Teach Abroad FAQ
Have questions about teaching abroad? Check out our FAQ below - we've got the answers!
Teach Abroad Requirements
The minimum requirements to teach abroad vary depending on what subject you’re looking to teach. We have a handy quiz to help you figure out which teaching job abroad is right for you over on our blog. To qualify for the majority of English teaching jobs abroad, basic requirements include a Bachelor’s degree (in any subject area) as well as an ESL qualification, such as TEFL certification. For more advice on teaching English abroad, visit our ESL jobs information page. If you have a Bachelor’s degree as well as a teaching license in your home country, you qualify for certified or licensed teacher positions, teaching your subjects to students anywhere from Kindergarten to Grade 12. To find out more, visit our licensed teacher jobs and K12 jobs pages. If you have a Bachelor’s degree, teaching license and a graduate degree, you may qualify for leadership and administrative positions as well as a wide range of certified teacher or ESL instructor positions. Check out our school administrator jobs page for more information.
The minimum requirement to teach abroad is a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited and internationally recognized university. This is not to say, however, that teachers without a degree do not continue to be hired for teaching jobs abroad, but that they will face a higher level of competition.
A certified teacher has a recognized teaching qualification or license awarded by an Education school or local governing body. An ESL certification is not a teaching license. Visit our blog post on teaching licenses and credentials to find out more.
UAE is one of our most popular teaching destinations overseas! Typically, candidates who are interested in applying to teach in the UAE should have a valid teaching license and at least 1 - 2 years of full-time certified teaching experience. For more on what constitutes teaching experience, check out our blog post on the topic. Some of our recruitment partners in the Abu Dhabi Education Council, UAE Government Schools and the Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute. As each job posting has its own set of requirements, we highly recommend you to pay close attention to the postings and the minimum requirements listed. Do keep in mind that schools might change their minimum requirements at any time and for that we always recommend our teachers to keep an eye on our job board.
Job requirements are established by our international partners and are the minimum requirements that must be met to be considered for a teaching position. Any qualifications that are preferred (rather than strictly required) will be noted as such.
Don’t worry! Our job board is updated daily with new teaching positions, including online teaching jobs. We recommend you create a Teacher profile and continue checking our job board frequently for the latest job opportunities. That way, you’ll be ready to apply for new positions with just a click, so you don’t miss out on landing your next great teaching job! We also encourage you to sign up for job alerts by email from Teach Away, so you’re always the first to know about new openings that match your qualifications and experience.
Absolutely! If you are a fluent English speaker, and meet the relevant job requirements, we welcome you to apply. English does not have to be your first language, but most of our schools will require native proficiency in the English language.
Any time! Teach Away recruits for teaching positions year round. The application process also allows you to indicate when you are available to begin a teaching job abroad.
We welcome teaching couples and friends who are looking to teach abroad together. It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that placement together is never guaranteed. Your best option would be to apply to the same positions and to mention to your Teach Away Placement Coordinator that you are a teaching couple or that you are applying with a friend. Please be advised that if you are not married, you will not be able to live together in some countries.
You can address your cover letter as follows: “To whom it may concern”. For the initial application, a generic cover letter will suffice. Should we require a more specific cover letter, we will request this from you.
First, you will need to create a profile with Teach Away. After you have created your profile, you will be able to apply directly for jobs by simply clicking the "Apply" button. Once you’ve submitted a job application, it’s over to our Placement Coordinators to review your application! They will then contact you if you are being considered for an initial interview around 1 - 3 days later. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we can only reply to candidates who are being considered to move forward. You can check the status of your application at any point in the application process by clicking the "My Jobs" tab in your teacher dashboard.
While browsing our job board, you may have noticed jobs that are labeled "Direct to School Jobs." For these positions, you won’t be contacted by a Placement Coordinator - the hiring school will be in touch with you directly if they would like to consider you for an interview!
Yes. We recommend that you apply for all jobs that interest you and check our job board regularly for new opportunities.
Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.
You will need to apply directly to the positions that interest you. All applications must come through the Teach Away website and your teacher account in a professional manner. We will not accept applications otherwise submitted. For more advice, check out the Application Help section on our teach abroad resources page, under the Prospective Teachers tab.
Teach Away receives many applications for each posting. As a result, it can take anywhere from 1 - 2 weeks for our Placement Coordinators to review your application. They will get in touch with you if you are selected for an initial interview within 4 days to a week. Do keep in mind that you are able to see the status of your application from your dashboard, so we recommend that you check back there to find out the latest updates to your application. Status updates include: “Submitted”, “Under review”, “Attempting contact” or “Closed”.
If you've come across a position that you cannot apply to, we first recommend that you make sure that you've checked the following four steps are complete:
You're logged in to your teacher account.
Your browser is updated to its latest version.
You're applying through a secure internet connection.
The position is listed as "Open".
If you're still having trouble applying to the open position and you meet the minimum requirements listed, simply copy the link and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will look into the issue for you!
This one’s easy peasy! If you have forgotten your password, simply request a replacement password through the password reset page. All you have to do is enter your email address and follow the instructions.
A certified teacher has a recognized teaching qualification or license awarded by an education school, teacher preparation program, teacher’s college or local governing body. An ESL certification does not qualify as a valid teaching license. For more information, please read our blog post.
The most important sections to have completed are your teaching qualifications, teaching experience and your resume. Other information, such as references, are important to have completed and will strengthen your profile, however these not necessary in the early stages of your application.
You can check the status of your application from your profile at any time. Do keep in mind that for “Direct to School” jobs, all communication is directly with the school and application updates will not be available through your profile.
A “closed” posting could mean one of the following:
- The position has been filled.
- There’s already a selection of candidates moving forward in the application process.
- You didn’t meet the qualifications for the position.
- The position has been removed at the discretion of the employer.
You should aim to apply for several jobs that you meet the requirements for, while keeping an open mind as to the location you’d like to teach in. Applying for multiple positions will greatly increase your chances of being hired for a teaching job abroad.
Our job board is easy to use - simply filter by location, position, grade and subject matter! You can also check out our featured jobs near the top of the job board.
New positions are added daily to our job board. We always recommend all our teachers to check the job board regularly and apply to the positions that interest them.
Airfare & Transportation
Whether airfare is included will depend on the school or position to which you are applying. You can find this information under the “Job Benefits” section of the job posting.
Some schools abroad will provide return airfare, some will only provide one-way airfare, and some will require successful candidates to pay for their own flight. You will be able to discuss this further once you connect with your Placement Coordinator if you are chosen for an initial interview.
Most schools will arrange for a representative to greet you at the airport upon your arrival. In the unlikely case that your school cannot meet you at the airport, Teach Away will assist you with transportation to your accommodation.
Salary & Benefits
Use this free online salary calculator to see how much you could earn teaching abroad in specific locations based on your qualifications and experience.
To find out which countries pay teachers the most, check out our post on the top-paying teaching destinations abroad.
It's also worth bearing in mind that salaries vary from school to school and country to country. It's important to remember that although some countries have a much higher average salary than others, the cost of living in that country is probably higher as well. Also, while some countries may appear to have a much lower teaching salary than you may be used to, the cost of living in these countries is usually considerably lower.
Benefits, like salaries, can vary greatly from position to position. Many benefits packages include some - or even all - of the following:
- Round-trip airfare
- Paid national holidays
- Overtime at an increased pay rate
- Health benefits
- Allowances (relocation and transportation)
- Family benefits (flight, accommodation, health insurance)
- Contract completion bonus
Each country has very specific laws governing how foreign workers are taxed. In most countries, local taxes will be deducted from your paycheck and then at the conclusion of your employment, a percentage of your taxes will be refunded to you. The percentage of taxes returned varies widely depending on the country where you are working.
Heads up for our US teachers abroad: to find out more about paying taxes abroad, check out our tax tips blog for Americans living abroad.
You may be required to pay for a percentage of your local health insurance and pension plan. The percentage of the deduction will depend on the country that you are working in, but this will be clearly outlined in your contract prior to your departure.
Many schools provide or subsidize housing and those that do not will often assist you in finding a suitable place to rent and live.
Accommodation benefits differ from school to school and country to country. For example, the majority of our Korean and UAE placements include a private, furnished apartment. In other countries, if shared accommodation is provided, it will be shared with other teachers. In this case, you will have your own room, but will share common areas such as the kitchen, living room, bathroom and laundry facilities.
At minimum, you're entitled to be paid for national holidays that fall within your working schedule. Vacation time varies depending on your employer and the vacation policies of the country you'll be working in. It’s important to note that in many countries, teachers receive less vacation time than an average North American teacher.
Each contract varies regarding sick leave. In most cases, you will need to let your employer know as soon as possible that you are not able to work. You may also be required to submit a doctor's note.
The schools we work with all have different policies. For instance, many schools in Asia are not legally required to compensate staff for sick days. However, many schools will allow you a certain number of sick days per year, while others have a system in place that allows you to work with your colleagues to ensure that your classes are covered.
Many schools provide or subsidize housing, and those that do not will often assist you in finding a suitable place to live.
When traveling and living overseas, it’s always a good idea to have your own private health insurance plan. We suggest that you purchase a health insurance plan with coverage for the duration of your entire stay. Health benefits are often included overseas teaching contracts, but we still strongly recommend a private plan.
Most countries will require you to have a medical check before you can be issued a visa or work permit. Even if you are not required to get one, we strongly advise that you visit your family practitioner for a general check up before you leave for your time abroad. You should also ask your doctor about any specific immunizations or medications that you may need for your travel region.
For most countries, you will need to apply for and obtain a work visa prior to your departure. Teach Away will assist you in your visa application process. If you are concerned about your eligibility, we would advise you to visit the Embassy or Consulate websites of the countries you are interested in visiting to ensure you qualify for a working visa. Teach Away, unfortunately does not have control over any visa restrictions a country may have.
Work visas vary by country. It can be issued as a card, or a page or stamp affixed to your passport.
If you successfully obtain a teaching position with one of our partner schools, Teach Away will assist you through your visa application process.
In most cases, teachers are responsible for the costs of obtaining a work visa and related or authenticated documentation.
Visas can take anything from few weeks to over a month to be processed. This depends on a number of factors, including the country where you will be working, the time of year, the type of visa, etc. Your Placement Coordinator will be happy to provide more detailed information during the application process. Do make sure to connect with them if you have any questions or concerns!
Jobs on the Teach Away job board usually require candidates to participate in an initial pre-screen phone interview with a Teach Away Placement Coordinator, who will help you move forward with the application process.
Got more questions about Teach Away’s pre-screen process? We’ve covered everything you need to know about phone interviews with Teach Away Placement Coordinators over on our blog.
Once you’ve moved beyond the pre-screening phase, you will need to interview with the hiring school. These interviews take place in a variety of formats, depending on the school. For some schools, a Skype interview will suffice, while others require an in-person interview. For more interview advice, check out our interview tips and techniques or our blog on successfully preparing for your international teaching job interview.
In-person interviews are usually held in a regional hub city in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
While you are required to cover your own travel costs to and from an in-person interview, the chances of being hired at an in-person interview is higher (Teach Away has a 65 - 75% in-person interview hire rate). It’s worth keeping an eye out for job postings with in-person interviews closer to you or consider alternatives to flying, where possible.
We list all of our upcoming interview sessions on our events page, which is updated regularly. Please note that in-person interviews are by invitation-only events, so you will need to apply to the job opening first and go through the usual pre-screening process with a Teach Away Placement Coordinator.
Before you start your new job abroad, Teach Away is committed to making sure that you’re well prepared for your new teaching job abroad. Your Placement Coordinator will provide you with all the information you need to know about your new school and country. You'll also be invited to attend live information sessions online where we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting started with your new life abroad! You can join our forum where you'll meet other teachers who'll be joining you on the same, or similar, programs. For lots of helpful tips and advice, check out the “Pre-departure Teachers” tab on the teach abroad resources page.
Cost for Teachers
Absolutely not! We’re 100% committed to providing a free recruitment service for our teachers.