The Educator's Guide to International Teaching

Teachers bring the world into their classroom. They can introduce the literary legacy of Chile, the culinary delights of Vietnam, or the artistic wonders of France to a group of nine-year-olds who will travel the circumference of the globe from the familiarity of their classroom.

Now, many teachers are venturing out into the world they brought to their students. They are exploring exciting teaching opportunities all over the world – from Paraguay to Australia. The number and types of opportunities they are discovering is limitless.

In one quick swoop of the Internet a teacher will uncover adventures teaching kindergarten in Belgium, music in Honduras, or special needs in Hong Kong. Educators can participate in exchange programs where they switch places with fellow teachers overseas. They can teach through programs that offer placements from six weeks to two years. Even preservice teachers with little or no experience can train to be qualified English teachers overseas.

Teaching overseas can be challenging. Teachers encounter visa problems, resource difficulties, and huge cultural and identity obstacles. The best way to prevent these difficulties is to be organized and prepared for unforeseen tribulations. Overseas teaching can be a creative, inspiring, and valuable experience.

Some teachers claim that international teaching is a way to grow professionally, others say it quenches the need for adventure and travel, and still others feel it is an educating experience, broadening their beliefs and knowledge of other cultures. International teachers are exposed to new teaching techniques and have the opportunity to develop professional relationships and friendships.

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