Teaching English Abroad: A Global Career with Regional Variations

So you’ve made the decision to begin a career teaching English abroad. Welcome aboard! Of course, there are hundreds of thousands of positions available worldwide but no one person can sift through all of that information alone. Fortunately for the aspiring teacher, there are a lot of tools that can make finding a teaching position abroad much simpler. For example, you can

  1. respond directly to jobs postings on the ESL job boards like Dave’s ESL Cafe;
  2. solicit information by directly contacting schools in a particular country or region using a school directory; or
  3. contact local recruiters who have relationships with schools in the area your interested.

Now, when considering which approach is best is a complicated question. Some markets, like Saudi Arabia, are so small (and lucrative) that a direct response to an online ad is the right way to go. In others, like Argentina or Chile, a common the language (Spanish) may allow you to contact a large number of schools directly.

In rapidly developing markets like South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, however, the demand (and language barrier) is so great that direct contact with individual schools can be almost impossible. Accordingly, a recruiter is the way to go. That having been said, the decision to use an ESL recruiter is an important one and should not be taken lightly. Not only are recruiters and recruitment agencies are a major player in ESL staffing in general, they will be your eyes and ears on the ground in particular.

Moreover, because some recruitment agencies, like Korvia of South Korea, are country specific while others, like Footprints Recruiting, span the globe is it important to make sure you select the recruiter that is right for you. For example, if you have narrowed your search to a particular country, a regional player may be the right choice for you. In any case, as long as you are open about your needs and honest about your concerns, the right recruiter can help you get your new career off to a great start!