7 tricks for landing a GREAT job teaching English as a second language and
keeping it

Have you dreamed of living in a foreign country, traveling
around the world, or meeting new people and experiencing new cultures?

Maybe you have, and thought that it was inaccessible or out
of reach. Let me tell you, it’s not!

Like you, I had a keen interest in international travel,
and wanted to get out of the USA.

I was a somewhat seasoned IT professional. Life was great,
until the bottom fell out of the IT Market in the 90’s. . . I realized that I
was competing against people from all around the world, in a market I wasn’t
really that interested in, and that if I wanted to stay ahead, it was going to
require continual study, certification and re-certification for the rest of my
life.

So I decided to take off. Initially, I worked for a
management consulting company in India that outsourced Contact and Call centers
from the West. I did really well, and ended up being a vice president of that
company. Later, I taught English in China, India, and finally, in Thailand,
where I’ve stayed ever since.

Teaching English or ESL can be a very rewarding experience
for the right person. In many cultures, teachers are held in very high esteem,
and you’ll make a great salary, that will allow you to live a very comfortable
life.

If you want to land that dream ESL Teaching jobs, there are
a few tips that will help you out immensely.

Look for jobs in the country where you want to teach.
It’s relatively easy to find jobs in China, Korea, Japan, etc. online, but you
never know what you’re getting into until you’re there. It’s a great idea to
go ahead and get a “lay of the land”, take a look at the school in question,
and meet and talk with some other ESL teachers who you will work with.
They’ll be able to give you lots of great information on the potential job
that will help you make a better decision.

In some countries, like Thailand
and many others, it’s difficult to get hired from outside of the country. So
just plan on a short vacation, that may turn into a long term stay, and be sure
to take enough money to return home, or to another country you’re interested in
if things don’t work out.

Dress to impress! You don’t need to show up for an
interview wearing a three piece suit, but you need to look like a teacher. A
nice, ironed/pressed shirt, a pair of slacks, and ALWAYS a tie should serve you well.

Bring copies of all of your qualifications with you to
an interview. You’ll need copies of your original Bachelors degree, any TEFL
or ESL teaching certifications you have, and in some countries like Korea,
you’ll need originals of your transcripts from university.

Get a ESL/TEFL teaching certificate! There are lots out
there. The most recognized is probably the CELTA, offered through Cambridge
University at many locations throughout the world. The CELTA is a four week
course with an observed teaching practicum. If you’re looking for the better
jobs in the EFL/ESL world, CELTA is definitely the way to go. There are lots
of other certificate programs that you can choose from, and even many online.
Just remember – If you’re interviewing against similarly skilled and
experienced candidates, the better your credentials are, the better your
chance of landing the position!

Emphasize ANY teaching and/or training experience that
you may have had on your resume. If you taught a Sunday school class at your
Church, have trained people at work, or have any relevant experience with
children or education and training, this is much more important than being the
A1 bean-counter of the year at your previous position.

Talk with other teachers and learn about their classroom
management style. This is a key factor, especially in teaching young
learners. You may bet the worlds most gifted grammarian, but if you can’t
lead a classroom of energetic 10 year olds, you’ll be lost, or burn out very
quickly!

Try to learn all of the subtleties of the culture that
you can, and especially the ones which will affect your job of teaching ESL!
For instance, in many Asian cultures, children are VERY reluctant to tell you
the names of their parents, because the other students will call them by their
parents name. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but for the students,
its something of an insult to their family and specifically their parents.
So, if you have an exercise in your course material where the student tells
their name, their favorite food, the names of their family members, etc. you
may want to adjust this to fit the specific culture you’re teaching in.

Once you begin teaching ESL, you’ll learn to rely on your
colleagues who are more experienced, and who are successful as ESL/EFL
teachers. With young learners, make classroom management your main priority
from the start, and you’ll reap the rewards of a great class later on!

If you’re interest in more information and articles about
teaching English as a second language or English as a foreign language, please
visit the public website of The World ESL Society at
http://www.eslsociety.com

As English teachers, we’re almost always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to stimulate our language learners. It was ELT author and researcher Stephen D. Krashen who gave us his Affective Filter hypothesis of Second or Foreign language acquisition. (Krashen – Terrell, 1983) His hypothesis states, that conditions which promote low anxiety levels in class allow improved learning on the part of students. When learners enjoy class activities their Affective Filter is low and they learn more. New and different activities “out of the norm” also lower learner affective filters.

Here are some not-so-commonly-used techniques for adding that “new twist” to your English or foreign language classes. Giving learners something new does wonders in relieving boredom, spiking interest and lowering the Affective Filter of learners on whom you may have “tried everything”.

1. Using an iPod

Do you learners carry iPods or cellular phones? Don’t curse and swear at them for using technology in their lives. Turn it to your advantage! A number of good websites now exist that can get you and your learners up and running using this latest new technology for language learning and practice. Here are useful website for more podcasting information:

• Podcasting: Audio on the Internet comes of age
[http://www-writing.berkeley.edu/TESL-EJ/ej36/int.html]

• Morning Stories
[http://www.wgbh.org/schedules/program-info?program_id=143912]

• Podcast Pickle http://www.podcastpickle.com

• Internet TESL Journal http://iteslj.org/links/ESL/Listening/Podcasts/

2. Let Mr. Bean Help You

You all know him and love his humorous twists on daily living. So don’t just sit there nodding, grab a CD or VHS full of episodes and try a few out on your learners. Let them do the talking. They can offer suggestions, write to Mr. Bean and his other characters, express opinions and do comparisons of his world vs. their own. By the way, is he REALLY an alien? Follow his antics, get video clips, program guides and more at:

• [http://www.rowanatkinson.org/mr_bean.htm]

• [http://www.dsv.su.se/~mats-bjo/bean/bean.html]

3. Ask Walt Disney for Advice

Although I’m old enough to remember his presence and passing, Walt Disney can still make us laugh, smile, cry and cheer with the antics of scores of his characters and their families. Take some short “clips” from his animated stories. Change the situation. Alter the characters. Modify an ending or a beginning to cause a whole different outlook on age-old themes. Are your stories and characters better? As long as they’re different, stimulating and generate interest or discussion, that’s all that matters. Everyone, even you, will have a great time coming up with new twists on these classic themes. Try it!
Visit Disney online here:

• http://disney.go.com/home/today/index.html

• http://www.justdisney.com/walt_disney/

4. Letting Learners Create Lesson Materials

Turnabout is fair play, or so they say. Take a day to switch roles. Have you ever let your learners write an exam? How about planning a fun class? Having a “hot” conversation on a topic that THEY want to talk about – music, movies, cute guys / gals, techno-babble? Nothing is taboo – well almost nothing, anyway! What do you think they’ll talk about? You’d be surprised!

5. Join the Club

Let’s all go to the Conversation Club. What you don’t have one? Okay then, start one – every Thursday from 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm or whatever time, day and duration may suit you and your learners. The key is to give THEM the majority of control, or at least as much as possible. Use props, use realia, use pictures, music or whatever you and your learners may have on hand to start, stop and sustain the activities. Other “clubs” you could join include:

• Pronunciation clubs

• Reading clubs

• Movie clubs

• Acting Clubs

Use your and your learners’ imaginations. The sky’s the limit – or maybe the Administration’s sky is the limit. But no matter, just try something new for starters.

Try out some of these not-so-commonly-used techniques for adding that “new twist” to your English or foreign language classes. Give your learners something new to relieve any boredom and spike their interest. Can’t you just hear those Affective Filters falling now?

For too long Singapore has been dominated by its larger cousins in the global market for TEFL/ESL destinations. It is natural to head to Thailand and Vietnam, completing ignoring this inspiring compact island. No more should the Lion City just be a refuge to teachers from Thailand looking for some civilisation while on a holiday break. Lucrative TEFL/ESL opportunities exist that allow teachers to save and provide for a lifestyle teachers in Thailand and Vietnam can only dream of. Salaries are high, classes involve mostly adults, and schedules are usually done in blocks – all highly rated in any TEFL/ESL job.

Singapore has a lot to offer which other countries don’t. Firstly, in the region of South East Asia, TEFL/ESL salaries far outstrip those of neighbouring countries. Teachers can expect to start at USD 2500 a month, most likely beating the USD 3000 mark. While the cost of accommodation may seem high on this small island, other costs such as transport and food are incredibly cheap when compared to the Europe, and even the US. This provides for a very comfortable lifestyle indeed, where teachers can experience the world famous diverse cuisine, spend money travelling, and of course save.

The job search in Singapore is undeniably best done on the ground when you get there. This is convenient as Singapore is a major international flight hub, and visitors from native English speaking countries can enter freely for stays between 30 – 90 days. While arriving with nothing may worry some teachers on a shoe-string budget, it is important to remember that unlike Japan, costs are low, and the market isn’t already saturated by other English teachers in the same boat. Some jobs are advertised online, mainly on TEFL.com and ESL Cafe’s international job board. However, these may not necessarily be the best deals, and the on the ground job search allows you to negotiate an all round better deal.

Who will employ you when you get there? For an island with a population of around 4 million people, Singapore has a high density of Educational colleges and private institutes. There is a palpable feeling in the air of everyone trying to better themselves. This means business and money to the TEFL/ESL teacher. A CELTA/Trinity TESOL candidate’s best bet, like elsewhere in the world, is to contact the major private language chains; Berlitz, The British Council, Cambridge Institute, GEOS, Linguaphone, Shines Education, Wall Street Institute and many more that are dotted along Orchard Road. Job opportunities can also be had in the Straits Times online job classifieds at st701.com. The benefits of turning up on the spot are obvious; it will look like you’re in it for the long(ish) haul, you can impress with a professional appearance and demeanour, and more importantly, you can negotiate your salary with your future employer.

It will please many aspiring applicants to know that TEFL/ESL job seekers in Singapore don’t necessarily need certification in CELTA/Trinity TESOL, although it will drag down your salary. More important is having a recognised, three year degree, which the government requires for immigration purposes. Don’t let this worry you though. Obtaining the necessary Employment Pass is a very simple process, merely requiring some forms to be filled in. This can be done in Singapore and you don’t have to leave the country to complete the process at a High Commission of theirs. It may be of interest to note that if you earn above SGD 4000 a month, you don’t need to undergo a medical examination.

Who will you teach is an often underestimated question and it is very important to note that teachers are extremely unlikely to be actually teaching native Singaporeans. Having been a colony of the United Kingdom until 1963, and having English as the official language, means English is very well established there. This may not be reflected in standards of local English, but for the most part, this is dealt with by the government during a child’s education. You are far more likely to be teaching (in quantity order from my experience) mainland Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Filipino, Japanese, Thai, and even Burmese citizens. This provides for a very enjoyable experience because, more than likely, you’ll have multilingual classes to teach. Furthermore it may be exciting to note that Singapore has far less kids’ classes than the rest of Asia. Naturally, this is due to the fact that English is the language of class in state schools.

Moving on from just the aspect of work, Singapore as a destination for expats, offers a very comfortable tropical lifestyle. The weather is characterised by two distinct seasons; wet and dry, and every day is hot! The vast majority of schools will employ air conditioning though to make the teaching experience far more comfortable. Singapore is renowned for its multi-ethnic cuisine. The real joy of living there is being able to choose from Chinese, Malaysian, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and European cuisine every day. Food is incredibly cheap, with amazing outdoor (but covered!) food courts providing for a fiesta of food to brighten any day. Fresh fruit juices and exotic cut fruits at rock bottom prices will make you feel great.

Accommodation on the island is where serious thought must be considered. Occupying a relatively small island with 4 million people naturally means rents are high – far higher than neighbouring countries. The vast majority of people occupy an apartment in a block of flats. These come in two levels of quality; HDB (a form of public housing provided by the government) and condominiums (high quality private apartments, usually but not always, with shared facilities like swimming pools, gyms etc). HDB flats are generally older and of lower quality (and sometimes without air con), but are of course cheaper. Condos can be anything from satisfactory to breathtaking. Rents for HDB flats start at around SGD 800 a month, with condominiums starting at around SGD 1500. Obviously, costs depend on a lot of factors, location being a major one. My own private recommendation would be to look for a refurbished HDB flat, rather than a cheaper, lower quality condo. I would also strongly dissuade anyone from seeking an apartment around the long Geylang Road, being the red light district, as it is extremely seedy.

In terms of cultural and leisure activities Singapore has somewhat to offer. Firstly, let’s deal with the common derisory remark that Singapore is one large shopping mall. This is true to an extent, and there are very many malls. This will obviously be music to the ears of those who like shopping, and potentially nightmarish for those who don’t. Sampling new food at food courts and restaurants is a very special Singapore experience, as is exploring the different quarters; Chinese, Indian, Malay, Korean, and Thai. The centre of the island is still virgin jungle and ideal for trekking, most notably Bukit Timah and Macritichie Reservoir Park being the most authentic jungle. Beaches are OK in Singapore, but the sheer amount of large boats out in the harbour may discourage you from swimming. An array of smaller islands around it are also great for exploring; particularly Kusu, Ubin, Lazarus and haunted Hantu. The island resort of Sentosa is usually very busy and a bit overrated in my opinion for leisure and entertainment.

In conclusion, for an aspiring teacher looking for a place to start, or for an experienced one seeking a fresh start, I would strongly recommend Singapore. Reasons of income, food, and climate make this a very attractive destination for TEFL/ESL. Flexible immigration makes this a good place to make your TEFL/ESL debut, while the above factors make the city a great place to linger for a few years. Singapore offers enough of the great things about Asia while low on the downsides that make other countries harder to live in such as crime, pollution, begging/touting. So, when considering Asia as an English teaching destination, don’t rule out the Lion City.

Every year thousands of adventuresome souls leave their home country for six months or more with goals of teaching English abroad. Yet a common question for those without experience teaching English abroad is, “will an online TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) be sufficient?”

The answer varies depending on your short or long-term goals, the country in which you intend to teach English abroad, and ultimately the requirements of the teaching institution.

1. Evaluate your personal goals (professional TEFL teacher / TESOL teacher)
If your goals are for teaching English abroad for 3 years or more, you should strongly consider taking an in-classroom TEFL course of 120 hours and a minimum of 6 hours of practicum. Some countries and schools will require this. You should also consider taking a course that provides you with a CELTA certificate.

2. Evaluate your personal goals (short-term teaching opportunity, cross-cultural experience, learning the local language, etc). If you are not seeking a 3-5 year term as a “professional” TEFL teacher, an online TEFL course could very well be sufficient to prepare you for the time in front of your students.

3. Consult with your recruiter and/or the local teaching institution.
The people in these organizations know what is required and what will be accepted or not regarding TEFL / TESOL certification. Additionally, TEFL courses are most likely offered in the country in which you want to teach; ask these contacts for recommendations

Every year thousands of adventuresome souls leave their home country for six months or more to teach English abroad. Yet the search for TEFL jobs (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) has unique characteristics versus home-country employment searches that may be more familiar to you.

Following are 10 ideas and recommendations on how to best manage the search and successful placement process.

1. Cost of Living Abroad

Teaching jobs abroad normally post salaries using the local currency. While using the Internet is a rather simple task to look up an exchange rate and determine the salary’s value in your home currency, this isn’t necessarily meaningful. Once you’ve converted the currency, the salary may seem a bit high or low at first glance, but you need to understand more. What you need to know are the costs of living in your targeted country. Ask your third party recruiter or prospective employer to provide you with a Cost of Living Guide, which should include a sampling of all the items you’ll be purchasing during your work abroad: housing costs, a bag of oranges or bananas, the cost of a haircut, public transport costs, phone rates to call home, and many other items.

2. Academic calendars

Schools’ academic calendars may vary depending on which hemisphere you are coming from and going to. For example, a Canadian teacher who desires to start teaching in South America starting in the Canadian autumn (September), needs to take into account that South American schools are already mid-way through their Spring season semester. Thus, schools may not be hiring teachers in September.

3. Interviews – Presenting Yourself

Most likely you will not have the advantage of having a face-to-face interview with your employer prior to arrival into your targeted country. Your future employer will depend heavily on information in your resume / C.V., written answers to essay questions, and past employment and/or personal references you provide. Additionally, you may be asked to have a telephone interview.

It can be easy to forget the obvious. For example, in the case of telephone interviews, your prospective employer will not only be inquiring about your credentials but also listening intently to your speaking skills and how well you might present yourself in front of their students. Given this will be an international phone call, make sure that you have a clear phone line (particularly if the phone interview is on your cell phone) and without background distractions.

Furthermore, if you are asked to provide written answers to essay questions as part of the application process, do not underestimate how heavily those answers might be used to evaluate your suitability for the teaching position.

4. Recruiter / Placement Agencies

It is common to utilize third-party recruiting agencies to assist you find the optimal placement. Good agencies are worth their weight in gold even though they may charge you $900 to $2,800 U.S. for their services. A good agency should provide you with (at a minimum):

  • an office staffed with person(s) in the country in which you plan to teach,
  • screening of the best teaching opportunities with a monthly salary that is competitive and will cover your basic living needs at the local standard of living,
  • assistance in finding affordable lodging,
  • experienced in-country coordinators to provide support and services during your stay, and
  • pre-departure information to ensure your are prepared for your trip and other recommendations to be sure you are properly equipped.

5. Housing / Lodging

If you ask any person that has been involved in teaching English as a foreign language abroad, the comfort in your living situation is paramount. Some teachers prefer to live with a host family to practice the native language; others desire to live alone or with other teachers. Be sure to find out in advance what your options are for housing, and in fact if you have options. If you don’t ask beforehand you may find yourself shoved into a host family or a brick-walled dormitory. Both extremes could be okay for you, but it is important that you know before–and (most importantly) if you have options to change if you are not satisfied with your original housing.

6. Visa Processing.

Every country will have different processes for allowing entry to foreigners. Your TEFL job / TESOL job will likely require some non-tourist visa classification to remain in the host country for an extended period of time (for example, more than 90 days). Work with your teaching institution or third-party recruiter to understand what type of visa you will need, and if the teaching institution will pay for it. Additionally, always check with the foreign Consulate in your home country to understand the country-specific requirements for long-term stays (e.g., police clearances, medical checks verifying that you don’t have communicable diseases, etc.)

7. Monthly Salary

Make sure you understand what the monthly salary will be and for how many weekly or monthly classroom hours you will be responsible for teaching. Additionally, be aware that some Non-Profit Organization (NPO) recruiters may scoop up nearly half of your salary to cover their costs for services they provide you. This is not necessarily a bad business practice, but highly recommended that you understand these financial details prior to committing to a work contract.

8. Freelance Work

Some teachers want to pick up extra teaching hours doing freelance work such as private tutoring sessions. In general, if you are granted a work contract and associated visa with a teaching institution, the agreement may not allow you to legally obtain side contracts with other teaching institutions. If you choose to do freelance work being paid “under the table” it should be with caution so as not to put at risk your original work contract.

9. TEFL Certification / TESOL Certification

Is this a requirement for you? This is a difficult question to answer as it widely varies depending on the country, the country’s demand for native English-speaking teachers, individual teaching institution’s requirements, and other factors. To learn more about certification requirements, utilize discussion boards and consult with third-party recruiters to understand the needs of the local market in which you have an interest in teaching English.

During your research process, should you discover that TEFL certification is in fact required, your follow-up inquiry should be if an online TEFL course is sufficient or if you need practicum-based courses.

10. Medical Coverage

Even though you may be perfectly fit and healthy, you should (at a minimum) have an emergency medical coverage policy during your teaching tenure in the foreign country. While there are a number of choices available to you for this coverage, consider the insurance company’s deductible, the policy’s amount of coverage, and how and to whom you will make claims should you encounter a medical expense.

English is now the universal language and is spoken by people all around the world. Being an English teacher in a different country is a rewarding experience. Each country has its own uniqueness as well as their own language. It is indeed interesting to note that 75 countries world wide opt for English as their first language. Countries like Japan, China and Russia choose to teach only their native language. Even in countries like France, Germany and Italy people speak only their native tongue and not English. Due to this they have lagged behind in the advancement in technology world. Since computers are in English these countries have a draw back (as they don’t know English) and unable to compete in the global arena.

Indians have moved up the ladder thanks to their expertise and fluency in English language and have taken the IT world by storm. All the software’s are in English and programmed by Indians and Americans only because of their proficiency in English. Realizing the need to learn English, many foreign countries are recruiting native English speakers to their country to teach English. Once you move to a foreign land opportunities widen and you may even move on to other spheres of life. Businesses attach importance to youngsters who have taught English in a foreign country. This is due to the fact that they are exposed to various cultures and learn to imbibe it into their lifestyle giving birth to creativity. Being an ESL teacher adds weight age to their resume.

As a young educated person becoming an ESL teacher is great because it helps to gain a new perspective on life, to quickly pay off your student loans, to travel to exotic locations, or to be immersed in an unfamiliar culture. The decision to teach ESL is to earn money, and explore the world. Later when they choose to teach at university this foreign teaching experience comes in handy. In countries like United States of America or United Kingdom, where there are students of all ethnicity and races it is indeed useful for an ESL teacher if he/she has foreign teaching experience. Understanding and bonding with students is most important for a teacher.

Being an ESL teacher in a foreign country is a valuable asset and gives a competitive edge to the individual. Since English is the official language for business communication, even countries who never recognized it before are recruiting teachers from abroad to teach English. They don’t wish to lag behind due to this handicap. If you become an ESL teacher in a foreign country for at least one year you will be awarded with a certificate that helps in you attaining future jobs. Or if you wish to study further and complete your doctorate, this teaching experience helps you in attaining experience and exposure to various cultures. Becoming an ESL teacher in a foreign country opens doors to opportunities wide for higher education and job opportunities that were unattainable before.

Besides free accommodation and boarding, you also can take your spouse along and lead a wonderful life that you have always longed for. Not to forget that the remuneration is very good. Both of you can teach, as many schools prefer to have couples so that accommodation can be shared.

Experiencing culture shock is natural when you move abroad – here’s what you can do about it.

The moment I stepped off the plane in Osaka, Japan I was already bleary-eyed and bone-tired. I had spent the trip flying across the world in a half-sleep because my seat on the plane was so uncomfortable it felt like a tee-shirt wrapped around a stadium chair.

This was nothing new for me. I had become used to the 15 hour flight because my role as a recruiter for a private educational company focusing on ESL and teaching English in Japan to children. Our recruiters from our offices in Los Angeles, Toronto and Chicago have meetings with our corporate staff in Okayama, Japan throughout the year. These short business trips are tough on my body but they are a breeze compared to my first cultural transition in 2003 when I first traveled there to teach English in Japan.

When I first moved to Japan as an instructor teaching English to children in an EFL setting, I found my train ride after my flight arrived a bit nerve-wracking. The signs were all in Japanese and English at first as my guide books promised but the scrolling electronic menus of arriving stations on the train were only in Japanese and so too were the voices over the intercom and the billboards we zipped past. I remember asking the clerk at the newspaper stand how much it cost for an English newspaper in my simple Japanese and he stood there smiling, unable to comprehend what I had said. It was official, I was illiterate in Japan. I was immersed in the cultural shock every travel book describes.

Moving abroad is a unique challenge and if you would someday like to live abroad – especially if you desire to teach English in Japan – it is critical to become actively involved in a key cultural transition, your own.

If you plan someday to work in Japan or teach English in Japan, keeping in mind the following steps will help anyone ambitious enough to leave their own culture for another.

– Get serious now, so you’ll have fun later. If you are applying for a job that requires you to move abroad, do your research before the interview about the country. This is especially true if you plan to teach English in Japan. Talk to acquaintances and friends who have lived abroad in the country where you would like to go and listen to their experiences. Ask questions and then when it is time to interview you’ll be that much more informed. Don’t just limit your research to chat rooms on the internet. Even though there are websites with postings from the legions of ESL teachers teaching English as a second language, these places are helpful for prescient information can sometimes be trolling grounds of the misinformed or disenfranchised. Go to the library and find a good travel book and write down the books on the suggested reading list and start reading!

– Take responsibility. No one can better organize your departure and imminent arrival in a new country better than you. Quickly the tasks will mount and you could end up feeling overwhelmed. Don’t worry this is common. Start small and write everything down. Now once you compile this list of tasks, start working your way down and check them off one by one. However, if you are within a month from departure make sure it is all about the practical side. How will you be bringing money? Where will you get your prescriptions filled? What shots do you need? These are important questions to answer during your last month. Also, if you can’t fit it into your checked luggage while packing, don’t bring it! Put your overflow into a box that a family member can send you or bring with them later on when they come for a visit.

– Accept a helping hand. The candidates we send who apply as English teachers in Japan begin their journey abroad as soon as they accept their position in their home country. We begin a paper work process with them at this point but it should also involve learning about the culture, history and values of their destination. Hired candidates who actively pursue this information early on in the process adjust better and have a stronger understanding of what is going on around them, even if they don’t yet know the language. These candidates, of course, become more effective English teachers. Most companies implement their own orientation process prior to departure; make sure the company you’ve been hired by is one of them. We do our best to help our candidates adjust initially when they arrive. The assumption is that they will take over the process after they get moved in.

– Getting settled is no small thing. Our hired English teachers who have made the transition well are flexible and not easily rattled. They possess this confidence because they have thoroughly done their research and they are dedicated to making it work. There will always be rough days so account for them! How will you reach your family or friends when you have a difficult day at work? You can skype, blog, instant message or text your friends if you already have a way to get in touch with those that are important to you while you are adjusting. Teachers who move into the apartments we provide as a company and get settled in quickly also adjust much faster. This is a simple task but a very important one. Put those pictures up on the wall. Find a great local store that you can purchase food you like. Find a great place to work out or get a decent haircut. These are simple tasks but no small thing when adjusting abroad.

– You’ve gotten this far, go the distance! Probably one of the most frustrating things as a recruiter is when I had an English teacher who was homesick give up and head back home. Having a hard day here in the U.S. is an occasional occurrence but one that we often have to endure. The same is true for when you are living abroad. Candidates who have adjusted well find what they like to do in the country that they are living in. Do you like to play sports or go for a run? Are you interested in traditional arts and culture? Do you want to find a faith-based group to communicate with? All of these elements of our daily life are things that we underestimate the importance of until we live abroad and they are not readily available. The key thing is to not wait for your new life to come knocking at your door. You have to get up and go find it using the same determination and boldness that got you there in the first place.

As you can see, achieving success when you get to another culture is dependent on what you have accomplished before you left. Get started today with your great adventure by finding out where you’d like to live and work someday so you don’t get lost in the transition.