Thinking about teaching English abroad? That’s a great shout, and from experience, it’s an awesome way to dip your toe in the living abroad waters. There are lots of great ways to find move-abroad teaching gigs, but one of the best ways is to check out government programs with English teaching jobs abroad.
There are a ton of pros and cons to jumping on an English teaching government program which I’ll dive into later, but there are quite a few different options and locations to choose from if you’re thinking of taking this path.
From all-inclusive compensation packages to part-time work gigs so you can explore new countries, there’s a lot to love about these nine government programs with English teaching jobs abroad. Let’s dive in and find out more!
8 Government Programs with English Teaching Jobs Abroad
So, whether you want to immerse yourself in European culture or want to dive into living in Asia or South America, there are a whole host of teaching abroad options open to you!
France’s Teaching Assistant Program
Want to live the Parisian fantasy or spend a year among vineyards or on tropical beaches? If you can speak at least a bit of French, then you can apply for France’s Teaching Assistant Program.
What’s cool about this program is you don’t have to actually work in France if you don’t want to. You can work in Reunion, Guadeloupe, Tahiti, Martinique, and a whole variety of other French overseas departments and dependencies.
On this program, you’ll work around 12 hours per week and you’ll get 790 Euros or $920 per month to help with expenses. This allowance is higher if you’re on the program outside of France because the islands and dependencies often have a higher cost of living that you’ll have to deal with.
You’ll also need to find your own place to stay, but the program has some resources to help you find your way.
Spain’s Language and Culture Assistant Program
As one of the most popular English-teaching government programs in the world, Spain’s Language and Culture Assistant Program, or Auxiliares de Conversación, hires people to improve their English conversational skills as teaching assistants.
You’ll work on a part-time basis, with specific days and hours depending on the actual school, and get paid around 700 Euros ($815) per month. Although that doesn’t sound like a whole lot, you can pick up a side job or tutor people on the side while you’re out there.
Also, depending on where you are in Spain, you might be able to live on a budget pretty easily. Obviously, if you’re in Barcelona or Madrid, you’re going to need a second job or to save a ton before you head out.
This program allows you to choose whether you’d prefer to work in a primary or secondary school, and whereabouts in Spain you’d like to live, although neither of these are a given. You’ll also need to find your own place to live, but this program has been going on for a while, so there are a ton of forums and online groups to help you find a place.
I‘ve lived abroad for many years and love helping others find work abroad and figure out their “Move Abroad Plan.” Check out my class below to get you started ASAP!
Georgia’s Teach and Learn Program
To be honest, this is one of the lowest-paid programs on this list, but there is a lot of support while you’re in beautiful Georgia. In fact, Georgia is creating a pretty great reputation for itself as a digital nomad nation, so there are quite a few expats around.
The Teach and Learn program matches you up with a local host family for your accommodation and pays for your medical insurance and flights to and from your home country at the start and end of your contract. You’ll work as an assistant in a local school and receive around $300 a month as a stipend during the process.
Japan’s Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program
Looking to spend the year in Japan? Check out Japan’s JET Program. It’s one of the more competitive English teaching programs, and you need to apply way ahead of time.
You need to apply around October and November for interviews at the embassies in February and confirmation in April or May.
There are three different roles that you can choose from on this program, which makes it a little different from the rest. You can choose to be an assistant English teacher, a coordinator for international relations, or a sports exchange advisor.
So, you can teach English, introduce a popular sport from your country, or take more of a diplomatic, cultural role.
Korea’s English Program in Korea (EPIK)
If you’re looking for a full-time teach-abroad position, then you definitely have to check out Korea’s English Program in Korea, otherwise known as EPIK. In this program, you’ll get a full year-long contract that is eight hours a day, five days a week.
It’s actually one of the most well-paid programs in the world because teachers are so well-respected throughout Korea. As well as getting your salary, you’ll have your accommodation included a bonus of $1,440 upon arrival, and bonuses of around $2,970 when you finish up your contract.
Even though the bonuses and salary for this program are incredible, it’s an intense workload that means you might not have a whole lot of time to explore the country and have the more travel-centric experience that other programs offer.
Hungary’s Central European Teaching Program (CETP)
This is a pretty cool opportunity if you’ve completed your TEFL qualification or have finished your undergraduate degree and want to live in beautiful and historic Hungary. The Central European Teaching Program (CETP) basically sets you up with local schools to work as a fully-fledged English teacher. For this, you’ll need around 20 hours of teaching experience before you travel.
Even though you have to pay a program fee to join, your salary is going to be the same as your Hungarian co-workers – including paid holiday – and you’ll get all your accommodation, bills, insurance, airport transfers, and more. If that wasn’t good enough, you also won’t have to pay income tax, and you can get a letter deferring any student loan payments while you’re there.
Chile’s English Open Doors Volunteer Program
Fancy spending a few months to a year in Chile? Check out the English Open Doors Volunteer Program. So, as the name suggests, it is directed at people who want to volunteer in Chile, rather than those who need to earn a living.
That being said, you get $100 per month, as well as your food and accommodation sorted with a local family, transport to and from the school, and back to and from Santiago at the start and end of your contract, and you’ll even get your health insurance included. Considering it’s listed as a volunteer program, that’s actually a pretty great deal!
Czech Republic’s Academic Information Agency
If you’ve got your TEFL certification or you’ve studied an English-related degree at college or university, you might be eligible for the Czech Republic’s Academic Information Agency. This essentially partners you with local schools to teach or help out as a teaching assistant.
It’s a pretty lucrative deal. You’ll work around 24 hours a week, so essentially a four-day work week, and you’ll get between $900 and $1,360 per month, which is plenty considering the Czech Republic’s low cost of living. If you need a hand finding a place to stay, the schools can normally help you find accommodation nearby.
UAE Government Schools
Upfront you need to have a CELTA qualification or two years of teaching experience for this one! You can find government schools all over the United Arab Emirates, from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and beyond, full of international teachers and students.
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive remuneration package, this program offers return flights, tax-free salaries, accommodation, utilities, health insurance, and more. It’s a great option if you want to be surrounded by futuristic buildings, high-end luxury, and amazing beach clubs in the middle of the desert.
Pros and Cons of Government English Teaching Programs Abroad
So, now that you know the different destinations and program information, let’s quickly dive into the pros and cons of joining Government English Teaching Programs Abroad.
Okay, let’s start off with all the good stuff – and there are plenty of benefits to get you excited about these programs!
Most Don’t Require Formal English Teaching Qualifications
Although a couple of places prefer some experience or a TEFL qualification, the majority of these government English teaching programs don’t require any formal teaching certifications. So, if you’re not sure about becoming a teacher, you can test the waters before committing to another big pile of student loans and years of study!
Travel the World and Earn Money Part-time
Who doesn’t want to see the world and get some well-earned money at the same time? Although a lot of these programs don’t pay amazingly well, they do give you time off to explore your new temporary home, which is a huge bonus.
You can always supplement your income with a part-time gig or extra tutoring hours on the side.
Visas are Included
As these are government-backed initiatives, all of these programs have working visas included as standard. This is a huge plus because visas are often a massive hassle especially when it comes to work visas where you need sponsorship from a school or business.
Immersive Cultural Experience
One of the best parts about living abroad is being exposed and immersed in a whole new culture. You can learn more about other communities and how other people like to live their lives, which is a massively important thing that everyone should do at some point in their lives.
It’s such a worthwhile experience and one that’ll stay with you long after you come back home!
In-built Social Circle with Other Program Participants
Something that’s often tricky when you move to a new country is making friends who know what you’re going through. As there are a few program participants in each school, town, city, or region, there is an in-built expat social circle that you can hang out with and lean on while you’re out there.
Many programs also organize day trips and excursions for their participants, So, you can meet other English teachers and teaching assistants who have been assigned to other towns and cities, which is pretty cool too!
Some Include Housing and Flights
Depending on which program and destination you choose, you might also benefit from free flights and accommodation included in your compensation package. This is an awesome bonus because flights are undoubtedly one of the most expensive parts of traveling and living abroad.
Having accommodation included is not only a great way to save money while you’re abroad, but it also saves a lot of stress. When you land in a new country, even on an organized program, it can be overwhelming. Not having to find accommodation is one less thing to worry about!
So, now we’ve gone through all the different benefits of government programs with English teaching jobs abroad, let’s have a quick look at some of the downsides. You’re going to want to consider both sides before you commit to a program!
Some programs have been called unorganized from time to time, especially the part-time ones. That’s because some schools only require a day or two of work per week, while some in the same program require four days a week.
This sometimes causes some resentment between participants who think they’re having to do way more work for the same level of stipend and don’t have as much free time as the others.
Not Super Flexible on Location
Even though you can request a region or preferred location on some of the government programs, you can’t actually choose where you go. All assignments are on a first-come-first-served basis and can’t be changed.
So, you might want all the city flash of Paris but end up in a small town in Normandy. Maybe you want to be in a small town in Spain and end up in the much more expensive Valencia. This can be super frustrating when you’re waiting for a specific placement.
Unfortunately, none of these programs are permanent and last anywhere from a couple of months to one year. After which, you’re going to need to find another job or switch your visa type in order to stay in another country.
If you’re looking to start your expat journey, this is just a stepping stone and not a permanent solution. It’s honestly not super likely that you’ll be offered a job by your host school as they’ll be keeping spaces free for the next year’s cohort.
Not the Best Pay
With the exception of Korea’s EPIK program, a lot of the government programs don’t pay that well and you’ll either need to save up or get another job while you’re in your new country. This can be a barrier for a lot of people, especially as the cost of living is going up all around the world.
How to Find Other English Teaching Jobs Abroad
If these programs aren’t speaking to you, there are plenty of other options out there to teach English abroad.
There are private companies and programs that offer comprehensive placement services with a job, accommodation, visas, flights, and more.
However, these do tend to come with pretty hefty program fees upfront. This is the main difference between government programs and private ones. If you want to have more options around locations and have more benefits included in your compensation package, going private might be the way to go.
One of the most popular ways to teach abroad is by joining a TEFL program. TEFL, or teaching English as a foreign language, is one of the most recognizable international teaching certificates and a huge bonus to any teaching CV.
In fact, some government programs require TEFL qualifications as a prerequisite, so this could be a stepping stone that way too! These TEFL programs are designed to provide teacher training on the job in exotic locations, and some of them even guarantee a job abroad at the end of your program period.
Work Online as a Digital Teacher
If the last few years have taught us anything it’s that you can do so many professions remotely, allowing you to live anywhere in the world! Teaching might not seem like the ideal remote career, but there are so many online teaching and tutoring companies that are always looking for new talent.
All you need is a laptop with a microphone and camera, and a stable WiFi connection and you can be a digital teacher from pretty much anywhere in the world. With so many digital nomad visas now available, it’s never been easier to move abroad to teach online. It gives you a ton of flexibility to set your own hours and explore the world at the same time.
Some digital teaching companies might require a TEFL, CELTA, or degree, but not all of them, so check out which ones might work best for you.