Educators Overseas

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Mar 11, 2011 / 0 comments

Want to teach overseas, but aren't sure where to start? I've got a fantastic resource for you - Educators Overseas. Full of great information on teaching and living abroad, Educators Overseas also lists educator vacancies, resources, and school services. There are also some featured blogs from teachers that are currently teaching overseas. It's a great place to start your search! We talked with Christy Grimste, Director of Educators Overseas, about the site, teaching overseas, available jobs, qualifications, and more. Here's what she had to say...



WE: Please tell us about your site, Educators Overseas...

CG: Educators Overseas places native English speaking teachers in international schools and other schools around the world. We offer three levels of membership Featured and Ultimate, both a nominal fee, and Basic, which is free. With the Featured and Ultimate memberships teachers can post an online profile which is published on our site and marketed to schools seeking specific types of teachers. Teachers can also use the online profile to proactively apply to any school anywhere (we give them the contact info for international schools around the world). We also offer a digital interview, which makes teachers stand out even more. Basic members can receive alerts for jobs and then apply only for those they are interested in by sending us their resume, which we then forward on to the school. Teachers can find out more information about teaching jobs and traveling abroad on our website.



WE: What was the genesis of your site?

CG: I started Educators Overseas after living in Ankara, Turkey and working as a substitute teacher in an international school. I realized then, and after speaking with the principals of some local international schools, that there were not enough teachers working overseas. I wanted to let teachers know about the incredible opportunities there were for them and what an amazing life they could have overseas.



WE: What qualifications are required for jobs in teaching overseas?

CG: To teach in international schools you need a Bachelors degree, a teaching certificate, and sometimes a year or two of experience as well. A teaching certificate is required because for most countries the host government will only grant a work permit to teachers with valid teaching certificates. To teach English as a Second Language in an ESL school you just need a bachelors degree, although having a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate does help. Also, an open mind, acceptance of other cultures, and a sense of flexibility is a must!



WE: What jobs are available for teachers, overseas?

CG: Just about any subject that is taught in a school in the U.S. (or Canada, Australia, or England) is taught in an international school abroad, so whatever subject you have been teaching in your home country you can likely teach abroad. That said, some positions are more in-demand than others. For example, there are a lot of elementary vacancies all the time, but we don't see many art or technology teacher vacancies. And, for social studies, while there are social studies positions available there seem to always be many more social studies teachers who want to teach abroad.

There are also jobs for school administrators, but not as many, especially in this economy. However, we have seen that school administrators often have more luck contacting schools on their own rather than through a recruiting service like ours. Their chances of a getting a job are further increased with a digital interview, which we offer in our Ultimate membership package.



WE: How can educators best prepare for a job overseas?

CG: To prepare for a job overseas, teaching or otherwise, it always helps to familiarize yourself with the local culture and language. Even though you won't need to know the local language for your teaching job, knowledge of a few basic phrases will help you help you get settled in to your new country.



WE: What is the difference between international schools, language schools, and other language teaching opportunities?

CG: International schools are English speaking K-12 schools that teach a Canadian, American, Australian, or British based curriculum.

Language schools teach English as a Second Language to all age students - from children to adults. We also have some positions teaching English in local public schools. Other teaching opportunities include becoming a private tutor for a wealthy family that lives in an area lacking in adequate schools or that travels frequently, for example splitting their time between homes in two or three countries.

These types of positions often include nanny duties, or being a "governess" to the children. For all types of international teaching positions the teachers do not need to speak the local language, all they need is a native level of English fluency.



WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

CG: I would just encourage teachers to be open minded when considering where they want to teach overseas. Everyone wants to go to Europe, but there are not many jobs there and schools do not pay very much.

Consider instead countries or regions off the beaten path that aren't so touristy - schools there will pay much better and you'll have more employment options. Also, as most teachers can probably attest, the expat community in less popular countries is much more close-knit and you'll make some great friends, have a great support group, and have lots of potential travel buddies!



WE: Thanks so very much, Christy - you've given us some very valuable tips and information!