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International Job Guide

Step-by-step guide to overseas teaching

For the best results in teaching overseas, we suggest the following sequence of activities:

  1. Start the process early. Review jobs for teaching overseas on and begin contacting schools in November for employment the following September.
  2. If you are interested in teaching abroad in one or two countries only, write directly to schools located in these regions. Forward your resume, cover letter, transcripts and at least two letters of recommendation.
  3. Try to determine as soon as possible the international teaching job you are qualified for by reviewing the ads on TIEonline or other publications for teaching overseas mentioned previously. If you find a good option to teach abroad, send a cover letter, resume, two letters of recommendation and your university transcripts. Also indicate when and where you will be available for an interview. Most administrators take the view that letters of recommendation from school supervisors are dramatically over-inflated. Most have become quite adept at reading between the lines and ferreting out subtle reservations. Successful applicants in teaching overseas usually produce very strong letters of recommendation, indicating for example whether the recommender would place the candidate in the top 10 percent, 25 percent or 50 percent of teachers with whom he or she has worked. For these recommendations to be accorded validity, they should be sent out on a confidential basis.
  4. After writing to securing information on services and fees, register with one or more of the private agencies of universities that specialize in teaching overseas in international schools. Then select the organization that seems most suited to your needs, taking into consideration which fair will be easiest for you to attend. Register for at least one recruitment fair for teaching overseas and request information a month or two prior to the fair regarding how many schools are seeking candidates with the qualifications and experience you offer.
  5. If a school wants to interview you at a recruitment fair for teaching overseas, by all means register for this fair. Once registered, you can arrange to have other interviews as well for teaching overseas.
  6. Once the fair has ended, if you do not receive an offer to teach abroad shortly afterwards, don't give up. Inquire about new international teaching jobs that appear daily on and in TIE and other newspapers. Call or FAX a school where you have a strong interest. Keep checking, as there are a significant number of jobs for teaching overseas that open up between June and September. If you are traveling, pay a visit to any school where you might be interested in working.

Remember that many international educators report finding their first job teaching overseas only during their second year of effort.

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