What country should I choose?
Korea and the UK are probably the most popular choices, at least for qualified teachers, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the best or only choices.
There are so many options so it can really pay off to think about what you are looking for and pick your ideal place. Many countries in the world need English teachers and only require TESOL (Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Japan, China, Czech Republic). It is important to think about what you want to get out of the experience; we were looking for a totally new cultural perspective but that kind of culture shock may not be for everyone! Do research into what it is like living there from a Western perspective. This can be helpful for example you might not be able to find the same amenities as home. For instance in Thailand deodorant is different so you might want to pack some.
Also visit a travel nurse (if possible at least three months in advance), they can tell you a lot and will make sure you have all the necessary vaccinations.
TESOL/TEFL courseIf you are already a qualified teacher you probably won’t need to take this course to get a job. It can be a helpful course though if you need some pointers on how to properly teach the English language. Trust me, the English language is harder to teach than you would think. If you are not a qualified teacher I highly recommend taking this course as many individuals you will be competing for jobs with will have the qualification. You can either take the course before you leave or at your destination. Both options are good, but if you are looking to make some connections and meet new friends it is a great idea to take the course in the area you will be teaching
· Class size: some schools think it is acceptable to have one teacher for 50 kindergarten students, if this isn’t something that seems acceptable to you, you should ask about class size.
· Resumes: resumes can change substantially between countries. Try to find out what a resume looks like where you are applying. For example, we were surprised to find that a photo is standard on a resume here.
· Daves ESL café & Ajarn.com have frequently updated job boards
· Many recruiting companies or English teaching companies have been reviewed online; it is worth searching the company you will be working for to see if it has reviews. Some companies seem great on the face of things, but treat their teachers really poorly.
I want to give a big thank you to Shane for taking the time to provide advice from first-hand experience. Hopefully you can digest this information and be able to make more affective decisions. I know a lot of students and friends who have graduated from the Niagara region and expect to find a teaching job within 5 years. The truth is, there aren't any secure positions available and supply teaching is limited due to seniority. By teaching abroad you can get the experience you require to move ahead when you arrive home... it also gives you some wild stories; I know Shane is having a blast!
Samantha Del Duca