Yesterday, the article about Eliane came out, telling her amazing story of teaching English around the world through Airline ESL, Business English, and TESOL Teacher Training.
Today, Eliane has agreed to share with us all the super-useful processes and resources that she recommends to launch or further a career in Teaching-Traveling.
This advice is useful for finding teaching gigs around the world, as well as in the specific countries of Brazil and Canada, where Eliane has done extensive work. Take it away, Eliane!
Eliane: I have quite a few tips and suggestions which worked for me, so I’ll just list them here.
1. Take the time to think about why you want to travel and where you want to go. Then RESEARCH!!
2. Be prepared. Take a TESOL, CELTA, TEFL or TESL in class or online program. There are many programs and formats that range from 1 week to a year or even to a Master in Education program. The most important thing is to think of yourself, your personality and which format works better for you.
3. Get the right VISA to enter the country and know the rules!!!!
4. Get a passport, a bit of cash and traveller’s cheques, an international debit bank card, an international driver’s license (this can be your ID). Also get medical insurance!!! Don’t ever carry your passport with you. Stuff happens. I was in Florence and second last day of my trip, I was in a hurry to go out and ended up forgetting to take my passport out of my purse… not a good ending… wallet was stolen probably in the bus and I never felt a thing and then it took me around 5 months to get all the documents again.
5. When you know the country you want to go to, research the web for teaching jobs and ask in different blogs and forums about the country and the company you would like to work for. I will list some schools below that are actually great schools to work for.
6. Regardless of having experience in teaching or not, be professional, arrive on time, prepare your classes!
7. Volunteer as a teacher in your country to get some experience and ask them if you can do a practicum at their school.
8. If you leave your country with a signed contract, be sure to read all the details.
9. Learn some of the basic language of the country where you’re going to. You can get the Berlitz pocket books. They’re a great resource.
10. As a teacher, always have a good dictionary on you. If you have a laptop, you can use the online dictionary.
Here are some organizations and schools you can check out:
A) Chamber of Commerce: a very resourceful organization in all countries.
B) In Canada:
- Be a supply teacher in different colleges or universities. They usually have an ESL department and their continuing education or extension programs have separate ESL programs.
- If you have some experience in teaching and want to teach Business Communication, The Trend School is the top company in this market segment.
- Universities have extension programs and continuing education programs that are partnerships with language schools and held privately. Contact them as you can also teach in these programs.
If you are interested in teaching English for Specific Purposes:
- Ask yourself which market you are interested in.
- Research the country and city you are going to for the companies you can approach; call or email and ask them if they have a language department or if they would be interested in setting up a program within the company.
- Prepare yourself – this area requires a proactive approach and it also requires you to have meetings, define company’s and participant’s needs so you can design a program, select or develop materials and so forth.
- Regardless of the market niche you choose to pursue, be sure to read news and magazines to keep yourself informed but also to spot trends which lead to opportunities.
- Network, get out and meet people, enroll in a course (any type of course to practice the local language).
- Don’t hang around only foreigners; you have chosen to move to that country so make sure you make friends with locals and get to know the culture, the language and its people.
- Don’t do or try any drugs as the laws in different countries are extremely strict and at times drastic.
- Enjoy yourself and have fun!
- Be flexible, be open as the first three months you will feel like a tourist but right after you may experience culture shock as it hits you that you are now residing in that country and life is different when you are a resident and not a tourist.
- Take time to travel as it opens up a whole new world and changes you – I had the opportunity to travel to France, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Canada, Brazil, Thailand, China, Korea, Japan, Mexico all due to teaching and traveling… great fun, great places to find yourself and meet so many amazing people along the way.
- LIVE & TAKE TIME TO ENJOY BEING THERE!!!!! This is what you take with you, the experience, the people and a part of you that you have either rediscovered or discovered!
Three last things!
1. When choosing the country you want to live in, take time to reflect on what you like and don’t like, what you’re willing to compromise, what type of cultures are easier for you to live in and what type of teaching experience you want.
2. Do your research, get all documents, shots, funds and clothes for your trip. Scan all your documents and email them to yourself so you have it on file in case anything happens. Trust me it comes in handy.
3. If you are going to pursue English for specific purposes, visit our website as we are focused on bringing practical tools and solultions for global teachers and we provide three teacher training programs that can prepare you for specialized segments.
Finally, here is my personal consulting website for teachers wanting to take the next step and teach in specialized areas: TiESP 360° T&D Solutions.
Teaching Traveling: Thanks so much, Eliane! Readers, what questions or comments do you have?