Teaching English Abroad


Jul 6, 2007
So I've been feeling kind of wayward lately and have been thinking about the possibility of teaching English abroad. It's always been a dream of mine to live outside of the US and be completely immersed in another culture. I'm lucky in that my husband can work from anywhere so I wouldn't have to leave anyone behind :smile:.

Has anyone done it? What was the application process like? Where did you teach? What was your experience like?

I don't have any teaching experience outside of some tutoring that I did in college, which I don't think really counts. I speak Spanish (not quite fluent) and a little French - I'm good at languages. I'd love to teach somewhere in Asia - I've never been there - but I'm open to pretty much anywhere. How hard/easy would it be for me to find a position?


Aug 25, 2009
I've spoken with a lot of people on this as I had intended to do this before getting married.

The most common warning is to be diligent about researching the company and school you're going to work for. Some have great experiences to offer and good support for their teachers. Others place the teachers into horrible conditions with little support and communication.

I've spoken with some very, very bitter ex-EL/ESL teachers.

But I've also spoken to some who LOVE what they do and who they work for/with. Part of it is who you work for and where you work at. And part of it is what you make of it.


No longer in Japan..
Jan 20, 2007
I taught in Japan on the JET program. If you are interested in Japan then JET is the only way to go. You are salaried as a government employee, none of the private school/eikaiwa nonsense. I taught mainly at junior high schools during my 2 years as an ALT (assistant language teacher.. so I team-taught alongside a JTE (Japanese teacher of english). I had a couple of rowdy classes here and there but the kids were generally awesome. Living there was an experience, one that I'm glad I had. I wouldn't ever live there again but I have so many fond memories and do not regret it one bit.


Nov 21, 2007
I taught in South Korea, in their program modeled after JET. I believe it was EPIK, same idea as JET though. A lot of it just depends on the school that you are in. My experience was completely different than my boyfriend's, who taught at a school near to mine.

We were both given the ALT title. Whereas, I was a true assistant--assisting the Korean teachers, he had to come up with his own lesson plans and the teaching was all up to him, while the Korean teacher just kind of floated around in the background.

Despite the differences in what was expected of us, it was truly a positive experience for us.