If you’re enticed by the snow-capped mountains of Vancouver or excited by the cobblestone streets of Montreal, Canada’s geographical and cultural diversity provides a fun and vibrant location to teach abroad. A notoriously friendly nation, the people of Canada welcome citizens and tourists from all around the world with a smile and a handshake.
The following list of teach abroad programs in Canada offer various kinds of set-ups – some will allow you to live in a homestay and tutor a smaller group, while others will place you in a classroom setting where you will take charge of a larger number of students. French or English?
Canada has it all – the French-speaking province of Quebec offers cities with European style and Canadian warmth, while the English-speaking cities of Ontario and western Canada offer lively and unique metropolis.
In order to teach English in Canada, most teachers will require native English proficiency and TEFL certification. Prior teaching experience is preferred, but not required in all cases. The average salary for teaching in Canada is $1,600 - $2,300 per month.
In Canada, teachers are not limited to instructing English or various school subjects, but also French. In addition, employment opportunities are available in school or university administrations, allowing all education professionals in Canada to find the “right” job.
Government Sponsored Programs:
The Canadian government’s Odyssey program hires language assistants in a variety of cities. This is a full-time program, in which you would work alongside an English teacher, mostly at the elementary and secondary levels. Much of the language assistant’s role is to encourage students to learn English in creative and fun ways, as well as provide a second cultural perspective in the classroom.
Canada’s international schools are consistently employing new teachers. Some schools follow an American curriculum and prepare their students for Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Keep in mind, many international schools require their teachers to receive accreditation from the British Columbia Ministry of Education.
Tutors, with past experience, can find homestay programs where they will provide one-on-one tutoring to their accommodators, in their language of native fluency. Students range from ages 16 to 75 years old and in skill level. This is a great opportunity for those looking for short-term stints, as you will work between 10-20 hours per week, for about 1-4 weeks. However, you may always extend your stay.
You do not need to be a native English speaker, as most Canadians speak English as their first language. The individuals, who will be your host, are primarily looking to improve and enhance their spoken French. Since tutoring is more informal than classroom instruction, you will have plenty of free time to explore your city and surroundings.
Finding a Job
When and Where to Look for Jobs:
International schools are located in many of Canada’s large cities, such as Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. Language assistants and homestay tutors will typically be placed in Quebec or New Brunswick, where French is more widely spoken.
Teaching jobs in Canada vary in their requirements, as some employers are stricter with what they’d like to see in applicants. In order to participate in government programs, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. In addition, to apply for a language assistant job, English must be your first language. If you wish to teach in an international school, you must be accredited by the provincial ministry of education, wherever you might be. The most lenient situation will be a homestay, as tutors are only required to be proficient in their native tongue.
Salary & Cost of Living:
A typical salary for a language assistant is around $18,500/year. Homestay tutors do not earn a salary, as they receive room and board in exchange for their teaching services.
The cost of living in Canada is very similar to the U.S. Generally, food and daily expenses are less in Canada, but rent and healthcare is more expensive than in the United States. Toronto and Vancouver have higher costs of living than in Montreal or Ottawa, for example.
Classroom & Work Culture:
Dress in appropriate work clothes while in the classroom; do not wear revealing garments. In addition, the Canadian school year typically starts in the beginning of September and ends in late June.
It is advisable to steer away from discussing Canadian regional politics. The division between Quebec and the rest of the nation is a touchy subject, and one to be avoided in formal situations.