Co-sponsored by the University Career Center & The President's Promise and the Study Abroad Office

Wisdom From Abroad

"If someone wants to ask questions or find out more about what it's really like here I'd tell them to look at daveseslcafe.com. It's one of the biggest sites for information on teaching here in Korea and also to a lesser extent, other Asian countries."
- Scott Fitzmeyer
English Teacher, Daegu, South Korea

Teach Abroad

Getting Started & Planning Considerations

When considering an international teaching opportunity, there are a few items that you’ll want to keep in mind during your search:

  • Ways of finding teaching abroad positions:  As with international volunteer opportunities, teaching abroad positions come in different shapes and sizes.
    • There are a number of well respected and reputable teaching abroad program providers that will place you in positions abroad as well as offer other services such as accommodation, board or cultural activities for a fee.
    • Some foreign government sponsored programs are available to recruit recent graduates for paid teaching positions to teach English in their country.
    • You can also apply directly to an international school. Identifying teaching opportunities abroad on your own can be done through a variety of resources such as local job posting boards, newspapers and online job boards.
    • Reference Teach Abroad Programs & Resources for information on specific programs and positions.
  • Certifications and other requirements:  Depending on where, who and what you are teaching while abroad, there will be different requirements in terms of certification and eligibility requirements.
    • If you are teaching English, a TEFL certification may be required.  Some programs or placement agencies will provide the training and testing to allow you to get this certification as part of their services but it is always recommended that you verify whether or not this certification is required for you to be able to teach English in that country.
    • Some countries require you to have your bachelor’s degree before you are eligible for teaching in any capacity.  If you are interested in teaching English abroad but have not yet graduated, you may want to consider teaching English locally. There are a number of opportunities on campus and in the College Park and Washington D.C. area that allow you to gain experience.
      • UM MEI Speaking Partner Program: Pair up with an international student at Maryland English Institute to assist them with their English conversation skills.
      • UM Learning Assistance Service: Practice conversational English with an individual speaking partner or small conversation group whose first language is not English
      • Literacy Council of Montgomery County: Trains volunteer tutors to teach adults in Montgomery County to read, write and speak English in a variety of programs.
      • CASA de Maryland: Volunteer and Teaching opportunities to work to improve the living standards for local Central American and other immigrants
  • Researching the field:  If you are planning on teaching abroad (and specifically considering teaching English abroad) it would benefit you to conduct some research on the field especially if you do not have any experience.  This will not only allow you to gain a better understanding of the field and opportunities but will make you more knowledgeable when you are speaking with potential employers.
    UM Library has a guide of resources specific to teaching English a second language.
  • Finances & Costs: Review the information on finances and costs to determine a budget that will work for you and your international experience.
  • Timeline: Create a timeline so that you have enough time to make arrangements and prepare for your international volunteering experience.