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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
Carolyn
9/10

I had been to South Korea before, but for staying a year and actually working a real job, I'm glad that I chose CIEE. The program is pretty pricey, but that includes a rather extensive TEFL certification, so that should be taken into account. South Korea is known for paying its English teachers very well, so even though the initial cost of CIEE's program is a lot, you can earn that money back within the first few months after you start working. In my experience, CIEE's staff is very quick to respond to questions (both when I was in the U.S. applying and now in Korea). I have a personal interest in the country, so it's been very exciting to be here as aspects of Korean culture get more popular overseas and as the North and South come to more friendly terms with one another. It's a cool front row seat to history, but with the full in-country support of CIEE to make living in a country (where you don't speak the language!) a lot less intimidating. South Korea isn't that big and has a good public transportation system, so you can travel around and get to know the country pretty well within a year and still be able to visit neighboring countries during winter or summer break.

How can this program be improved?
Like everyone else has been saying, the only real issue with this program is the rather steep price. If you plan to teach abroad with CIEE, I recommend Korea because the nice salary helps offset the money spent getting there.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
cory
9/10

I absolutely love Korea. I'm so glad I decided to come here with the help of CIEE. I have lived in here for about 3 months and I think I am adjusting nicely. I was able to meet a couple great friends through the orientation offered by CIEE and we have traveled around together a few times in the last couple months. The orientation helped new teachers become accustomed to the everyday life and teaching culture in Korea, which is so different than in the United States.

Before coming, CIEE offered a lot of support. I was so anxious going through the visa process, but CIEE was there every step of the way with their expertise. It made me feel so at ease. I talked with a coworker that did not come with a recruiter and she said she felt like she was drowning throughout the whole process. They help you find a placement and work with you to try and place you in an area you want to be in. Though I am not in love with my home city since it is very small, I am only 30 minutes away from Busan and one hour away from Changwon, another larger city in my province. I'm glad CIEE was there for me and offered their help! CIEE ensures you receive a fair salary and working conditions. The staff is there for you and can help you if any problems arise with your school or life in Korea. I feel comfortable living here and that I have support because of CIEE.

Yes, I recommend this program
Jordan
9/10

When you take a deep breath and you are looking at colorful gems and you are naked and sweating. You know you are at a 찜질방. I spent most of the weekends of my first year in Korea in these saunas because I didn't have much money and I loved traveling. I could sleep in the floor for $10 - $15 dollars in just about every city. Now I'm in my second year, I paid off my student loans, and I really enjoy South Korea. I've adjusted to the culture and I think it's made me a far more worldly person. In my experience it was hard to understand true Korean culture until I started speaking a decent amount of Korean which has just happened recently. There is still excitement and mystery for me and for the right personality teaching in SK could be there best thing you have done with your life. I know it's the best decision I've made for my life.

How can this program be improved?
I think more social opportunities could exist. During my first year I was placed in a very rural area and was quite lonely. I wouldn't trade my experience there but I have to say i do remember it being difficult.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Rebecca
9/10

Teaching abroad through CIEE is one of the best decisions I have ever made. As a fresh college graduate, the decision was a no-brainer: living abroad with a comfy salary, rent-free housing, insurance, and the promise of adventure? Perfect formula for something exciting.

The pre-departure support that the program offers was invaluable to me in navigating interviews, contracts, and visa paperwork. It takes away the anxiety of hoping that the hiring school is offering livable wages and competitive benefits - it's harder to advocate for those things yourself when you don't speak the local language well! I applied to private language schools (hagwons, in Korean) only, rather than to the Korean EPIK public school program. These two tracks are very different, so make sure you do your research before choosing how to apply!

Once you arrive in-country, the level of support that is needed from the program varies. I personally was placed in a hagwon that is incredibly communicative and welcoming. My supervisors and co-workers all speak English, and there is a large community of expats in the greater area, so I did not need extra help from CIEE in adjusting to my new home. But if your placement is different (i.e., if you're the only foreigner at your school, which happens sometimes!), CIEE is there to help mitigate any disputes and assist with your adjustment to life abroad. It's a great comfort to know that if problems arise, there is a team prepared to help at any time.

Program benefits also vary from placement to placement. My studio apartment is safe, modern, and comfortable, but be warned: many Korean landlords/building managers don't require prior tenants to clean the place before they leave, so your apartment might need a deep-clean when you arrive. The apartment is about fifteen minutes' walk away from my school, which is typical compared to other expats in my area. Your utilities payments, insurance payments, and pension plan payments all depend on your contract with your school, so be prepared to contribute to these. Working hours also vary greatly; my hours are 1pm to 9pm, but I have also worked morning shifts, and I have worked across multiple branches of my employer's company. Be flexible!

My home away from home, Daegu, is a beautiful mountainous city in the southern part of the country. Perhaps I'm biased, but if you're thinking about coming to Korea, there really is no better place to be than Daegu! Just be prepared for some really heavy satoori (local dialect, different from the Korean they speak in Seoul!) and some whispers and stares from the locals - it's kind of a conservative city!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Aoife
9/10

I did my TEFL with CIEE through their Teach in South Korea programme, so it was a perfect programme for me at the time. I valued the pre-departure course and in-country orientation as it really prepared me for professional and personal life here.

The application process is straightforward and easy to follow and CIEE placement coordinators constantly help you to get documents ready on time. The course just makes the moving and preparation process easier and gives you less things to worry about.

Also, the fact you can do a verified TEFL with the course makes the choice to move easier. As a person with little teaching experience and no teaching qualification, CIEE have everything to prepare you professionally to teach abroad.

Overall, I am happy I chose this programme in the end.

Yes, I recommend this program

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