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The Best Government Programs For Teaching English Abroad

The Best Government Programs For Teaching English Abroad | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Teaching English abroad is now a popular career option for many people of all ages. While there is a strong demand for TEFL certified teachers in many different regions of the world, there are certain countries who have implemented government-funded programs to attract foreign English teachers. Through these programs, qualified English teachers are placed into schools around their countries where they are employed for a set period of time. Here is a list of the best government programs for teaching English abroad.

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EPIK for Teaching English in South Korea

The EPIK program in South Korea is one of the largest and most popular teaching programs and stands for “English Program in Korea”. This scheme is run by the South Korean government and places foreign teachers into schools across the country to work as English language instructors. The program offers competitive salaries, attractive extra benefits and the chance to live and work in a unique cultural environment in East Asia.

Requirements and More Information About the Program:

  • Teachers sign a one-year contract that runs from one of two start dates, either the end of February or the end of August.
  • Salary based on qualifications and experience ranging from 1.8 to 2.7 million KRW (currently 1,500 to 2,300 USD) per month.
  • Fully furnished accommodation (not including utilities).
  • Paid airfare in and out of the country.
  • 300,000 KRW settlement allowance.
  • 18 days paid leave plus all national holidays.
  • One month salary bonus on completion of contract.
  • You must be a native English speaker with a passport from one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.K, or the U.S.
  • You must hold a university degree and be able to prove a clean criminal record.

In addition, you also require at least one of the following:* TEFL/TESOL certification of 100 hours or more (preference is given to those with a teaching practice component).* BA or MA Degree in Education with a major in teaching, TESOL, second language studies, or education.* Teaching license gained in your home country.* One year of full time teaching experience.

How to Apply

To apply for this scheme, please visit the official EPIK website.

TaLK for Teaching English in South Korea

TaLK stands for “Teach and Learn in Korea”, which is a government sponsored-program that places foreign nationals into elementary schools across South Korea. TaLK is a similar program to the much larger EPIK; however, the TaLK Program differs by focusing on placements in underprivileged areas that might otherwise struggle to attract foreign teachers.

Requirements and More Information About the Program:

  • Open to college graduates or current undergraduate students who have completed at least two years of a degree course.
  • Applicants must also hold a passport from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or Ireland.
  • Minimum age requirement is 19; but no official upper age limit, although those over 35 are typically encouraged to join the EPIK Program instead.
  • A national criminal record check must be submitted during the application process.
  • Participants sign a one-year contract that starts in either February or August. Prior to the start date there is a one-month orientation program.
  • A monthly stipend of KRW 1.5 million (currently USD 1,300) per month.
  • Furnished accommodation, typically a studio apartment (not including utilities).
  • Flight allowance of KRW 2.6 Million to cover transport in and out of the country.
  • Settlement allowance of KRW 300,000.
  • Seven vacation days per semester.
  • Medical insurance coverage.

How to Apply:

To apply, please visit the official TaLK Program website.

JET for Teaching English in Japan

The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) is a government backed scheme that has been operating for more than 30 years. Through the scheme, around 5,000 foreign nationals are placed into schools right across Japan with the intention of raising the language skills of young people. Unlike many similar programs in other countries, the JET Program also has a strong focus on cultural exchange between participants and the local population.

There are three types of position available through the program. The most common, at over 90% of applicants, is working as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT). Duties of an ALT include assisting a Japanese teacher in the classroom, preparing teaching materials, and participating in extracurricular activities such as sports or language clubs. If you have a good standard of Japanese language skills then you can also apply as a Coordinator of International Relations (CIR), while sports professionals can apply for the role of Sports Exchange Advisor (SEA).

Requirements and More Information About the Program:

  • Open to college graduates up to the age of 40.
  • A minimum of a bachelor's degree or alternatively a three year teaching qualification at either primary or secondary level.
  • Strong emphasis on youthful energy and a desire to fully embrace the Japanese culture, language, and overall way of life.
  • Pre-tax salary of 280,000 JPY (currently $25,000 USD) in your first year, plus airfares for travel to Japan and homeward flight on completion of the contract.
  • Paid holiday time between 10 and 20 days, plus all national holidays.
  • Working hours are approximately 35 per week from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

How to Apply:

Visit the official JET Program website to apply for the JET program.

TAPIF for Teaching English in France

The TAPIF Program, short for Teaching Assistant Program in France, is a government initiative that places applicants into French state schools to work as teaching assistants. The program provides a great opportunity to live and work in a country where long-stay visas can be difficult to secure for non-EU citizens. For those who meet the necessary criteria, the TAPIF Program could be the perfect way to fulfill your dream of living and working in France.

Requirements and More Information About the Program:

  • Open to those aged between 20 and 35.
  • Participants work 12 hours per week in up to three different elementary or secondary schools for a period of seven months, running from October 1st to April 30th.
  • Each position comes with a work visa that is valid for the length of the contract, plus health insurance and a monthly stipend of 790 euro.

Each applicant's suitability is evaluated via the following criteria:

  • French language skills (a level equivalent to B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is required)
  • Level of university education
  • Previous teaching experience
  • Experience working with children
  • Experience living abroad
  • TEFL/TESOL qualification (not compulsory but highly beneficial)

How to Apply

As the requirements are subject to change, you should visit the TAPIF Program website for the most up-to-date information. As well as being evaluated on the criteria stated above, applicants are also required to submit the following:

  • 500 word 'statement of purpose' in French
  • Scan of valid passport
  • Scan of university transcripts
  • Language evaluation from university French professor
  • Letter of recommendation from academic or professional
  • $60 USD application fee

Cultural Ambassadors Program for Teaching English in Spain

The Cultural Ambassadors Program (also known as the North American Language and Culture Assistants Program) is run by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. The program places 2,500 North Americans into elementary or secondary schools across Spain to work as assistant language teachers. Due to the difficulties for non-Europeans to secure a work visa in Spain, this program is very popular among Americans and Canadians looking to live and work legally as an EFL teacher in Spain. As this is a very competitive program there is no guarantee of acceptance.

Requirements and More Information About the Program:

Open to American and Canadian citizens aged between 21 and 60; the upper age limit for placement in the Madrid region is 35.Contracts last from early October until May 31 (June 30 in the Madrid region)Teachers work a set number of classes per week in return for a stipend of 700 euro per month, plus health insurance coverage, and a long-stay work visa. Airfares and accommodation costs are not included.

An applicant's suitability is also evaluated on the following criteria:

  • A practical demonstration of Spanish language skills (college transcripts, high school records, and Spanish language certificates can be submitted to provide extra proof)
  • Physical and psychological suitability (a medical form is required)
  • Academic achievement (BA or BS minimum, university junior, senior, or graduate)
  • Previous teaching experience
  • Experience working with children
  • Experience living abroad
  • TEFL/TESOL qualification (not compulsory but highly beneficial)

How to Apply

For the most up-to-date information regarding the application process you should visit the official website of the Cultural Ambassadors Program. To complete the application you will need to supply the following documents:

  • 250 to 300 word 'statement of purpose' in English
  • Copy of a reference letter from your employer or university
  • Copy of your degree/diploma, or an official academic record
  • Copy of valid U.S. or Canadian passport

CETP for Teaching English in Hungary

If you are looking for something a little different that is slightly off the beaten path, then the Central European Teaching Program (CETP) in Hungary may be worth a look. The CETP is a long running program that places applicants into schools in Hungary to work as English language teachers.

Requirements and More Information About the Program:

  • Open to native English speakers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., or any other EU country.
  • No official upper age limit; This is a particularly good option for older teachers who might find it difficult to secure jobs in some other European countries.
  • The standard program runs for 10 months from September to mid-June, with an orientation week prior to the start. There are also 6-month positions available from January to June.
  • Teachers receive a regular salary that is equal to local coworkers (no income tax is required), plus national health insurance, and paid holidays. The work visa also allows you to travel across Europe.
  • Teachers also receive a private, furnished apartment with all utilities covered for the duration of their contract.
  • Partners, friends or families can often be placed together

How to Apply

If you are interested in the program and would like further details you should visit the CETP website. In order to be accepted on the program applicants must submit the following documents:

  • TEFL/TESOL certification that includes at least 20 hours of practical classroom teaching
  • Letter from doctor confirming your good health (work visa requirement)
  • Notarized copy of your university diploma
  • Background check

NET Scheme for Teaching English in Hong Kong

The NET (Native-speaking English Teachers) Scheme is a recruitment program initiated by the Hong Kong Education Bureau that places qualified teachers from overseas countries into state run schools. The scheme recruits hundreds of teachers every year to work in either primary or secondary level schools across the territory.

Requirements and More Information About the Program:

  • You must be a native-English speaker or possess an exceptionally high standard of English language competence.
  • Applicants must be less than 58 years of age at the contract start date.
  • Monthly salary of between HKD 25,000 and 60,000 (currently USD 3,200 to 7,700), dependent upon relevant experience.
  • Assistance finding suitable accommodation plus a housing allowance of around HKD 20,000 per month.
  • Paid round-trip airfare from your home country, including up to four family members.
  • Relocation allowance to assist with the transport costs of personal belongings.
  • Stipend for medical insurance coverage.

The scheme is split into two separate areas for primary level teachers and secondary level teachers known as PNET and SNET. Applicants for the PNET Scheme work with primary students aged from six to twelve, with a typical class size of 30 to 37. The qualifications required for these positions are a degree in English, a teacher training qualification in primary education, and a TEFL/TESOL certification. In the event that not enough teachers meet these requirements, those with a lower level of qualifications are considered.

If accepted on the SNET Scheme you will work with secondary students in an average class size of 40 to 45. The stated criteria for these positions are a degree in English or education, a post-graduate diploma in education, a TEFL/TESOL diploma, and at least one year of teaching experience at secondary level. Once again, if recruitment numbers are not met then applicants with fewer qualifications are considered.

How to Apply:

Please visit the official NET Scheme website to apply.

English Opens Doors Program for Teaching English in Chile

Chile is one of the most stable and prosperous countries in Latin America and has long been a popular destination for ESL teachers. The popular English Opens Doors Program (EODP) is sponsored by the Chilean Ministry of Education and the United Nations Development Program and places foreign teachers into schools across Chile on a volunteer basis. Participants on the scheme work as teaching assistants with the aim of improving the English language skills of children ranging from 10 to 18 years old.

Requirements and More Information About the Program:

  • Open to native or near-native English speakers between the ages of 21 and 35 (applicants outside this age range are assessed on an individual basis).
  • You must possess a bachelor's degree.
  • You require sufficient finances to pay for transportation to and from Chile, as well as living expenses during your stay.
  • Any teaching qualifications or experience of international travel will also be taken into consideration when applying for the program.
  • All housing costs and meals are covered if you choose the homestay option.
  • Monthly stipend of 70,000 CLP (currently $110 USD), plus free visa, free health insurance and free online Spanish lessons.
  • Week-long orientation course in Santiago.
  • Free transport within Chile.

How to Apply:

To apply for this scheme, please visit the official EODP website.

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