Myanmar has faced numerous internal challenges that resulted in its isolation from much of the world for several years. Despite ongoing issues, Myanmar has reopened for business and now attracts English teachers seeking a unique experience. Unlike many other countries in the region, Myanmar has yet to witness mass development in the tourist trade, making it an unsuitable destination for those seeking familiar chains like Starbucks or McDonald's. Instead, visitors to this captivating country can immerse themselves in a distinctive culture, enjoy a low cost of living, and witness breathtaking natural and man-made wonders in Southeast Asia.
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Since Myanmar is not inundated with a surplus of teachers seeking employment, the requirements set by employers are typically minimal. Generally, a TEFL certification and a spirit of adventure are sufficient. While a degree or native English fluency is not usually mandatory, possessing previous teaching experience and qualifications can expand your job opportunities.
Most employers readily accept a TEFL certification that exceeds 120 hours and is issued by a reputable institution. An online course like ITTT's 120-hour TEFL certificate provides comprehensive theoretical training, and you can even opt for additional practical training in a location of your choice. Practical teaching practice is highly beneficial as it prepares you for the realities of stepping into a real classroom for the first time.
Many trainees find that an in-class TEFL course offers the best preparation, both theoretically and practically, with highly qualified and experienced teachers providing in-person instruction. Although ITTT does not have a training center in Myanmar, there are centers in Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand. Choosing this option allows you to acclimate to the local climate and culture for approximately four weeks before commencing your first teaching job.
In most cases, foreign English teachers in Myanmar teach legally on a Business Visa, which is valid for ten weeks at a time. Most nationalities can obtain this visa upon arrival in the country, although it is advisable to check with the Myanmar Embassy before finalizing travel plans. Under this visa, you need to leave the country once it expires and obtain a new one upon re-entry. Many teachers choose to fly to Bangkok for the weekend and then return to Myanmar to start the process again. However, there is now a longer-term Business Visa option that may be available, eliminating the need for frequent trips out of the country. During the recruitment process, inquire with potential employers about the possibility of obtaining this visa.
Very few teaching jobs are advertised online, so most teachers arrive in the country and personally contact potential employers. Private language schools are relatively abundant in major cities, and teachers should typically find suitable positions within a week or two. If possible, it is recommended to contact schools via email prior to departure to arrange as many meetings or interviews as possible.