With a pristine coastline stretching 2,250 miles, a dynamic mix of cultures, and delicious cuisine, Myanmar, also commonly known as Burma, has suddenly begun to attract thousands of visitors from around the world.
After decades under an oppressive military regime, the Burmese have finally won their freedom of expression and are extremely eager to express it. The country is much more open to the international community and has welcomed teachers from abroad into its local schools. If you have an itch to explore Southeast Asia and gain some teaching experience while you're there, go teach abroad in Myanmar!
Interested in volunteering as a teacher in an orphanage or non-profit educational program? Teachers are always needed in these social institutions, and can support students' educational development in several ways. As an international teacher, this may be the only chance for local Burmese children to get a better glimpse of the outside world. Teaching abroad in Myanmar is a great way to help out the rural communities and directly impact multiple children's lives.
International Private Schools:
Public schools in Myanmar are usually poorly funded by the government, and are not very open to hiring international teachers. On the flip side, there is a huge demand for international English teachers in private schools. Often times, these teaching positions are well paid and follow a more structured curriculum dictated by an international system of education.
Finding a Job
When and Where to Look for Jobs:
There are several intensive TEFL training programs offered in Myanmar that allow you to earn your TEFL certification in a few weeks and get some international teaching experience right away. The easiest way to look for teaching opportunity in Myanmar is to apply for a teaching program that can match you up with an educational institution in Myanmar and possibly provide you with extra training material. Pay attention to the specific application deadlines for various teaching programs as they may vary.
Most teach abroad opportunities in Myanmar have very few qualification requirements. Volunteer teachers often do not need to have any prior teaching experience. International private school teachers tend to have at least a Bachelor's degree, TEFL certification, or basic experience. The specific qualifications and skills that are required may vary from one school to the next.
Salary and Cost of Living:
The average salary of international teachers in private schools in Myanmar lies between $1500 and $2000. This is considerably higher than most Myanmar teachers in public schools are paid. Those who teach abroad in Myanmar with a non-profit organization often do so on a volunteer basis, but may be provided with a simple stipend to help cover living costs.
The cost of living in Myanmar is relatively inexpensive, around $750 - $900 per month, especially for those who are traveling from abroad. Prices in metropolitan centers tend to be much steeper than those in the countryside, as they may be adjusted for tourists. Below are some examples of living costs in Myanmar listed in USD for your convenience. Keep in mind that 1 USD is approximately equivalent to 900 Burmese Kyat.
- 1 bedroom apartment rent: $570
- 1 inexpensive meal: $3.5
- 1 way transportation ticket: $2
Classroom and Work Culture in Myanmar:
- Student/teacher relations:Teachers are highly respected in Myanmar. Since the majority of the Burmese people are Buddhist, teachers are seen as one of the "five gems" and often considered substitute parents. There is a clear hierarchy in the classroom, and students are often expected to be extremely respectful.
- Dress Code:Teachers should dress conservatively and relatively formally in the workplace. While business attire is not required, it is best to dress smart-casual.
- Greetings:When greeting others, it is appropriate to utilize full titles and names to show respect. Even though many Myanmar names are long, it is impolite to abbreviate them or use them without an honorific title.
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