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Five Things You Must Do Before You Even Think About Teaching Abroad

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Teaching abroad can be wonderful. But, it can also be awful! The difference is preparing yourself for it. It's not something you can simply decide to do one day and then be doing it a few weeks later. If you try to go that route, you'll end up having a miserable time and wasting what could be a life-changing experience.

But if you've never done it before, figuring out what you should do can be really hard. Odds are, most of your friends and colleagues won't have experience with it. On the other hand, you don't simply want to wing it.

With that in mind, we want to give you this guide to five things you must do before you think about teaching abroad – unless you want your trip to become a total disaster.

1.    Find out what certificates or qualifications you'll need, and get them. In most cases this means getting a TOEFL or TEFL certificate, though there are some others that you can look for as well. Many schools won't require qualifications, but in general these are not the schools you want to be working at. If a school doesn't care about their teachers' qualifications, they are probably not a particularly good school – and you'll struggle to deal with the other corners they've decided to cut. If you are going to be working in a true international school and not an ESL center, you will need a current teaching license.  Most international schools will require this and it needs to be current.

2.    Don't go broke. This is a common mistake people make. You need to have money saved up before you go teaching abroad. You are going to find yourself facing a lot of unanticipated expenses during your first couple of months there. And you will probably have to wait a month before your first paycheck. At the very least, you want to have enough money saved in the bank so you can quickly fly home in case of a sudden family emergency.

3.    Find a recruiter. Many people try to apply directly to the schools. This can work out OK, but it can also be a huge mistake. A school is going to try to sell itself and appear as good as possible – and hide any flaws. A recruiter, however, will know more about the school and work to find a good match for each educational institution. This means that you'll be much more likely to find the position that works best for you.

4.    Make sure you are physically and mentally healthy. What many people don't realize is that moving abroad for any reason is hard on your mind and body. It requires a lot of adjustments. If you are mentally and physically healthy, this won't be a problem. However, if you are dealing with any mental health issues, the stress could make them worse. And if you are not physically healthy, you could easily injure yourself or become sick because of the stress.

5.    Create a rock-solid resume. The good schools have a lot of competition for jobs. If your resume is clunky or not professional, you will only be considered by sub-prime schools that will not provide you with the educational resources you deserve.

We will add to this list and update it often.

6.  Always try to find out as much information on the school you want to work at before you start the interview process. Check this site and InternationalSchoolReview.com for up to date reviews on schools.  Also, do a google search for the name of your school and the word "review."  By doing research in advance, you will save yourself headaches in the future.

7.  Check to see that the school is accredited and that accreditation is active. Most good international schools will be in good standing by an agency from the USA or UK. 


 cc InternationalEducators.com



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