Sunday, August 9, 2020

What Degree Do I Need to Teach Abroad?

Wow! You're moving to China?

When I tell people I am moving my family to China to teach English, they often wonder a few things: 

  1. Do I speak Mandarin Chinese?
  2. What type of degree do I have?
I Wish I Spoke Mandarin 

I definitely do not speak Mandarin Chinese. Although we are trying to learn some of the language before traveling abroad, I am not a fluent speaker. Right now I can say "hello" and name a few family members. If you are interested in teaching abroad, but are worried that you won't get hired because you don't speak the language, don't worry! Most programs use English Immersion, which means they actually prefer teachers not to speak another language in the classroom. You don't need to learn the language of that country before becoming an English teacher there. 

My Degree is not in Teaching

It may surprise some people, but I don't have a degree in Teaching. I also don't have a degree in English or English as a Second Language. My educational background is Criminology, Psychology, and Counseling. I do have experience working as a personal counselor in a school setting. In one of my previous jobs I facilitated educational groups that taught social skills and substance abuse prevention. I believe my experience working in the school system has been helpful when applying for jobs at schools abroad. 

I have also been an online ESL teacher since April of 2019. The skills I have learned while working as an online teacher have been incredibly helpful. I believe working for a reputable, well known Chinese company has also helped boost my resume. If you are interested in working from home as an ESL teacher with the company I work for, you can find information to apply HERE and message me. I will be happy to help you.

Keep it Legal 

All legal jobs teaching abroad require a bachelor's degree in any subject. So yes, use that Criminology or Theatre degree to be an English teacher! Your bachelor's degree is your ticket to legally teaching abroad. Another thing that schools require is a 120 hour TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. Don't worry, this does not actually take 120 hours to complete. I completed my course online through International Open Academy. The cost was $19 and it took about 4-5 hours to complete every module. 

The course is full of helpful information for teaching another language. Once the course is completed, you can download your certificate for free, or order a certified copy for $26. There are a few different companies that provide this certification. Make sure the company you choose is accredited. You don't want to spend time and money getting a certification that you can't use at your school. So far my TESOL has been accepted at an online company based in China and at the school I am going to work for in Hainan, so I believe International Open Academy to be a reliable, inexpensive option. I have an affiliate link for the 120 Hour TEFL with IOA, you can click HERE to purchase with my link and receive a discount.

Read my Motivational Ad

Sometimes I feel like a walking advertisement for moving abroad because I am so passionate about what we are doing. My ad goes something like this: "Aren't happy with your current lifestyle? Are you stuck in a rut? Do you have dreams of traveling the world? All you need is a bachelor's degree!".  I know it's a little more complicated than that, but I never realized I was already holding such a big piece of what I needed. Do you have dreams of traveling? Maybe you don't have a bachelor's degree. If you started a degree program now, you could be on your way to teaching and traveling in just a few years. My husband doesn't have a bachelor's degree, so this may be one of his goals while we are abroad. This way we can both work overseas if we want to. 

The future is wide open! There are so many places we want to see and explore. Thank you for following our adventure! -Michelle

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