When do schools hire for English teachers abroad?

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ESL job markets are cyclical, and hiring is seasonal in many regions. In order to get hired as an English teacher, it is critical to understand the language school hiring seasons.

Europe September, October and January are busy hiring periods for most countries in Europe, with many contracts ending in early July. January is the second season to start employment. With a plethora of program options and a vast swath of countries, cultures, and world-renowned sights to explore, it’s no wonder Europe is a popular destination for those looking to teach English abroad. The differences between countries in Europe range widely, so it’s important to know which country is right for you before making the move. After all, this country is about to become your home and you want to make the most informed decision possible. One of the greatest things about Europe is that it is ideal for managing the perfect work and play balance. In many areas of Europe, it isn’t all about work, work, work — which means you’ll get plenty of time off to explore your chosen destination. And, being in Europe, this means that travel to other countries is easy and cheap. Spend a year teaching in Europe and you’ll be surprised at just how much you can fit in.

Central America June to July is the primary hiring season. However, in Mexico, schools are hiring year-round as the demand is high. In Costa Rica, many schools will interview in December for positions beginning in January. Close to the equator, tropical Central America is a prime destination for teachers and lovers of the jungle, ocean, and warm people! Many Central Americans are hoping to learn English or provide English instruction for their children, the first and next generation of bilingual adults. While most schools require English classes as part of their curriculum, some areas lack adequate resources to teach proper English. Thus, ESL teachers are needed to bridge this gap in education by filling job positions in overlooked schools. Explore the natural beauty of Central America as you educate bright, young students, eager to improve their English language skills!

South America February to March is the primary hiring season. July to August is a secondary hiring season. With gorgeous locations, welcoming cultures and loads of TEFL jobs, South America is a great choice for TEFL teachers at the moment. In terms of finding a job in South America, bigger is better. In other words, you are more likely to find a job in the bigger cities. A smaller town or village may offer a more authentic cultural experience but your chances of finding a job there are much smaller than in a big city where there are more students and more schools. Once you have narrowed your decision down to a specific country, pick one of its big cities to start your quest. Buenos Aires, Lima, Santiago and Rio de Janeiro are all good options.

Asia The primary hiring season is year-round except for Taiwan and Thailand. The hiring season in Taiwan is after the Chinese New Year, and then again in July & August. The hiring season for teaching English in Thailand is in May and then again in November. Asia has long been a popular country for tourists and TEFL teachers. This massive continent is a place where you can experience spiritualism and tranquillity, or noise and chaos. Each country in Asia has a fascinating history, intriguing culture, exotic food and breathtaking views. Luckily for TEFL teachers, the people of Asia are keen to learn English. This means there are jobs available all over the continent for new and more experienced TEFL teachers.

Middle East Language school job positions are open throughout the year. In Gulf countries like the U.A.E., Qatar and Saudi Arabia and throughout the Arab World, public and private schools for children, as well as vocational schools, colleges and universities typically interview and recruit English teachers during the spring and early summer for August and September start dates. Some public schools will also recruit English teachers in the Autumn for positions that begin in January, February or March.

A significant number of people in the Middle East are hoping to learn English from overseas teachers. As government initiatives strive to establish English as part of the national curriculum, many schools and universities aim to prepare local students for careers in the globally-connected Middle East, while holding onto its cultural values. So if you like year-long summer weather and living amidst the old and new, then it is possible that the Middle East is your perfect teaching destination.

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