Teaching English is a great opportunity and an easy way to find a job abroad. Plenty of incredible countries are looking for international teachers, and you'll be sure to find a job. I know this from experience, as I spent time teaching English in China as part of my early career.
But what if you don't want to teach English to live abroad? What if you're not comfortable standing in front of a classroom, or you've tried teaching English and just don't enjoy it.
Fortunately the education sector is a huge industry and there are so many different types of jobs available aside from teaching English.
How to Find the Education Job That's Right For You
While working as a college counselor has been great for me, the job is pretty specific. Most companies only hire native-speaking Americans who attended a prestigious college in the US. You need to have great writing skills, and preferably some experience teaching English, working with your college admissions department, or a higher degree.
While the criteria for an admissions job may seem a bit intense, there are plenty of other really incredible jobs abroad. I'll go through some of the major ones, but you can always find positions on Go Overseas or CRS Education. That's where I found my position!
1. Teach a Different Subject
Are you a certified teacher back home? Plenty of international schools and curriculum programs are looking for subject teachers in math, science, humanities, business and more. You might even be able to find a job at a company as well. The company where I work actually offers an AP US History class taught by a certified teacher.
2. Teach the Arts
Do you want to teach art, music, band, or drama in English? While some international schools will require certified teachers, others are open to anyone with talent. I have a friend who teaches AP Music at an international school and another friend who teaches art to little kids in an international curriculum program.
3. SAT/ACT/TOEFL/IELTS Teacher or Tutor
These tests are very popular among students looking to study abroad, and you'll be sure to find positions all over the world. While you are kind of teaching English, you'll be more focused on test-taking strategy and helping kids get great scores. If you don't like teaching classes, becoming a testing tutor could be a great option for you.
4. Teach an After-School Activity
There are many after-school activities that run in English. For example, my company offers debate and drama classes. Debate students compete all across China in English-language NSDA Debate tournaments, and drama students perform plays and musicals in English. These types of jobs are perfect for people who have skills and talents back home that they want to utilize abroad!
5. Become a College Interviewer or Counselor
Due to the large amount of Chinese international students heading to US universities, companies like Initialview are capitalizing on the need for international admissions interviews. If you're confident in an interview and love making kids squirm under pressure (just kidding), this might be a great fit for you!
You may also want to work as a college counselor. This job requires you to help students with their college applications. You'll aid them in picking good after school activities, preparing for interviews, drafting common application essays and more.
6. Teach a different Language
Not a native English speaker? No problem! There are plenty of jobs around the globe for people who want to teach languages other than English. Find a job teaching French, German, Spanish, or Chinese. There are always people who need language teachers or tutors!
What's it Like to Work in Education Abroad
There are many different jobs you can have in education across various countries. To get a little insight into what it's like to work in education abroad, I interviewed a few different education workers all over the world!
1. Math Teacher in Malaysia
"I teach kids at all different ages and levels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I do primarily stick try to math but I dabble in Science and English when needed. I work with students with learning disabilities and I help the top students in Malaysia apply to Universities in the U.S. I really do a little bit of everything, including graphic design of any recent marketing materials. On weekends I travel and blog about my adventures. Living in Asia has really opened up a whole different world to me!"
--Megan McFarland at The Adventurous Educator
2. English Editor for Kids News Site in Hong Kong
"I first started out teaching English in Hong Kong for a few years, before moving into writing and publishing in the education industry. I worked as an English Editor at Kids Dailies, a company that produced news websites and magazines for kids. The expat community in HK is small, so I heard about the job opening from a former colleague and friend, which is pretty typical in the industry. I was looking to move out of teaching into writing, so this was the perfect opportunity to use my teaching experience and write, as well as learn all kinds of other skills as well. It was honestly the best job I've ever had and Hong Kong is a fantastic city to live and work in!"
-- Amy Poulton at The Page Traveler
3. College Counselor in China
For the last year and a half I've worked as a college counselor in China. My job is to help Chinese students apply to American universities (and sometimes British and Canadian schools). I meet with sophomores and juniors one-on-one to help them get comfortable speaking English, learn how to write creatively, and pick activities that suit them. I also help seniors with their college applications. We draft interesting essay ideas, conduct practice interviews and create eye-catching resumes.
Why did I take this job? Well, firstly I was kind of sick of teaching English. I wanted to try something new that didn't involve grammar and basic sentence structures.
I also get paid significantly more than when I was a teacher. I have a great salary with benefits and plenty of opportunities for growth. The admissions consulting industry is BOOMING in China, as many students are fighting to get into top US universities. You can even work on your resume to jumpstart a career in international education or admissions when you get back home.
Are You Ready to Work Abroad in Education?
Teaching English may be the easiest way to find a job abroad, but it's definitely not the only international education position out there. Have a look at our job boards and see if you can find any positions you like. You'll be sure to find something that fits you and your unique talents, so you can make the most out of your international career!