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Advice on teaching english abroad after college-which programs etc.

mommamiamommamia Posts: 321Registered User Member
edited January 2010 in Parent Cafe
Hi, does anyone know which of these teach abroad programs (most seem to be in Asia) are the most reputable? Any feedback from college graduates you know who have had this experience? Thanks.
Post edited by mommamia on
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Replies to: Advice on teaching english abroad after college-which programs etc.

  • timelytimely Posts: 1,613Registered User Senior Member
    I don't know which ones are, mommamia, but you are right to be checking. I'd do some googling about the specific companies. D taught English in Korea for 3 months. Her situation was a bit unusual, as she was working for a church-affiliated school. It was badly managed, and though she was supposed to be there a year, the school folded after she'd been there 3 months. While there, she learned that some American English teachers were in terrible situations, mostly involving poor housing and too much work.

    The applicant for one of these jobs should ask lots of questions. For instance, "What do you mean by 40 hours per week?" In D's case, it meant they expected her in a classroom teaching for 40 hours. It didn't count that she had classes scattered all over Seoul and it would sometimes take 2 hours to get from one class to the other. Those 2 hours didn't count.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,139Registered User Senior Member
    One place to start for good ideas on this topic is Dave's ESL Cafe. Dave has been posting job-hunting advice, job ads, lesson plans, you-name-it for years:
    Dave's ESL Cafe

    You could also pm fiona_ who often posts in the International Forum. She spent part of a gap term doing a Cambridge EFL certificate program ( Cambridge ESOL: Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA)) and teaching English in Vietnam.
  • nngmmnngmm Posts: 5,708Registered User Senior Member
    It can be done through Fulbright. The application is probably fairly competitive (though not to the same degree as Fulbright research fellowship), and I am not sure what the deadlines are (might have passed already).
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,194Registered User Senior Member
    Anyone heard of this one in Korea:

    Home
  • atomomatomom Posts: 3,377Registered User Senior Member
    Try Peace Corps. At least you have an American agency looking out for you, transportation back and forth, housing and a stipend.
  • fiona_fiona_ Posts: 1,811Registered User Senior Member
    The JET program is by far the best-planned teach-abroad program for college graduates. Administered by Japanese embassies all over the world, JET recruits young people for Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) positions in various locations over Japan. Admission to JET is competitive, but honestly, it's a fantastic experience for someone who really wants to teach English and experience Japanese culture.
  • fiona_fiona_ Posts: 1,811Registered User Senior Member
    About overseas-hire programs like what somemom posted.... Eh, a couple of my classmates from my CELTA program went with overseas-hire: got hired in Canada, flew off to Korea and were happy. But really, you gotta figure out what you're getting into (especially newbie college graduates who don't know the in-n-outs) What do you wanna do? Teach OR have fun with kids? (not mutually exclusive, but planning a good lesson can get intense) Experience the native culture? Etc...
  • bluealien01bluealien01 Posts: 1,941Registered User Senior Member
    I have been looking for information about this too. I'm not too picky, but I have been looking specifically for programs in Greece, Germany, Spain, Chile and Italy.

    A lot of the programs I've seen are really expensive and the time lengths too short. I want something longer than a month or two.

    I'm bumping this post up. Hopefully bumping it up by making my reply will help us both.
  • bluealien01bluealien01 Posts: 1,941Registered User Senior Member
    Bumping it up again.
  • walkinghomewalkinghome Posts: 6,880Registered User Senior Member
    My daughter did this her first year out of college. She found a program that paid her a stipend to work about 30 hours a week and provided housing. The teaching part of it was a sort of sham as she spoke no Chinese and the kids spoke very minimal English. Most of her classes had 30- 50 kids in a class and it took her months to get any help. She was one of the only employees that had a degree with an education major. The other people were really winging it. Apparently, it's a real coup to have a native English speaker in the school even if there is not much teaching.

    She was able to travel a lot and saw quite a bit of China and traveled to Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. She tutored to a couple of families on the side and was able to make more money that way. I won't mention the name of her program because it's not the best but it did work out for her. I would suggest asking lots of questions and talking to people that are in the program.
  • bluealien01bluealien01 Posts: 1,941Registered User Senior Member
    I was looking at something called GeoVisions; not sure if it is legit. I wish there were more people here who knew about these things.
  • 3boysnjmom3boysnjmom Posts: 534Registered User Member
    My son, who graduated college in 2006, taught English for 1 1/2 years in a huge city in southwest China. The school provided an apartment. He taught English to children, mostly on weekends. His classes were no more than 20 and there was a Chinese assistant to help with the younger kids. One of the other American teachers had taught English in China before but basically none of the Western teaching staff had education degrees. We had read about bait-and-switch situations so were relieved that a distant cousin's friend's son recruited him for this same chain of schools. Overall, it was a positive experience and my son was able to save some money which was helpful when he returned home for a year. Unfortunately, he returned home smack dab in the middle of the recession and he was unable to find a paying position in his field (so he took some internships). When he ran out of money this summer, he was able to find a job teaching math at a new international school in Beijing. His salary is decent (beginner's low salary if you were just starting out in Boston) but he pays for most of his housing. The other Westerners on the staff at this school are a tremendous source of support for one another.

    My advice to you -- if it sounds too good to be true, then it is. Be sure to examine the health insurance offered especially if you have a pre-existing condition. Also be careful as sometimes they change the number of hours you work and do not increase your pay.
    Good luck.
  • bluealien01bluealien01 Posts: 1,941Registered User Senior Member
    Would a study abroad office be able to tell me which programs are legitimate?
  • bluealien01bluealien01 Posts: 1,941Registered User Senior Member
    3boys,

    What would you say qualifies as too good to be true? Did your son look at other programs before the cousin suggested the one he ended up going on?

    Thank you.
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