Guide to Teaching Abroad

You’re interested in teaching abroad? How exciting! If you’re here, you’ve taken the first step towards starting your adventure. Footprints Recruiting is here to answer all of your questions and get you started on the right path. We’ve prepared a guide of the steps and most common questions about how to teach abroad and where to start.

We will cover topics such as the requirements, locations, programs, and what to expect from working with Footprints Recruiting to start your adventure. We even have additional resources available for you like guides to build your resume, what to say in an interview, and ways to foster classroom communication! 

Can’t find the information you’re looking for? Feel free to get in touch with us. We’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible to answer all your questions!

teach abroad map

Am I Eligible to Teach English Abroad?

That’s a fair question and a great place to start! While the exact qualifications vary between schools and countries, the primary requirements are:

checkmark  Fluent in English

checkmark  A Bachelor’s Degree 

If you have these two things, we want to hear from you! Generally speaking, if you can fluently speak and write in English, and have a degree, you are eligible. Teaching English abroad can be an amazing opportunity for those who have just finished school and are looking for a new adventure! 

While not always a requirement, we highly recommend getting a TEFL Certificate. You can check out some popular certification options here! This is a great way to ensure that you are prepared for teaching abroad, especially if you don’t have experience teaching English as a second language. 

Where Can I Teach Abroad? 

Currently, we have opportunities to teach in Alaska, China, Abu Dhabi, the UAE, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Online. Each location offers a completely new experience, culture, and scenery! 

When deciding where you would like to teach there are multiple things to consider: 

  • Climate
  • Teaching Requirements 
  • Hobbies & Lifestyle 
Do you like the busyness of a big city? The peace and quiet of nature? Are you looking for something completely new from where you currently live? Or a little more familiar? Do you like warm sunny days, or the coziness of winter mornings? 
 
No matter your preference, there are options available to you! Working with Footprints Recruiting means that we are here to help walk you through your options.  Apply now and talk to one of our recruiters to learn more! 

How Do I Start Teaching Abroad?

Teaching Abroad sounds amazing, right? Working with Footprints Recruiting means that you have help every step of the way. We have made the process as easy as possible. 

The APPLICATION Process

Step 1: Submit Your Application
We have streamlined our application process so it is easier than ever to start teaching abroad. All you have to do is apply now on our application form. Make sure to include your resume and read our resume tips

Step 2: Review 
Our experienced team of recruiters will examine your application and resume. We review your application in detail and determine any and all  opportunities you qualify for. If your application is selected, we will reach out for a phone interview. If you’re not a good fit for any current openings – you will still be kept in mind for future opportunities as they come up! 

Step 3: Interview 
We’ll schedule a 15-20 minute phone interview during which one of our recruiters will get to know you. We will be looking to find out more about your qualifications and experience. This is also a good chance for you to learn more about the opportunities that you are qualified for and ask any questions you might have.

Step 4: Application Submission 
Your recruiter will submit your profile to schools that you’re interested in, on your behalf. Your recruiter will arrange a virtual interview between you and the school should they like to speak with you. 

Step 5: Job Offer 
When you receive a job offer, we’ll guide you through signing the contract and the visa process, alongside your hiring school overseas.

What To Know About Teaching Abroad

Planning a move to a new country can be both daunting and exciting. We’re here to help! We have answered the most common questions about how to teach abroad and what to expect.

The specific details vary between teaching in South Korea, teaching in China, teaching in Alaska, Dubai, or somewhere else. Regardless of where you go, you can expect a supportive team to help you through the process. We recommend reading through the pages on our website of the places you are most interested in. Each one gives you a good idea of what to expect for pay, benefits, the jobs, and locations available. You might have some specific questions about teaching abroad in mind. We have you covered! 

Top Questions

  • Does it cost money to apply to teach abroad?
    No! Footprints Recruiting is a 100% free service for teachers. Simply apply with our easy application and we’ll do our best to find the perfect opportunity for you. 
  • How soon can I start teaching abroad? 
    Peak hiring times will always be in January and August but the schools we work with are looking for teachers to start at various times throughout the year. There are always options to start sooner or a little further down the line, depending on your availability and their needs. It is important to bear in mind that the visa application process can be quite long so that will also dictate when you can make the move. For the Middle East, we generally recommend applying at least 3-4 months before your desired start date and 2-3 months for Asia.
  • Can I apply with my friend or partner? 
    You can definitely apply together! We can’t guarantee that you’ll teach at the same school. However, we will make every effort to place you in the same city. If you and your partner or friend would like to teach abroad together, please submit individual applications, then email recruiting@footprintsrecruiting.com stating that you’d like to apply together.   
We highly recommend having a read through our detailed page for all Frequently Asked Questions

Useful Resources for Teaching Abroad

We want you to succeed. We want you to have the experience of a lifetime, teaching in places around the world! To help you along your journey, we have curated some helpful resources below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We can’t wait to work with you! Apply today to leave your footprints around the world. 

Applying to teach abroad with Footprints is 100% free for you! There is no charge for our services. Simply apply and we’ll do our best to find the best opportunity for you.

Yes, please upload your resume when applying. Our recruiting team can’t evaluate your application or invite you to interview without it. So the sooner we have it the sooner your adventure begins! If you need some help getting your resume ready we have some samples and tips for successful teaching resumes here.

We have streamlined our application process to make it much simpler for our applicants. Instead of trying to time your application exactly to the right recruiting round and posted position, go ahead and apply now on our general application form. Make sure to include your resume and read our resume tips. What happens next is this:

  1. Our experienced team of recruiters will examine your application and resume. We will do our best to make sure we can connect you with any and all of our opportunities you qualify for. If you are not qualified for current opportunities, we will keep you in mind for future openings too! This way, you will be considered for many jobs all around the world with a single application – and the burden of figuring out the right position and the right time to apply is not on you.
  2. If your application is selected, we will reach out for a phone interview to present to you the jobs you’re a good fit for.
  3. We’ll schedule a 15-20 minute phone interview during which one of our recruiters will get to know you and find out more about your qualifications and experience. This is also a good chance for you to learn more about our opportunities and ask any questions you might have.
  4. Your recruiter will submit your profile to schools that you’re interested in. Your recruiter will arrange a Skype interview between you and the school should the school like to speak with you.
  5. When you receive a job offer, we’ll guide you through signing the contract and visa process, alongside your hiring school overseas.

If you’re having trouble applying on our website, don’t worry! Just email your resume and a quick summary of the types of jobs and locations you’re interested in to: recruiting@footprintsrecruiting.com. We’ll make sure your details get to the appropriate recruiting team.

We know that deciding where you would like to teach and what jobs you’re qualified for can be a daunting task. So we make sure that when we’re reviewing your application you are considered for all the jobs we offer and understand which ones you’re most qualified for. If one of our recruiters thinks that you will be a good candidate for any country or program we are currently working with, they’ll make sure to mention it to you. The same goes for recruiting intakes and hiring rounds coming up later this year – or even next year. We want to find the very best opportunity for you and we keep track of good candidates for future positions!

Make sure to apply with us, but bear in mind that applying multiple times in a short time span will not improve your chances. It’s more important to include your resume and make sure it’s up to date and matches what we’re looking for when we are evaluating candidates. Think quality over quantity!

If you’re still not sure where to begin, feel free to send us your resume and a short summary of the types of positions you’re interested in to recruiting@footrprintsrecruiting.com. We’ll be able to advise you on where the best opportunities for you will be based on your qualifications and experience.

Due to the large volume of applications we receive daily, unfortunately we can’t provide an individual update on the status of your application. We do our very best to review all applications within 5 days and if your application was successful we’ll reach out for an interview as soon as possible. We will contact successful applicants only.

If you’ve applied to a job with Footprints before and would like to update your resume, please email your recruiter with your updated resume. If you do not know their contact details, please email it to recruiting@footprintsrecruiting.com, and a brief message asking for your details to be updated.

As with any interview, preparation is key. Our recruiters want to know that you’ve done your homework and are seriously interested in the opportunity.

For jobs in Asia it’s a good idea to research the cities you are interested in teaching in, the visa process and what you can expect from life in Asia in general. It’s also a good idea to think about any experience you have working with children or teaching and how your interview answers can reflect that.

If you are interviewing to teach in the Middle East, you need to read the guides that will be sent before to you before your interview. They have a lot of useful information about life in the Middle East and the positions themselves. Reading them will show your recruiter that you’re seriously interested in the position.

All of our positions are for a minimum of a year. This is due to the fact that applying for a visa can be quite a time-consuming process. Because schools sponsor their teacher’s visas and assist with the visa process, they prefer to hire teachers for at least a year.

Peak hiring times will always be in January and August but the schools we work with are looking for teachers to start at various times throughout the year so there are always options to start sooner or a little further down the line, depending on your availability and their needs. However, it is important to bear in mind that the visa application process can be quite long so that will also dictate when you can make the move. For the Middle East, we generally recommend applying at least 3-4 months before your desired start date and 6-8 weeks for Asia.

Asia
To teach in Asia, as a minimum requirement, you must have a bachelor’s degree (in any discipline). Some teaching experience or experience working with children is also required (this can include babysitting, coaching, tutoring, working as a camp counsellor etc). A TEFL certification is also strongly preferred (for more info on whether you need a TEFL please see our TEFL question below).

Middle East
To teach in the Middle East you must have a bachelor’s degree, a government teaching license and a minimum of 2 years of public school teaching experience (post-certification). For these positions the subjects and grade levels that you are certified to teach and have experience teaching are very important. Our partners in the Middle East are most often looking for English, Math, Science, ICT and Kindergarten/Primary teachers. Our job postings will always specify which subjects and grade levels the school is looking for.

Asia

There is a lot of contradictory information out there about this. Technically having a TEFL certificate is a visa requirement if you do not have teaching experience, although this rule is not always strictly enforced. In recent times the schools we work with are requesting TEFL qualified teachers more often than not and are unwilling to consider those without. So while there are exceptions to the rule, generally speaking we recommend completing a course if you are new to teaching and serious about these opportunities. Not only will it strengthen your application, it will also (as the name suggests) actually help to prepare you for teaching English to foreign learners – which can only be a good thing! You can complete one online in your own time at a modest cost.You can check out our recommendations here:

Don’t wait to finish your course to apply with us, you can start the application process right away, just state that you have a TEFL in progress on your resume. Middle East

If you’re applying for a job in the Middle East, you must be a certified teacher (ie. licensed to teach in public schools in your home country). If you don’t have a government teaching license, a TEFL certificate will not help your application.

 

This is a teacher who has a state/national teaching license and is certified by the government to teach in public schools in their home country. Below is a list of accepted licenses by country:

    US – State Teaching license
    Canada – Provincial Teaching LicenseUK – PGCE or QTS (depends on the job you’re applying for)
    Ireland – Teaching Council Registration
    Australia – National Teaching License
    New Zealand – National Teaching License
    South Africa – SACE

*A TEFLE/CELTA certificate is not sufficient for licensed teacher positions.

Asia

The visa approval process can take 3-4 months so it’s a good idea to start preparing as soon as possible. As you go through the process you may be asked to submit any of the following:

A criminal background check, a copy of your degree (authenticated for China and apostilled for South Korea), a copy of your passport, a copy of your TEFL certificate and passport photos. You may also be asked to undergo a medical check.

 

Middle East

The visa approval process can take up to 3 months so it’s a good idea to start preparing your documents as soon as possible. When applying you may be asked to provide any of the following:
A copy of your teaching license, a copy of your degree, authenticated university transcripts, a criminal record check, valid passport, driver’s license, medical history and references. If you are travelling with family you may be asked for a copy of your marriage license and authenticated copies of your children’s birth certificates.

 

The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) recently announced that it has merged with the Ministry of Education (MOE). This means that from now on the MOE will be responsible for hiring all foreign teachers interested in teaching in public schools in the UAE – ADEC is no longer hiring. Click here to visit our MOE program information and application page.

If you and your partner or friend would like to apply to teach abroad together, please submit individual applications to any jobs you’re interested in. Then email your details to recruiting@footprintsrecruiting.com stating that you’d like to apply together. Moving to Asia can be a great option for two people who want to teach abroad together
We can’t guarantee that you’ll be teaching at the same school, but every effort will be made to place you in the same city.

 

Middle East

Teaching in the Middle East is a good option if you are looking to bring your family abroad with you. The government schools we work with will sponsor visas for your spouse and up to 3 children. They will also provide accommodation, return flights and medical insurance for you and your dependents. However, your children’s education will not be covered by your employer. You would be responsible for paying to send your children to a local private school which can be quite expensive. We urge teachers to do their own research on the cost of privately educating their children in the UAE. It is also important to be aware that your spouse will not be permitted to work on the visa provided by the school. They would have to seek employment and an appropriate working visa independently.

 

Asia

Teaching English in Asia is not particularly family friendly unfortunately. Schools do not provide packages for families which means that you would be responsible for arranging visas, flights and accommodation for any dependents. You would also have to educate your children privately which is expensive.

 

We understand how difficult it can be to leave your furry friends behind, but we don’t recommend travelling with pets. The process can be very expensive and time consuming, and the journey itself gruelling for your pet. Depending on where you are moving to, pets may not be as culturally accepted as at home and thus may not have the same quality of life overseas. Its also important to remember that your employer will most likely be providing your accommodation and pets may not be permitted to live with you.

Middle East

Roundtrip airfare
Free accommodation or accommodation stipend
Local medical insurance
Contract completion bonus
Relocation allowance
Paid national holidays
Family benefits (visa sponsorship, flights, accommodation and medical insurance for a spouse and up to 3 children)
Additional annual airfare allowance for travelling/visiting home

 

Asia

Flight allowance
Free accommodation or accommodation stipend
Local medical insurance
Paid national holidays

Tip: China offers the most jobs in Asia.

As with most jobs, salaries vary from one school to another – each job posting on our site lists a salary. You may notice that these don’t directly compare with salaries back home because of differences in the cost of living abroad. For example, jobs in the Middle East offer higher salaries, but the region also has a higher cost of living – so don’t let a lower salary put you off teaching elsewhere. Some quick research about what it costs to live in the cities you’re interested in will show you that you can live comfortably on a teacher’s salary, and even save money or travel the region. When comparing salaries, don’t forget that housing is provided or subsidized, so it’s not something you need to budget for (like back home).

If you’ve read through this page and haven’t found the information you’re looking for, feel free to reach out!