply to several jobs, and be picky!
- Interested employers will then ask to set up a SKYPE interview. Remember, you are still just a random person over the internet; they have to make sure you actually exist. If you’re interested in a particular school, make sure to ask for the contact information for a current teacher at the school. This way you can get a true opinion of the school and ask any questions you thought of after your interview. Once you and a school match up, the journey begins!
*Keep in mind that international schools here typically pay more than what you will find on the website listed above, however they do not advertise. So if you’re willing to come to Thailand before you have a job, international schools are where you should look.
What did type of employment did I end up with? I teach at a Catholic school in the heart of Bangkok. In addition to my salary (39,000 THB Currency exchange USD $1 = 32 Thai Baht) I receive medical/dental insurance, assistance in obtaining my work visa and a 30,000 THB bonus at the end of my contract. My rent is 12,000 THB a month, so after bills and other expenses I save about 10,000 THB a month or $300 USD!
How do I find time to travel? Because the school year in Thailand starts mid- May and ends in March, October is the middle point for the school year. My particular school gave us the entire month off which gave me plenty of time for my parents to visit and for me to backpack through some neighboring counties. There are also a lot of Buddhist holidays (which means days off) so take advantage of those 3 day weekends. Thailand is the center point for some of the most beautiful destinations, which makes traveling cheap and easy on your part.
Taking a leap of faith and moving to the other side of the world was the best thing I have ever done. It’s your turn!!
You can check out more stories and info from Karah’s blog here as she travels and teaches around Asia!