T Nation

teaching english overseas

With the end of my undergraduate degree fast approaching (eep!) I’m looking for something to do that will grant me some cash, yet not strap me down to a career, so I’m think about teaching English overseas for a while (6m-year). I’m just looking for people to relate their experiences, good or bad. And job offers wouldn’t hurt either :slight_smile: Thanks, SPBM

If you do teach english overseas, I would highly recommend teaching in Japan. Just do to the fact that there are so many baseball players out there. And when you come back to the states and you have mastered the Japanese language you can be a inturpetar for a MLB team. Just a suggestion. Thats what the Inturpetor for the NY Yankees did, he went to Japan to teach English for two years now he’s the inturpeter for Mr.Honda. He was also Irbu’s inturpeter…

Do you speak other languages?

I had a friend who went to Milan, Italy to teach for a year and she loved it so much she stayed. She ended up finding someone and last I heard she was considering marriage. The pay wasn’t bad at all, but because the median income is so low, there was no way for her to make any student loan payments. I know that I gave it some serious consideration and in some ways regret I didn’t do it.

I taught English in the PRC for over a year. A great experience! I encourage you to consider a major city and to secure the teaching assignment once there, you can make about five times as much money than signing a contract before you arrive.

Take the time to learn the culture. Make friends with your students. In the classroom, speak English and accept the role of teacher. Outside of the classroom, speak the native language and accept the role of student. Try to get involved in the community. Your students will appreciate the interest and you will improve you linguistic ability.

Shoot for at least a year. It takes six months to establish a routine.

Good luck!

Japan’s definitely a good choice. Gotta sign at a one-year contract, though.

Excellent thread, something of keen interest to me. Is language your major, Buc?

fuck…my handle is a long thing to type.

I'm graduating McGill with a BA in English Literature, and no, I don't speak any foreign lanugages, but from what I've heard, speaking Japanese is not essential to teaching ESL in Japan. I'm primarily interested in travel, culture and money (but not nessicarily in that order), so I'm looking for a position that will accomodate all. So Char...what do kind of salary do you pay in Hiroshima? Wouldn't mind working for a fellow t-man. peace

SPBM: "Puttin' the bomp in the bomp-sha-bomp-sha-bomp since I decided to jack MBE's trademark."

I taught English in PRC, Taiwan and Japan back in the early '80’s. It was a great experience. Spent 3 years in Taiwan/PRC and a year in Japan. The immersion into another culture cannot be duplicated and the understanding of how the language relates to everyday life is not replaceable…puts you heads above those who only learn the language in the classroom then translate documents basically blind…

Look at the JET program for teaching english overseas. It’s the best one out there and they take real good care of you (and it’s organized by the Canadian and Japanese gvmnts). The pay is pretty good at $30,500US or $46,900CDN (after taxes). All that you have to pay out of this money is your living expenses and insurances etc. If you can find a buddy to room with it’s even better (split the rent)! http://www.mofa.go.jp/ j_info/visit/jet/apply.html
and while your there might as well sample the locals…uhm I mean the experience the asian sensation!


If you’re looking at going the Asian route, you may also be able to subsidize your income teaching SAT/TOEFL/GMAT prep classes – especially in Japan. I used to work for The Princeton Review and as I recall they paid quite well and also subsidized housing for teachers over there. I believe you might have to teach here for awhile first though.

BTW, how have you managed to go through university at McGill and not pick up French? Or perhaps you're not considering that a "foreign language"?

Good luck. Peace. Out.

Regarding French: There are not many things (that I take seriously) that make me feel stupid, and not becoming fluent in French is one of them. I can scrape by, but do not consider myself bilingual by any means. The thing is, for what its worth, French is not a necessity. McGill is an English institution, and bars, resturants, stores etc are bilingual, and it has been my experience that if you speak shitty French, you will be replied to in English.

The thing is, I stopped taking French in high school after grade 10, and remember thinking "its not like I'll even live in Montreal". Moron.


I’ve thought about it often, I wish you good luck- and maybe I’ll join you abroad someday. Anyway, do not, I repeat do not accept any assignments to a small town. My college buddy taught 1 year in Japan in a small town and had a horrible experience. Bored out of his gourd, nothing to do, no place to go, very few available women, and he stuck out of the crowd (6’4, 240) everywhere he went. he couldn’t afford a car, and the nearest city was 2 hours by train. Unless you plan to do a lot of meditation/soul-searching or a lot of landscapes, stay away from the small towns.

Or unless you actually plan on learning the language. Then a small town is great…