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CIEE Teach Abroad

About

CIEE offers paid teaching positions in Chile, China, Czech Republic, Morocco, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam, and volunteer programs in Spain and Portugal, for university graduates looking to teach English abroad and immerse themselves in a foreign community.

Want to learn more about what it is like to teach abroad? Check out our Facebook page (@cieeteachabroad) and Instagram account (@cieeteach & #cieeteach)!

Website
start.ciee.org
Founded
1947
Headquarters

300 Fore St
Portland, ME 04101
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Kate
9/10

I've only been in Korea for about 5 weeks now, but I've loved every second. This country is beautiful, friendly and culturally rich -- I am so glad I chose to come here. When I decided I wanted to quit my job and come teach, I knew I wanted to do it with CIEE. I am SO glad that I did! CIEE helped me along every step of the way through the application process, including the longer EPIK application process. I was working a full-time job in the U.S., and can't imagine doing this without CIEE's help. The orientation they provide once you are in the country is so much fun and so useful as well, and the leaders are fantastic! It was great to make even more friends, especially coming here not knowing anyone. I highly recommend applying through CIEE--while there is a bit of extra cost, they help with organization and peace of mind.

How can this program be improved?
The difference in public (EPIK) and private schools is huge. I think that CIEE's website explains this a bit, but it would be very helpful to explain this even more. The two experiences are vastly different, and it would be helpful to have that information up front.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Gray
10/10

When I was researching this program, I searched all over for recent reviews but couldn't really find any. For that reason, I was hesitant. I still took the plunge, however, and I've been in Vietnam for about two weeks now. CIEE provides great support along the way, and there have been no surprises—what you see is what you get, thankfully.

One of the main reasons I chose the program was a placement in Hanoi, which I've really enjoyed exploring since I got here. It's really hectic at first—overwhelming, really—but it's a lot of fun. I'd highly recommend checking out the Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown episode beforehand, as it gives you a great feel for what the city is like.

CIEE's partner school in Hanoi is one of the best ones to work for as far as I can tell. It can certainly be disorganized at times, but it's hard to avoid that in this part of the world—be flexible and ready to roll with the punches! The staff have been really nice and supportive, but many things have a bit of a learning curve. They'll throw you into your own classes within a week of arriving, but they have a wealth of resources from which to draw. Also, the other teachers at the center have been nothing but friendly and helpful along the way.

The CIEE staff have been really responsive and accommodating, but the time difference (and correspondingly, work schedule) means it can take a while for questions to get answered since they must go through CIEE to the school. This is a really minor gripe, however. The included TEFL course was quite useful and exhaustive if a bit of a slog at times. Sure, you could do this all on your own for a lot less money, but CIEE provides so many failsafes that I found it really worthwhile. Overall, my experience has been about as seamless as possible (because certain aspects of the process will be byzantine no matter what you do), and I'm excited to spend a year living and working in Vietnam.

Yes, I recommend this program
https://medium.com/@heidiswensen
Heidi
10/10

Going to China to teach English for the 2017-2018 school year was my first time leaving my home country of the United States, at the age of 27. I was uncertain and nervous about the process, and thus knew that I wanted to work with an American organization that could help me get set up with the necessary resources, contacts and support to be successful. CIEE proved to be just what I was looking for in my goal to teach overseas. I was very happy with the education company that I was hired to work with through CIEE. Over the 10 months I lived in Shanghai, I felt supported by competent and caring staff and co-teachers. People often say "If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to ask." While working for my education company in Shanghai, I felt that the program coordinators saying these words truly meant them. My program coordinators in China were extremely helpful, kind, and responsive. Based on my positive experiences over a 10-month contract for the 2017-2018 school year in Shanghai, I would highly recommend CIEE to anyone considering going abroad.

How can this program be improved?
I was assigned to teach 450 students per week in the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year. I feel that CIEE and the education companies they partner with should make transparency of working arrangements a high priority for applicants.
Yes, I recommend this program
One dumb farang
Tee
8/10

More updates pending recovery.

While I generally feel safe walking among the locals as well as the school I was placed at, operating a motor vehicle, particularly a motorcycle, on local roads is NOT an activity to be taken lightly in this part of the world! Be sure your vehicle registration, taxes, and insurance are up to date. Be sure you are licensed in your home country and Thailand for the class of vehicle you wish to operate. Be sure whatever travel medical insurance plans you have are up to date. Spending time in hospitals in any part of the world doesn't make for the most enjoyable experiences of your travels.

Communication difficulties will abound, even between the most educated of individuals. You'll need the patience of Job in order to get through them at times.

How can this program be improved?
CIEE and OEG are great organizations, but the overall experience will depend greatly on where you are placed!

OEG should require participating schools to attend remedial training about western culture to help schools understand crazy farang and their attitude problems if they don't require this of participating schools already.

Participants who are to become teachers in the program will be expected to participate in the available cross-cultural training available to them at the beginning of the program.

While I understand I'm a 'foreigner' and should not expect the locals to adapt their way of life to match my personal expectations, it seems to me that if foreigners are being asked to uproot themselves from what is quite literally, the opposite side of the world and we are being asked to instruct on aspects of our culture, such as language, and we will need to rely our host schools for support on nearly everything, then in order for the relationships to be successful, the cultural exchange will need to be two-way.

That being said, we could take cultural training and even live in another country for the rest of our lives and we will still 'not get it' at times.
Response from CIEE Teach Abroad

Hi Olaf,

We’re sorry to hear that you’ve had some strange or unpleasant experiences at your placement. Teaching abroad definitely has its share of awkward or embarrassing moments (for people on both sides of the cultural divide), challenging situations, and sometimes even health risks. In the grand scheme of things we’re very glad that you’re OK, and that your CIEE emergency medical insurance was helpful after your motorbike accident. We hope that you’re healing well! Your CIEE coordinator will be sending you a message shortly to see if there’s anything else we can do to assist.

Best wishes,
CIEE Teach Abroad

Yes, I recommend this program
Shane
10/10

My year teaching in Thailand was the best cultural experience I've ever had! I made so many incredible friendships with Thai teachers and locals within my community. I was able to travel to many places in Thailand and SE Asia. Some of my favorite moments were: making colorful bamboo lanterns with my students for a Thai water festival, scuba diving in Koh Tao, trying different Thai flavors at local markets, jumping into gushing waterfalls, and hanging out with elephants in the northern province of Chiang Mai!

The CIEE support network was very helpful as I adjusted to life in Thailand. From teaching tips to travel ideas, they covered it all. For future participants, don't be afraid to make the move to SE Asia. There are plenty of resources to assist you in the transition.

Not only did this experience allow me to see another part of the world that I've never explored before, but also to truly make a difference. Teaching English as a Foreign Language is creating a brighter future for children through language education. Connecting the world through English! If you want to do something impactful and rewarding then teach abroad. You won't be disappointed!

How can this program be improved?
Overall, I was very satisfied with CIEE's Teach in Thailand Program. One thing that would improve the program is to create an organized event for year long participants. A fun event for the participants to meet again and share stories about their semester in their respective province. A location for this would be central and accessible. Bangkok or Chiang Mai. The event would be cultural and/or interactive. Emails and a Facebook group would raise awareness.
Yes, I recommend this program

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