The allure of an international teaching career is stronger than ever. Plus, in our jet-set, web-savvy world it is more obtainable than ever before, too. As a result, more and more students are deciding as early as high school that they want to be international educators. Still, with their sights set the path from dream to reality – and the college majors necessary to achieve success – can initially appear daunting. It does not need to be, however. Instead, use the following guidelines to help you reach your goal.
If you’re interested in teaching a subject other than English, you do not need an English teaching degree. Instead, major in the subject you wish to teach and, if possible, minor in education. You do not need to major in education to get a teacher certification but a background in the discipline certainly helps. If your university does not offer an education minor, do not lose heart. You can take courses and do supervised teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate level to get that extra experience.
If you wish to teach English as a Second Language – and demand for qualified candidates is higher than ever – an English teaching degree might be just what the doctor ordered. More and more universities are offering undergraduate programs in Teaching English as a Second Language and more still offer minors and certifications. Recipients naturally have a leg up in the hiring process but do not worry if your school does not have a formal English teaching degree program. English, Linguistics, and General Education majors – all of which are available at any large liberal arts school – provide a perfect background for candidates interested in teaching English abroad. Not that you need to be an English major to earn a TESOL certificate – being a native English speaker is enough.
As you can see, then, the world is your oyster and the path ahead yours to blaze. The only thing that is missing is you!