market street in south korea, one of the countries where canadians want to live and teach abroad

Your Guide To Traveling And Teaching Abroad 2024

By Crissandra Ayroso

In an ever-changing world that grows more interconnected each day, the desire to explore, learn, and contribute on a global scale has become a fundamental aspiration for many Canadians. Working and traveling abroad not only offers a chance to break free from the familiar and embrace the unknown but also presents a unique opportunity for cultural exchange, personal growth, and the profound impact of cross-cultural education.

If you're ready to embark on an extraordinary teaching adventure abroad, let's dive right into the nitty-gritty details and unlock the secrets to starting your journey. Afterward, we'll explore the insightful survey findings we discovered on Canadians' preferred teaching destinations. Finally, we'll reveal a few insider tips and tricks to help you find the perfect teaching opportunities that will make your heart race with excitement. Get ready to unleash your passion for teaching and explore the world like never before!

  1. Planning and preparation
  2. Where to live and teach abroad (based on recent survey findings!)
  3. How to find teaching jobs

Planning and preparation

Embarking on a journey to teach abroad requires careful planning and thorough preparation. Here are some key steps to consider:

Understanding Job Requirements and Qualifications:

  • Research the specific qualifications and certifications required for teaching in your desired destination. Most TEFL teaching jobs require a TEFL certification and a bachelor's degree. Here's how to choose the best TEFL course.
  • Familiarize yourself with any language proficiency or teaching experience prerequisites.

Navigating Visa Processes and Documentation:

  • Understand the visa requirements and processes for your chosen destination.
  • Gather the necessary documentation, such as background checks, medical exams, and academic transcripts.
  • Contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country to ensure you have a clear understanding of the visa application process.

Financial Planning and Budgeting:

  • Research the cost of living in your chosen destination, including accommodation, transportation, food, healthcare, and other expenses.
  • Create a budget that takes into account your anticipated income, savings, and potential sources of funding or scholarships.
  • Explore opportunities for financial assistance, such as teaching grants or scholarships specifically for Canadian educators.

Securing Accommodation and Travel Logistics:

  • Research housing options in your destination, considering factors like safety, proximity to schools, and cost.
  • Determine if your employer provides housing assistance or if you need to arrange accommodation independently.
  • Make necessary travel arrangements, including booking flights, obtaining travel insurance, and organizing transportation upon arrival.

Selecting Suitable Destinations:

  • Consider your personal preferences, such as cultural affinity, climate, and lifestyle, when choosing a teaching destination.
  • Research countries known for their robust education systems, job opportunities, and supportive infrastructure for international educators.
  • Look into specific programs or initiatives that align with your teaching interests and goals.

Countries where Canadians want to teach abroad

Where do Canadians want to teach abroad? We sent out a survey recently to our current TEFL students to find out!

We learned that the top destinations where Canadians want to teach abroad are Japan, South Korea, and China. With strong education systems, competitive employment opportunities, cultural richness, and the chance to immerse in a unique dynamic environment, it's easy to see why these three destinations are consistently at the top of our lists.

Thailand is not far behind- the combination of cultural immersion, natural beauty, affordability, job opportunities, and the welcoming atmosphere in Thailand makes it a highly desired country for Canadians to teach abroad.

Coming in at fourth is Spain, which is known to offer diverse teaching opportunities at language schools, public schools, and international schools that appeal to teachers ready to live a life abroad. With its pleasant climate, diverse landscapes, and renowned cuisine, Spain provides a unique and fulfilling experience for those seeking adventure and a warm Mediterranean ambiance.

Qatar, Kuwait, and Egypt, located in the Middle East, are known for their strong financial resources and investment in education. Canadian teachers are attracted to these countries for the generous salary packages, tax-free income, and comprehensive benefits offered in international schools and language institutes.

These countries also provide an opportunity to experience Middle Eastern culture, explore historical sites, and engage with diverse student populations. Kuwait and Qatar, in particular, boast modern infrastructure, cosmopolitan cities, and a high standard of living, making them appealing destinations for Canadian teachers seeking unique cultural experiences and professional growth. 

pie chart of where canadians want to live and teach abroad
*Data collected from an OISE University of Toronto TEFL survey on teaching abroad, June 2023

    If you're interested in learning more about teaching programs in our top 3 destinations, check these ones out:

    Popular teaching programs in Japan

    1. a) Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program: A prestigious government-sponsored program that recruits and places international participants in teaching and cultural exchange positions across Japan.
    2. b) Interac: A private company that hires Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) to work in public schools throughout Japan, providing English language instruction and cultural exchange opportunities.
    3. c) International Schools in Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, and other major cities have a thriving international school scene that offers teaching positions for various subjects and grade levels.

    Popular teaching programs in South Korea

    1. a) EPIK (English Program in Korea): A government-sponsored program that places English teachers in public schools throughout South Korea, providing opportunities for cultural exchange and English language education.
    2. b) GEPIK (Gyeonggi English Program in Korea): Similar to EPIK, but specifically focused on public schools in the Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul.
    3. c) Hagwons: Private language institutes (hagwons) in South Korea often hire English teachers to provide after-school language instruction to students of various age groups.

    Popular teaching programs in China

    1. a) Wellington College China: Wellington College China is a partner of Wellington College in England. It has five schools and two nurseries in China, all in exciting, international cities.
    2. b) English First (EF): One of the largest English language training organizations in China, offering teaching positions in various cities across the country.
    3. c) International Schools in China: Numerous international schools in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou hire qualified international teachers for a wide range of subjects.

    Finding teaching opportunities

    Finding teaching opportunities abroad requires strategic networking and diligent research. Here's how to navigate this process:

    Exploring Various Avenues:

    • Research different avenues for teaching abroad, such as international schools, language institutes, or government-sponsored programs.
    • Look for reputable recruitment agencies or online teaching job boards like Teach Away's, that specialize in connecting educators with international opportunities.
    • Seek recommendations from fellow educators, alumni networks, or professional organizations that have connections abroad.

    Networking and Connecting:

    • Attend international education conferences or job fairs to connect with recruiters and representatives from schools and organizations abroad.
    • Join online communities and forums dedicated to teaching abroad, where you can network, seek advice, and find job postings.
    • Utilize social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, to connect with professionals in your desired destination and explore potential job leads.

    Crafting an Impressive Resume and Cover Letter:

    • Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight relevant teaching experience, certifications, and qualifications.
    • Emphasize any cross-cultural or international teaching experiences, as well as language proficiency.
    • Showcase your adaptability, flexibility, and willingness to embrace new teaching methodologies and cultural contexts.

    Preparing for Interviews:

    • Research the educational system, teaching practices, and cultural norms of the destination country to demonstrate your knowledge and preparation.
    • Practice answering common interview questions related to classroom management, student engagement, and cross-cultural communication.
    • Prepare examples that showcase your teaching expertise and ability to adapt to diverse student populations.

    Understanding Contract Terms and Benefits:

    • Review job contracts thoroughly, paying attention to salary, working hours, vacation time, and benefits such as accommodation, health insurance, and professional development opportunities.
    • Seek clarification on any ambiguous terms or conditions and ensure that your rights and responsibilities as an educator are clearly defined.

    Get started with a TEFL certification from OISE University of Toronto, a top 10 university course with the leading international job placement service in the world

    Embarking on a journey to travel and teach abroad as a Canadian offers an incredible opportunity for personal growth, cultural exchange, and making a positive impact in the lives of others.

    By carefully planning and preparing, exploring suitable destinations, and strategically seeking teaching opportunities, Canadian educators can unlock a world of possibilities and create unforgettable experiences both inside and outside the classroom. 

    So, if you're ready to embrace the adventure, broaden your horizons, and inspire students from around the globe, it's time to take the leap and embark on this transformative journey of teaching abroad!

    Have any questions about teaching abroad? Join us at one of our free information sessions on How To Qualify To Teach Online & Abroad!

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