Government Teaching Jobs Abroad

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There are lots of different programs and contexts through which you can teach abroad. The most credible and prestigious of those are government teaching programs! Many countries have cultural exchange programs that make it easy to teach abroad and put a well known name on your resume.

What is a government teaching program? Most government teaching programs are exactly as they sound.. you end up teaching for the government through a partnership between the US and another country. This partnership is what makes it easier to get a job teaching in another country than it would otherwise be if you just started sending your resume to the education departments all over the world.

Photo credits: University of the Fraser Valley.

When and Where to Apply

You may want to check with the specific program you’re interested in for specific dates, as each country’s relationship with the US is different and therefore, the amount of time it takes to apply for a visa will be different. Generally speaking, you’ll want to start thinking about apply a year before you want to leave.

Visas

If you want to live and work legally in another country, you’ll need a visa. All government teaching programs will either help you out with or do most of the paper work for you. They'll also sponsor you for a work visa (just one of many perks of teaching abroad through one of these programs).

However, you may still have to do a bit of work yourself. Just be sure to check with your specific program to see what they need you to do and make sure you have all necessary paperwork when you go to apply!

Salary and Cost of Living

This will certainly be different depending the type of program you go into and the location you choose to live in. Volunteer programs will have lower salaries (often called stipends), but could still be considered locally affluent depending on where you live. Furthermore, if your program provides housing, that often means your salary or stipend will be lower (as in the case of Peace Corps or the English Opens Doors program).

Classroom and Work Culture

Many of these programs are language “assistants”, which means you’ll be teaching, but you might not have to assume all the responsibilities of a host country national teacher. Many assistant teachers only work between 12 to 16 hours a week, not including time for preparation or extracurriculars. You’ll often also be paired with a teacher who you’ll work closely with throughout the year.

In other programs, such as Peace Corps, you’ll be the only teacher, but you’ll have support from not only friends and mentors in the Peace Corps staff as well as the staff in your school. You’ll also likely only be working between 12 and 20 hours a week, leaving you plenty of time to explore your new host country!

The most popular countries for government sponsored programs are France, Spain, Japan, Chile, Korea, and Colombia.

Worldwide
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program is a very prestigious and competitive program backed by the US government. Specifically in the teaching grant programs (there are many, many other programs to choose from), you can choose to teach English as an assistant in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North and sub-Saharan Africa, and the Western Hemisphere.
  • Peace Corps is a 27-month commitment, meaning that you’ll get two full years of teaching experience, as well as three months of intensive training. During all of this, you’ll be paid a monthly stipend, which is typically more than enough to live off of in your host country. At the end of your service, you also receive a $7,425 (pre-tax) resettlement allowance.
  • English Language Programs - U.S. State Department people with a graduate degree in English language teaching or a related field can apply to teach abroad in any number of countries. For more info, look at the State Department's page on ELPrograms.
Asia

In Asia, you can teach abroad through several government sponsored programs. In Japan, there's the Japanese Exchange and Teaching program (JET programme for short). There are a few positions you can apply for, though one does require basic proficiency of Japanese. First year salary starts at 3.36 million yen, or $35,000. Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) are responsible for helping with classes ranging from elementary to high school, as well as teacher classes and extracurricular activities. Housing is not provided through the program.

In Korea, there are several programs, GEPIK, EPIK, and TALK. With EPIK, teachers will teach a maximum of 22 hours a week for a full year. You also have the opportunity to renew and you’ll be taking home roughly $2,000 a month. If EPIK seems like it might just be a little too much for you or you don’t quite meet their requirements, there’s also TALK: Teach and Learn Korea. TALK is specifically for elementary teachers, but there’s also significantly smaller workload and a smaller stipend.

Europe

Although at one point, Georgia had a government sponsored program for teachers, the main two programs in Europe are the North American Language and Cultural Assistants in Spain and TAPIF: Teaching Assistant Program in France.

Spains program is an assistant position, which means that you won’t have your own classroom or be replacing an English language teacher. Instead, you’ll be supporting and enhancing an already existing class. You’ll be provided with national health insurance and a monthly stipend of roughly 700 - 800 €, or $950 - $1075. Housing is not provided through the program and a knowledge of Spanish is required.

Similar to the North American Language and Cultural Assistants program in Spain, TAPIF is a program that places participants in an assistant position throughout France. Again, you’ll be provided with national health insurance and a monthly stipend of roughly 700 - 800 €, or $950 - $1075 and knowledge of French is required. This program is generally only open to university students and recent college graduates.

Latin America

Finally, in Latin America the Colombian and Chilean governments both sponsor teachers to come teach abroad in their countries.

In Chile, their English Opens Doors Program is much shorter in terms of duration than most others; however, that allows for more flexibility when it comes to choosing when you’d like to go! You’ll work with a Chilean teacher to lead 25 hours of classroom teach time, plus extracurriculars and stay with a host family. You’ll receive health insurance and CLP 65,000 (about $115) per month.

The Colombian program is pretty similar, but one of the newest government sponsored programs on this list.

Smaller Programs to Watch For

Of course, there are government sponsored teaching programs popping up all the time. Here are a few smaller / less well-known government teaching programs you should also consider:

Contributed by Rachel Pelham

Showing 13 Programs

South Korea

Reach to Teach
Reach To Teach has over 40 years of ESL teaching and recruitment experience with offices in the South Korea, USA, and Taiwan....

France

Teaching Assistant Program in France
Teach English in France! Are you ready to expand your cultural horizons and share your language and culture with French stude...

South Korea

Korean Horizons
We provide government public schools in South Korea. We are here to assist you with the employment process. And after all, th...

South America

Footprints Recruiting
Footprints Recruiting, in conjunction with Partners of the Americas and SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje) - a Colombian...

Chile

English Opens Doors
Are you interested in volunteering to teach English in Chile? Please consider the English Opens Doors Program. Participation...

Taiwan

Reach to Teach
Do you enjoy travel? Do you enjoy being around children? Do you think you have what it takes to be a creative and inspiration...

Spain

Spanish Ministry of Education
The program is an academic “continuing education” grant provided by the Ministry of Education of Spain. The program sends ove...

Georgia, Republic of

Footprints Recruiting
Teaching jobs in Georgia are offered through the government of Georgia's "Teach and Learn with Georgia" program, commonly kno...

Georgia, Republic of

Teach and Learn with Georgia
Join Teach and Learn with Georgia to teach English and make a difference! Georgia is post-Soviet country with a unique histor...

Germany

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Fulbright Program
Every year the Fulbright Program offers 140 assistantships to teach English in Germany. This makes Germany one of the most po...

Greece

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Fulbright Program
Every year the Fulbright Program offers 1 assistantship to teach English in Greece. Selected participants arrive in September...

South Korea

Teach and Learn in Korea (TaLK)
Teach and Learn in Korea (TaLK) invites you on a Korean Government scholarship to teach English at a public elementary school...

South Korea

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GEPIK
Gyeonggi English Program in Korea(GEPIK) is a flaghip initiative of GPOE as a driving force for achieving dynamic and quality...