What is the minimum amount of time people teach abroad?

Question Details

Ideally I would like to stay for 1 year, but is it possible to do less?

Answer

1 year is a great amount of time to commit to. I know some places, like Costa Rica, will require 6 month commitments from their teachers. Others are OK with short term placements (~3 months) but typically that's easier to find if you're looking at summer camp jobs / volunteer gigs.

You can definitely work at a summer camp in China for 3 months. There are various intensive summer camp programs you can apply for. Otherwise most contracts tend to be one calendar year or one academic year (September-June).

Israel Teaching Fellows is 10 months (August to June).

I wouldn't recommend committing to less than a year of overseas teaching and the reason is culture shock. It generally takes the full year to go through all the phases. At the 6 month mark I remember feeling very depressed, and I'm glad my contract didn't end at that point. It would have tainted overseas teaching for me. Also, completing an entire year and seeing the growth in your students feels like the ultimate accomplishment. :)

To add to the above comments, a year or more experience also looks good on your resume. It shows commitment and dedication to the profession!