Mongolia, located in the heart of Asia, offers a rich experience to anyone wanting to teach. There is a significant need for native English speakers to teach the language so the opportunities are numerous. If you are ready for a life-changing experience, teaching in Mongolia may be right for you!Photo credit: Gusjer.
Private Language Academies/Schools
There are a number of private schools in and around the capital city, who are more than ready to hire. Schools, including Success School of English and The American school of Ulaanbaatar are known to be very welcoming of foreigners. While hours are known to be long, the experience will be worth it!
The Mongolian government has recently made a significant push to incorporate English into school curriculum, so jobs in public schools are available. Most of these jobs will focus around the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. While the pay may not be as high as universities and private schools, it could be a very rewarding experience!
There are even opportunities to teach at universities in Mongolia! Universities such as Raffle's International University in Ulaanbaatar are willing to hire but know that they have a tougher hiring selection process than most public/private schools. For example, most universities will require at least a bachelors degree and some teaching experience.
When and Where to Look for Jobs:
School starts around August/early September, so it might be best to start looking for a job a few months before those dates. The majority of the teaching jobs in Mongolia are concentrated in the capital city of Ulaanbatar. Unfortunately, there are fewer opportunities outside the area.
Most schools only require you to be a native English speaker. A TEFL is generally not required. Some universities may look for a bachelor degree and/or teaching experience.
Salary and Cost of Living
The salary of a teaching job can range from as low as 500 dollars (but most of your costs would be taken care of) or as high as 1500 dollars, if not more. The costs depend on the type of program that you undertake. Some programs offer homestay, which makes it very affordable, but typically you will be looking at costs of around a thousand dollars a month.
Classroom and work culture
- Student-teacher relations: The level of strictness is ultimately up to you. Regardless, some students will act in military-style strictness, and it may be a challenge for you to get them to relax. One tidbit to know is that an adult should never touch a student’s head as it is looked down upon. Also be careful not to show favoritism to any one student.
- Dress code: Men generally dress conservatively, wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts (shorts are generally not accepted). Women should be very careful in the way they dress, to avoid inadvertently breaking any local values, which are generally very conservative. However, some western fashions are acceptable.
- Greetings: Handshakes are the most common form of greeting. Roll down your sleeves when greeting someone/shaking their hands. It is generally advisable to greet the eldest people in the room first. Students may greet you with “Sain bain uu?" (translated “Are you well?”).