Remember how awesome summer was when you were a kid? Freed from the everyday grind of school, months of complete freedom lay before you. Every day was a chance to do something new, to have an adventure, to make new friends and create memories that would last a lifetime.
If you’re like most of us, the magic of summer dimmed somewhat as you got older. If you’re in college or university, summer is probably not so much a time to do amazing things after a long and sometimes tedious school year as it is a time to get an even more tedious summer job in order to pay for more school.
If you’re in the workforce, well, maybe the only sign it even is summer is that the view from your office window when you look up from your computer screen is now sunshine instead of snow, which you enjoy for a few seconds before looking back at your computer screen again.
What happened? Do summers as adults have to be like this? Can summer once again be a time for adventures and new life experiences?
Well, yes it can, which is why you should consider teaching English abroad for the summer. Imagine being in a new place, experiencing a new culture and having daily adventures and new experiences just like you used to as a kid!
First things first, we’re not going to lie to you. Most English schools abroad are looking to hire teachers for at least an entire school year. This means that the options for teaching English abroad for just the summer are a little bit more limited than if you were willing or able to make a long-term commitment. The Teach Away job board is a great source of info regarding more long-term English teaching jobs.
But if you’re just looking to teach during your own school’s summer break, or take a summer sabbatical from work, it can still be done, and here are some ideas how.
Option 1: Teach English at a summer camp
What better way to remember how awesome childhood summers were than by spending your summer as a camp counselor at an English language summer camp? English language summer camps are particularly popular in Europe, and are similar to the summer camps of your youth with games and outdoor activities.
These are great opportunities for university students on summer break as a degree is usually not required (though a TEFL certificate would be a plus). Instead, the primary prerequisites are the ability to speak English (well, duh!), a youthful personality and the ability to lead recreational activities and games.
Some English language instruction may be required, but at the end of the day it is a camp, not a school, so having fun (in English) is the name of the game. Many of the camps will require the counselors to live on site and conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, so free time might be minimal, but hey, you are living at a summer camp! As a plus, room and board will usually be provided, meaning you can save most of the money you earn for books (or, who are we kidding, beer) for the fall semester. Check out Camp Europe for upcoming positions.
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Option 2: Teach English online for the summer
We’re currently looking for university graduates from Canada and the United States to teach English to Chinese students online from the comfort of their own home. However, nobody says where your own home has to be!
Home may be where the heart is, but for the purposes of teaching English online, home can be anywhere with a reliable internet connection. Becoming an online English teacher could mean spending the summer, well, wherever you want! It could be as easy as throwing a dart at a map and grabbing your laptop.
Be warned however, that teaching hours are geared toward the convenience of the students in China, so depending on where you choose to set up shop and what timezone it is in, you may be working some odd hours.
Option 3: Teach English in a homestay abroad
Another option when it comes to summer teaching jobs abroad is to stay with a family, receiving room and board in exchange for tutoring them or their children. This is a great chance for a complete cultural immersion, and you might be able to also get some lessons in the local language as part of the exchange.
Social media or local classified websites (think Craigslist or the local equivalent) are a great way to find and negotiate these exchanges yourself (often with the help of Google Translate, because after all, if they spoke English, they wouldn’t need you!) Another good site for homestay English teaching opportunities is Greenheart Travel.
Option 4: Apply for volunteer English teaching opportunities
Okay, so you’re not going to be getting paid for these, but let’s be honest, that university summer job probably isn’t paying you that much either and you can’t put a price on helping to make the world a better place.
There are plenty of opportunities to teach English abroad as a volunteer. Often this will be in a more economically disadvantaged region of the world and will involve teaching English to people who would not otherwise have the chance to learn it. This will result not only in a much different experience for you, in a more off-the-beaten-path destination, but could be life changing for your students, as knowing English could open up a myriad of opportunities for them they might not otherwise have had. A simple Google search will bring up plenty of volunteer positions in all corners of the world, because there is never a shortage of people needing a little help.
Perhaps the only thing better than having an adventure is changing someone else’s life while doing so. Check out Go Overseas for the latest volunteer teaching opportunities.
Whatever option you decide, it would be best to start sorting it out well before summer arrives. Positions might fill up quickly, there will be plane tickets to be bought and maybe even visas to be obtained.
And if teaching English abroad for a summer turns out to be more fun than you expected, why not make it a year round thing? Teach Away is always a great resource regarding more long term teaching opportunities throughout the world. After all, the adventure shouldn’t stop just because summer does. ?