Photo courtesy of Ashley Lulling.
Thousands of English speakers aspire to teach overseas and while it's possible to organize a job directly through an employer, many find it beneficial to have the support of an organized program, especially during their first experience. Here are four reasons joining a program like InterExchange could make sense for you:
1. In-Country Support from Our Partners
InterExchange has a partner in each country we offer a program. Their job is to support you and provide guidance about living, working and teaching in your host country. If you have a problem and need assistance, you have a team to provide guidance and mediation, if necessary. They’ll go over your contract with you, which will clearly outline your working hours and responsibilities.
Photo courtesy of InterExchange's partner in China.
2. Placement at a Vetted School and Accommodation
Our partner has relationships with the schools where we place participants. They’ve ensured that the school is able to take on a native English teacher and provide a professional experience. InterExchange takes preferences like grade-level and location into consideration when finding your school placement (though schools do prefer some flexibility).
Free accommodation is provided on all of our Teach English programs, so you don’t have to worry about finding a place to live or paying rent! On our Teaching Assistant programs, our in-country partners vet the host families and ensure participants are placed in safe environments. Could you find a host family on your own? Sure, but wouldn’t you rather live with a family that’s been screened?
You may earn a bit less than native English teachers who do not come through a program, but they may have to pay rent and find their own accommodation and they most likely did not have an orientation.
In addition, the majority of housing on InterExchange programs is within close proximity to your school. We want you to spend your time forging relationships, exploring your new home and growing as a teacher—not commuting!
3. Pre-Departure Support & Orientations
Moving abroad can be overwhelming. There are many things to consider—visas, flights, paying bills back home, travel health insurance, immunizations and so on. Our team at InterExchange is here to answer your questions and provide guidance about moving abroad to teach. Every staff member has lived and worked abroad, so we understand the challenges of such sojourns.
Our Teach English programs in Chile, China, Thailand and Vietnam include orientations to help acclimate you to your new home and prepare you for teaching English. TEFL certifications are helpful and required for many of our programs, but it’s at orientation where you’ll learn the nuances of teaching English in YOUR specific host country. Chilean students can be very different from Chinese students. At orientation you’ll hear from native English teachers who have been working in these countries. They’ll give you tips and advice.
Photo courtesy of James Bridge.
4. Program Fees go into the Program
As a non-profit, almost all of InterExchange’s fees go into our programs—the pre-departure support, orientations, and the school and host family placement process. We care about each of our participants and offer the opportunity for them to reflect deeply about their cultural exchange experience (and build their resume!) through our Ambassador Blog Program. We also offer alumni resources, such as our Language Exchange Program.
Is a teaching program for everyone? Of course not. Though if it’s your first time teaching abroad and/or your first time in the host country, a program can provide the support and guidance to give you peace of mind.
Read more about our Teach English Abroad programs and become part of a community building cross-cultural understanding.
Photo courtesy of James Bridge.