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As a country rich in history, loaded with beautiful beaches, and home to a fun, young population, Israel is an excellent place to teach abroad. English teachers are in high demand in Israel, since learning English is compulsory for all students beginning in 4th grade. Even so, many schools start teaching the language at a younger age, so Israel is always in the market for some fabulous English teachers. Currently, there are about 14,000 English teachers in the country...will you be number 14,001?!
There are several opportunities to teach English in Israel. Something to note about the school system is that there are Jewish schools (broken into public secular, public religious, private), Arab schools, and mixed schools.
The school year goes from the end of August to mid/end June, so much of the hiring is done in August. However, because teachers are so in demand and might need to take Hebrew language courses and other certification courses in Israel prior to beginning their job, hiring occurs year round. If you work at schools under the Ministry of Education, you can contact them with your location and they will find you a job nearby.
There are various necessary qualifications for teaching in Israel. First of all, you must be able to speak, read, and write in Hebrew. Israel's Ministry of Education suggests that teachers participate in Ulpan, an intensive Hebrew language course that are offered both in Israel and in various American cities. Teachers must also have an approved degree in any major, but the language of instruction for the degree must be English. Being TEFL certified, though not required, will make you a more competitive applicant in the hiring process. Even if certified elsewhere, the Ministry of Education requires that teachers be certified in an Israeli program as well. This is offered through Israeli universities and is subsidized.
The cost of living is quite high in Israel and has been a hot topic in recent years. Teachers' base salaries are very low in Israel ($500-$700 per month), but you get additional bonuses with further experience, certifications, and other qualities (like attending offered conferences and workshops). Young, less experienced teachers can expect to be on the lower end of this spectrum. Private tutoring is a great supplement to this salary, earning between $20 - $50 per hour.
Living in a city center is more expensive than living on the city's outskirts or in a smaller town. A one bedroom apartment in the city costs about $785 per month versus $650 elsewhere, so definitely think about finding a roommate. Often, the school you are working for will help you find housing. Groceries will run you about $400 a month depending on where you shop, and utilities will total somewhere around $180.
You might get stipends for accommodations and some programs offer housing, but it is not a guarantee. You can find housing online otherwise.
In 2012, the OECD's Education at a Glance Report names Israel the second most educated country in the world in terms of adults with post graduate degrees, showing that the country takes education, and English instruction, quite seriously. Teaching English in Israel is the perfect way to contribute to this education hub!
Emma is a senior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Cognitive Science. Since she studied abroad in Utrecht, Netherlands, she has been itching to travel more.
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