Job Placement FAQs

Getting Hired

1. Will this TESOL/TESL/TEFL course help me to find a full-time job?
  • Oxford Seminars TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certificate demonstrates to employers that you are familiar with both the theoretical approaches as well as the practical techniques required to be a successful ESL teacher. It is backed up with an exclusive Money-Back Guarantee.
  • Throughout the course, Oxford Seminars instructors provide useful approaches to all stages of the job search process. Upon completion of the course, graduates are encouraged to take advantage of the exclusive Job Placement Service. Remaining open-minded about location is helpful in securing a position abroad.
  • Having overseas teaching experience is a unique asset that differentiates many of Oxford Seminars graduates and gives them a competitive advantage when applying for other jobs upon their return to the US. Graduates who are planning to continue in the education field find that their overseas teaching experience becomes a valuable asset when applying to teachers college.
  • Furthermore, younger graduates without extensive prior work experience discover that their overseas teaching employment becomes invaluable in opening doors to ESL Job Opportunities and career choices in the US that were previously unattainable.
2. I do not have a university degree. Will this affect finding a teaching position abroad?
  • Some schools accept candidates with a college diploma or high school diploma in light of the value of native English ability and TESOL/TESL/TEFL certification. Among other countries, Oxford Seminars graduates who possess a high school diploma or college certificate have found teaching positions in Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador and Turkey.
  • However, while some schools do accept candidates without a bachelors degree, most schools/recruiters require candidates hold a Bachelor of Arts minimum in any discipline.
  • Some countries prefer that candidates apply for positions in person, allowing them to assess the level of competency. Some countries/schools seek experience. While applying in-country using a tourist visa, schools are sometimes willing to sponsor teachers for a working visa. It is important to keep in mind that there is at times stiff competition for ESL teaching positions with candidates holding a BA or higher having the advantage.
3. I am not a native speaker. Can I still teach ESL?
  • While many non-native English speakers have successfully completed Oxford Seminars course and have found placements abroad, most find their first ESL teaching position in their country of origin. With the benefit of this initial experience, many are able to find subsequent employment in other countries.
  • Your ability to find work outside of your home country will often depend upon the competition for the position that you are pursuing, as well as the visa requirements for that country. School directors usually prefer to hire native English speakers rather than non-native English speakers, regardless of experience.
  • It is important to keep in mind that in order to qualify for the working visa in many countries, you must be a native English speaker and a citizen of an English-speaking country.
4. When do overseas schools usually hire?
  • A large number of overseas private language schools hire teachers on an as-needed basis any time of the year. Sometimes, they are willing to hire you immediately to replace a teacher who has just left or who is about to complete their contract. Most of these contracts are for a minimum of one year. Oxford Seminars Job Placement Service has access to numerous job openings year-round and assists graduates in finding teaching positions every month of the year.
  • Private language schools, tend to hire in the late spring which is ideal for university students looking to work right away.
  • Government programs such as JET (Japan), EPIK (Korea) and NET SCHEME (Hong Kong) begin hiring many months before the academic year begins. Keep in mind that public schools, colleges, and universities generally begin terms in August/September and February/March.
  • For more information on peak hiring seasons in specific countries, visit Where You Can Teach and select a country.
5. How specific can my location choice be?
  • While your Job Placement Advisor will do all possible to assist you in finding a teaching position in your ideal location of choice, it is important to be open to opportunities based on the ESL market, your qualifications, and your background. The more open and flexible you are about where you would like to teach, the more likely you will find a position.
6. What should I look for in my contract?
  • Transportation from airport Your contract should indicate if a representative from your school will meet you at the airport or if you will be responsible for arriving at the school on your own.
  • Overtime The contract should detail how many hours you will be expected to work and should state an hourly rate for any additional teaching time.
  • Split shifts Some ESL teachers do not work straight through the day but may instead work in the morning and again in the late afternoon or evening with a long break in the middle of the day.
  • Holidays Your contract should state the holidays during which you will receive time off. Depending on where you go, there are many different and exciting local holidays to celebrate!
  • Key money (mainly in Japan) In some countries, landlords will ask for key money which is often the equivalent of anywhere from three to six months rent. This is not a security deposit, but rather a form of gratitude. In other locations, you can expect to pay a deposit.
  • Extracurricular activities Compensation is not usually provided for extracurricular activities. Many contracts will state a maximum amount of extracurricular hours you are expected to work.
  • Accommodations Your contract should state whether or not the school will provide you with paid accommodations or a housing allowance in lieu. If they do not, then it is common for a school to provide you with help finding accommodations.
  • Preparation time The school may require that you prepare for your classes during office hours held at the school.
  • Transportation It is important to know how far away your accommodations are from the school in which you will be teaching. If your housing is relatively far away, many schools will subsidize a scooter or a bus pass.
  • Healthcare If healthcare is not included in the contract, it is a good idea to look into private health coverage prior to departing.
  • Private tutoring It is important to confirm with your employer whether or not private tutoring is acceptable.
  • Reimbursement for airfare It is important to know which countries typically supply this benefit and ensure that it is included on your contract if it is standard. In some countries known for airfare reimbursement, this benefit is becoming less available.
  • Sick days Schools that pay by the hour do not often pay for sick days. If you are paid a salary then you should expect a certain number of paid sick days.
7. Will trying to negotiate a contract make me a less desirable candidate?
  • When considering a specific teaching position, it is important for you to determine which are the negotiable versus non-negotiable factors of your contract. If curious about the finer details of the position, questions should be carefully placed in terms of timing and of whom they are asked. For example, asking a recruiter about whether or not there are windows in the classrooms is misplaced timing and is asked of the wrong person. Questions should be categorized as need to know (needing answers before you sign the contract) versus curiosity (you would like answers if possible after the contract is signed), and asked accordingly.
  • You will not get everything you want in a contract. List the items that are important to you. Reflect upon what you want in your contract and what you consider to be acceptable. You will most likely get something in between. Keep in mind, however, that the more you attempt to negotiate, the less desirable you are as a candidate.
8. I have been asked to have my documents legalized. What is involved in this process?
  • In order to ensure your documents will be recognized by the government and/or school that you are applying to teach in, there are some basic steps you should undertake:
    • Contact the closest consulate of the country where you will be teaching to determine what is required. The procedure may vary depending on the state in which you live and the consulate closest to you. A representative can advise you if your documents need to be authenticated, legalized or if you will require an Apostille.
    • Ask your school director/recruiter (after ensuring they are legitimate) what steps you should take to apply for this visa. They will often be able to provide you with a detailed outline of the procedure/requirements.
    • The documents will likely need to have one or more of the below processes:
      • Notarized: A member of the notary public signs a photocopy of your document attesting that the signature/seal on the document is true and genuine. This process is the cheapest, fastest and most common so you may want to have this done before applying for jobs. It is also a preliminary step for the next two processes.
      • Apostille: A government official in the Department of State Office declares the signature of the notary public as true and genuine (on a standardized form).
      • Authentication: A government official in the Department of State office provides an official declaration that the apostille is true and genuine.
      • Legalization: The embassy of the country where the document is to be presented declares and accepts the signature, seal, or stamp appearing on the document as genuine.
  • The two websites below give information for residents of the USA or various other countries so they can determine where to get an apostille or authentication, as well as the procedure and cost:
9. What should I be aware of when applying for teaching positions on my own?
  • Oxford Seminars English Language Schools Directory is a great resource for conducting your own job search.
  • On occasion, fraudulent teaching opportunities circulate through the Internet and appear on job boards. While at times easily detectable, some are well camouflaged. If a contract sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Keep the following in mind when searching for teaching positions on your own:
    • Never send money to schools or recruiters. If a school asks you to send money to secure your housing or pay for your visa fees up front, be wary. Contact the countrys embassy to determine the cost and correct procedure for obtaining a work visa.
    • Protect your identity. Some schools will ask you to send your passport information page to ensure you meet the visa requirements of their country. This is a legitimate request; however, until you are certain of the schools legitimacy, simply block the passport number on a photocopy of your passport and send that in order to provide them with the information they require. Once a school is screened and a contract is signed they may need the passport number to process your work visa.
  • Oxford Seminars Job Placement Service has established trusted relationships with recruiters and schools in many places around the world so graduates can find safe and reliable teaching positions.
10. Will my age affect my ability to be placed?
  • Oxford Seminars has successfully trained thousands of graduates of all ages and the Job Placement Service works diligently on every graduates behalf to find them suitable placements.
  • If you are a mature teacher, it is best to research the retirement age in your countries of choice to ensure that you are eligible to work there. You may be required to purchase your own medical or travel insurance and most positions will require a current medical examination. While many of Oxford Seminars mature graduates have found their life experience and past work experience to be an asset when searching for a position, age (especially for those over 55) will affect your ability to be hired.
  • Online forums and blogs are often great sources of information and can be found easily by conducting an online search.
11. I have a criminal record; will this affect my ability to be placed overseas?
  • A criminal record can affect your ability to find employment abroad.
    • A country may refuse you entry if you have been convicted of certain offenses.
    • A potential employer may decline your application.
    • It may be difficult to obtain a working visa abroad.
  • Check with the embassy of the country to which you are traveling. They will be able to give you more information about your particular circumstance.
12. I received my degree from a country where English is not the first language. Will this affect finding a teaching position overseas?
  • It is important to keep in mind that each country has different requirements in order to qualify for a working visa. Generally speaking, in order to obtain a working visa you must:
    • Be a native English speaker
    • Have been born in an English speaking country, or
    • Have had at least 10-12 years of formal education in a country where English is the primary language
    • Hold citizenship in an English speaking country
  • In the case of a person born and raised in an English speaking country, but having obtained their university degree in a country whose official language is not English, some countries will be unable to process a working visa for them.
  • With this said, there is still hope of finding gainful employment overseas. Certainly the more positions that one applies for, the better the chances are of locating a position. It is worth considering applying for positions in person as potential employers will be able to assess your competency and you will be in a better position to fully promote yourself and your skills.
13. I am a citizen in a country where English is not the first language. Will this affect finding a teaching position overseas?
  • While many graduates born in a country where English is not the first language have successfully completed Oxford Seminars course and have found placements abroad, most find their first ESL teaching position in their country of origin. With the benefit of this initial experience, many are able to find subsequent employment in other countries.
  • It is important to keep in mind that in order to qualify for the working visa in many countries, you must:
    • Hold citizenship in an English speaking country
    • Be a native English speaker
    • Have been born in an English speaking country, or
    • Have had at least 12 years of formal education in a country where English is the primary language
  • With this said, there is still hope for finding gainful employment overseas. Certainly the more positions that one applies for, the better the chances are of finding a suitable position. Applying for positions in person is advantageous as potential employers will be able to assess your level of proficiency and you will be in a better position to fully promote yourself and your skills.

Life Abroad

14. Will I have access to transportation?
  • Many overseas placements are in major metropolitan areas which have excellent public transportation.
  • When your school provides you with accommodations, they are often within walking distance of the school, and if not, they may provide assistance in finding suitable transportation.
  • Some contracts will require you to have a drivers license or the ability to operate a moped or motor-scooter to travel from site to site. Again, it will all depend on where you are teaching and the contract and country conditions.
  • Visit the Transportation section included in Oxford Seminars Where You Can Teach for specific countries modes of transportation.
15. How can I send money home?
  • Sending money home internationally is generally a simple process, though possibly a bit expensive.
  • You can wire money to an account back home through all international and most national banks, Western Union and Thomas Cook wire transfers. You simply have to go to the bank, give them a void check and your passport/working visa, and they will transfer the money into your home account. This process may take up to two weeks to complete.
  • Many banks will have English transfer forms; if not, you might want to bring a companion who speaks and reads both English and the language of the country.
16. Will I be able to eat Western food?
  • Major city centers will often have large Western chains. There will likely be local Western restaurants, pubs and grocery stores run by members of the expatriate community. Before leaving, check your travel guide, as it will probably list resources in your area.
  • Also take a look at the Where You Can Teach section of Oxford Seminars website, which includes a section about eating in other countries and approximate food costs.
17. How do I deal with my finances (i.e. taxes and bank accounts) when working abroad?
  • You have several tax options that should be explored prior to your departure. You will be required to file taxes when you return home so It is recommended that you contact your bank and an accountant before leaving. They will be very helpful when you are putting your financial affairs in order.
  • Tax options will depend on factors such as:
    • How long you have been away
    • How much money you made
    • If you paid taxes in your host country
    • If you claimed non-residency status in your home country
    • If you have assets such as bonds and properties
    • If you have dependants
    • Your marital status
  • Visit the Finanacial Reminders section of the Preparing to Go Checklist to ensure you have thought about all aspects of your finances prior to your departure.
18. What is the cost of living for most ESL teachers?
  • Most overseas teachers are paid generously for the country in which they are working. Often, ESL teachers are paid considerably more than local teachers.
  • The cost of living depends upon your lifestyle. How much entertainment do you need? Do you cook at home or prefer to eat out? Do you plan to travel on every vacation/holiday/weekend?
  • Depending on how you choose to live and the expenses you have at home (i.e., student loans), you should be able to afford a nice apartment and a good lifestyle. Depending on the country you are in, there is an opportunity to put away some money as well.
  • For more information, visit Where You Can Teach where you can find details about salaries, taxes, benefits and savings ability in popular ESL markets.
19. Can I drink the tap water abroad?
  • Research your destination country prior to your departure. Speak with a local teacher (which is a common way of getting answers to many of these questions) about the quality of the potable water (also called drinking water) in the specific area to which you are going. In many countries it will be necessary to drink bottled water, as foreigners who are not acclimatized may not be able to tolerate it.
20. Does my country of choice have suitable health facilities (i.e., modern hospitals, English speaking doctors and dentists)?
  • Many major cities around the world have modern health facilities and often have English speaking doctors. However, rural areas might lack proper facilities. In some areas, it might be necessary to travel to a major city center for medical attention.
  • Some countries will not have modern facilities and equipment; however, it would be prudent to research the countries in question and find out if they do have proper medical facilities. Contact the nearest embassy and inquire as to the medical facilities and their reliability. It is recommended that you speak to teachers in the area and discuss their experiences.
21. I want to teach and travel with my friend/partner. Can we share an apartment?
  • Many contracts will try to place teachers with their partner/friend/spouse to alleviate culture shock and ease the teachers transition to the foreign environment.
  • If you and your partner are not married, you will need to keep cultural norms in mind. In some countries it is illegal for a man and woman who are not related or married to live together. However, as long as you are discreet about your situation, most landlords will not make it an issue.
  • If you are gay or lesbian, you should be aware of laws in the country to which you are traveling. In some countries homosexuality is still illegal.
  • If you are traveling as a same sex married couple, your marriage will be recognized in countries like Belgium, South Africa, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, and some US states; however, in many countries your relationship will not be recognized. Please carefully research the country in which you plan to travel.
22. Can I get my own apartment?
  • Some schools may provide accommodations for their teachers, while in other cases you may be able to choose to find your own accommodations; however, in a foreign country searching and negotiating for a new apartment can be rather daunting and will require assistance.
  • Some schools will help you in this process. Other teachers may be able to assist you as well.
23. I am a vegan/vegetarian. Will my diet be a concern?
  • Many overseas cultures also adhere to vegan/vegetarian diets and often will have fresh produce available for home cooking, and restaurants in larger cities may cater to special dietary needs.
  • It will be useful for you to be able to express yourself in the language of the nation. Expressions such as, Does this contain meat?, Im a vegetarian,and Can you recommend any dishes? can be very helpful.

On the Job

24. Will there be a curriculum?
  • Your school should provide you with a curriculum.
  • More established schools and chain schools are more likely to provide you with a curriculum and sometimes even daily lesson plans.
  • Newer and smaller schools will be more apt to have a flexible curriculum. As you grow more confident in your role as a teacher, you may be asked to revamp or recreate the curriculum. This could be a great opportunity to expand your skills base.
25. What are the usual class sizes?
  • Class size depends on the school.
    • If you are teaching in a private school, you will probably not have more than about 20 students in a class. Sometimes a class can be as small as two or three students.
    • If you are teaching in a public school, your classes might have as many as 50 students. If this is the case you will probably be provided with an assistant or a co-teacher.
    • If you are teaching in a university or college, your class sizes could be quite a bit bigger. Again, you will probably be provided with an assistant or a co-teacher.
26. Will I have to team teach?
  • This will depend on your contract.
  • You may team teach with another foreign teacher, but it is more likely that you will be working with a local teacher. Generally, this teacher will speak both English and the native language of the classroom. This teacher will often be in charge of classroom management, homework, and drills.
  • Some schools do not require team teaching.
27. How many hours a week am I expected to work?
  • The number of hours you are expected to work will depend on your contract. In general, teachers work between 20-30 hours per week, plus preparation time. Classes are generally 50 to 60 minutes in length.
28. Is there a dress code?
  • Many schools have a dress code for teachers. The code itself will depend not only on your school, but on the country. For the majority of schools, a dress code will mean casual but conservative dress. However, for some schools this might mean a suit and tie.
  • It is best to take your cue from other teachers working at your school. You may find the rules within the school a little more lax than in the dress code itself.
  • If you are volunteering then you are often encouraged to dress in a casual manner to ensure a comfortable classroom for the students.
29. What if my students do not speak English at all?
  • Typically, when you have students who have no English language ability, you will be assisted by a native speaker with some English ability.
  • If an assistant is not available, you will have to use other means of communicating your ideas to the students using gestures, photographs, drawings, and pantomime.
  • A skilled ESL teacher may be able to utilize a more advanced student to communicate ideas in their native tongue which will instill confidence and a sense of responsibility in the assistant and create a more collaborative classroom.
30. Will there be a native speaker in the classroom?
  • If you are working with young children at a beginner level, there will often be a native speaker in the classroom. If there is not, then there will be a native speaker nearby.
  • In most Asian countries, foreign teachers are assigned a bilingual secretary. These people will help you with any problems that might arise.
  • Most schools prefer you not to speak the language of the country, and thus, you will need to learn to communicate with miming, pictures, and expressions.
  • Visit Oxford Seminars ESL Teaching Resources page for ideas on classroom techniques and games in an ESL classroom.
31. Will I have to sing and dance?
  • If you are working with young monolingual children, you will find that this method may work to your advantage. If you are not comfortable with this, you might want to bring childrens songs on a CD or flash drive from home.
  • Visit Oxford Seminars ESL Teaching Resources page for ideas on classroom techniques and games in an ESL classroom.
32. Will I be observed?
  • You will most likely be observed during your training period. This is common in American classrooms with American teachers as well.
  • If at all possible, you should try to observe other teachers not only during your training period but throughout your teaching career in order to continually improve your skills.
  • You can expect to be observed through the duration of your teaching career. Though this might seem intimidating, it is actually a great way to improve on your teaching skills. To be more comfortable, make sure you are consistently well prepared for your lesson. Visit Oxford Seminars ESL Teaching Resources page for resources on teaching ESL.
33. Will the school provide teaching resources?
  • Unless you are volunteering, your school will typically provide you with the basic necessities you need to teach a class: Text books/reference materials, curriculum, white board/chalk board/markers/erasers, flash cards, worksheets, story books, ESL games, etc.
  • More advanced schools will have CALL Labs (Computer Assisted Language Learning), Internet resources, online collaboration, and other technological advances. Most schools will fall somewhere in between. It is best to prepare by asking other current ESL teachers within the organization as to what type of resources are available and what is lacking.
  • Visit the Prepare for the Classroom section of the Preparing to Go Checklist to ensure you are all set for your first week of teaching.
  • For more ideas on resources for the classroom, visit Oxford Seminars ESL Teaching Resources.
34. What age groups will I be teaching?
  • This depends on the school you are in and the stipulations of your contract.
  • It is common for ESL teachers to begin their career by teaching children.
  • There is also a strong market teaching English for specific purposes (ESP), such as business English.
35. Will there be other foreigners at my school?
  • The likelihood of teaching with other foreign teachers is quite high, as ESL schools hire native English teachers for quality control and marketing purposes.
  • Most overseas placements are in major city centers where there is a thriving expatriate community.

Traveling to my Destination Country

36. Travel Warnings
  • The international situation is constantly changing. For your own safety, it is recommended that you keep an eye on the news of the country in which you are interested.
37. Do I need to know the native language of the country that I am traveling to?
  • There is no need for you to know the native language of your host country for the classroom (it is often discouraged to speak the native language in the classroom); however, knowledge of the native language will make your transition and adjustment to the foreign country much easier outside the classroom and help to alleviate culture shock in your day-to-day activities.
  • It is recommended that you take a language survival course and/or purchase a phrase book before you leave your home country.
38. I am a woman traveling alone. What measures can I take to ensure that I have a safe and enjoyable experience while teaching abroad?
  • Traveling alone can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Here are some tips to help keep you safe on your journey:
    • Be alert and move about with confidence avoid appearing as a tourist.
    • Research the country that you are traveling to. Knowledge will be your best tool. Know where you are going and how you will get there. Get directions before you leave your apartment, hotel, or hostel.
    • Be aware of local customs concerning the social roles of women and what is considered to be appropriate dress. Being respectful of local customs can mean a safe and problem free stay in your selected country or while on a vacation.
    • Leave expensive clothing and jewelry in your home country. These items could be lost or damaged during your trip or could invite a robbery.
    • Make sure your school has made arrangements to pick you up at the airport and drop you off safely.
    • Do not announce that you are traveling alone. You may consider wearing a wedding band to make yourself seem less vulnerable. If possible, vary your daily routine and routes taken.
    • If traveling at night in a car, keep the interior lights off.
    • Keep your purse close to you at all times. Choose a purse that is made of strong material and has a latch or a fold over the zipper. Do not carry your travel documents in your purse. Use a money belt or something equally as hidden and safe.
    • When walking on a sidewalk or roadside, put your purse on the opposite shoulder of the passing traffic.
    • Photocopy two sets of travel documents: one for you to keep and one for your family.
    • Whenever possible, remain in public places.
    • Keep family or friends updated on your itinerary and set times to call/chat online with them.
  • For more tips on how to keep safe during your travels, visit our Travel Safety page.
39. Do I have to inform the government that I am leaving?
  • Whether or not you should contact the government prior to your departure depends on your personal situation. You should consider:
    • How long you will be gone, as the length of your stay abroad will affect your taxes, and your right to receive government sponsored health benefits and pensions.
    • If you have properties or holdings in your home country.
  • We recommend that you thoroughly investigate your own situation before leaving and contact an accountant for advice. Once in your new country of residence, contact your embassy there to register your name and address.
40. Should I visit a doctor before I leave?
  • Yes. Some vaccinations and medications must be administered several times before they are effective. The doctor will tell you what vaccinations are required for the country to which you are going, and may recommend other vaccinations or medications. You should have a medical done by a travel doctor in your home country well before you leave.
  • Your family doctor will be able to help you, but it might be beneficial to go to a travel clinic.
41. What are the difficulties when traveling with prescription medication?
  • The laws on prescription medication change from country to country.
  • Carry a copy of the original prescription and ensure that both the generic and trade names of the medication are included. A doctors note describing why you are taking the medication is also recommended.
  • When traveling with prescription medications please follow the steps below.
    • Ensure that the medication is legal in your destination country. Do this by checking with your local consulate or embassy.
      • Find out how much medication you are able to take with you.
      • Bring enough of the prescription to cover your needs for at least two months.
      • If your contract includes medical coverage, find out if medication and check-ups for pre-existing conditions are covered.
    • Research the country to ensure that they have modern medical facilities. In most metropolitan areas you will be able to find an English speaking doctor. Contact other foreigners in the area to ask them about the facilities.
    • Get as much information as you can about your medication. In some countries you might find medication with the same name but a different function. Be prepared to explain to your doctor exactly what you need. Research this carefully before you leave.
42. What should I do about my debts at home?
  • Set up your bills through Internet/telephone banking.
  • Inform your creditors if you think you will miss one or two payments while you are setting up overseas. A simple phone call will save you many headaches a month or two down the line.

Job Placement Service

43. How does Oxford Seminars Job Placement Service work?
  • The Oxford Seminars Job Placement Service provides job search assistance anytime after you have completed the in-class component.
  • We have developed and maintained contacts with a trusted network of reputable organizations and schools abroad to provide our graduates with access to employment opportunities worldwide.
  • You will receive an email detailing how to access your service. The Job Placement Service helps our graduates in the following ways:
    • Connecting them with reputable schools and recruiters abroad
    • Providing tips on negotiating contracts, and how to recognize a great contract offer
    • Assisting graduates in creating an ESL specific resume and cover letter
    • Providing valuable job market information
    • Informing graduates about important steps to take before going abroad
  • The key to a successful placement is knowing what is best for you based on your personal interests, finances, education, travel expenses, and of course, the job market. This means you should determine your needs and conduct some preliminary research to ensure that your education and experience is relevant to the market in which you wish to teach.
44. In which countries does the Job Placement Service have contacts?
  • Oxford Seminars has many contacts around the world. Your Job Placement Advisor will help you assess what opportunities are available for you. For more information and to examine some of your choices, please visit the Where Should I Teach section of our website.
45. What does the Oxford Seminars Job Placement Service include?
  • The Oxford Seminars Job Placement Service helps graduates in the following ways:
    • Assisting graduates in creating an ESL specific resume and cover letter
    • Providing graduates with valuable job market information
    • Informing graduates about important steps to take before going abroad
    • Providing tips on negotiating contracts, and how to recognize a great contract offer
    • Connecting graduates with reputable schools and recruiters abroad
46. I have decided to look for work on my own. Can the Job Placement Service still help me?
  • If you decide to secure employment on your own behalf, there are still a number of things that the Job Placement Service can assist you with.
  • They can supply you with a list of online resources, websites, chain schools, and lists of language institutes in your countries of choice, as well as access to the English Language Schools Directory. They are also available to look over the contract that you have been offered and will guide you through the negotiation process.
  • Your Job Placement Advisor is available to assist you throughout the application process. They will not only assist you in composing a great ESL focused resume and cover letter, but are also more than willing to offer useful advice on applying to and working in your countries of choice.

What can I bring with me abroad

47. What should I bring?
  • Packing your suitcase can be a daunting task when there are so many things you need to remember to bring with you on your travels abroad. Visit What To Pack to ensure you have packed all of the essentials you will need when living abroad, along with general living items and resources for the classroom.
48. Can I bring my family?
  • You can, of course, bring your family with you overseas, but there are things to consider before you do:
    • If your contract includes accommodations, it is probably based on the assumption of single occupancy. You should discuss this with your schools director. Most likely your school will help you and your family find suitable accommodations, even if they will not pay for them. Depending on the school and the country, they may grant you a stipend to put towards rent.
    • If your children need to attend school while you are abroad, you should look into the cost and location of schools prior to your departure. The Council of International Schools will give you information about schools in your destination city.
    • In most large cities you will be able to enroll your child into a local bilingual day care. You may also be able to hire a nanny when you arrive. Again, these are questions you will want to ask your contact before arriving.
    • Generally your spouse will not be able to work legally, unless he/she also obtains a working visa.
  • Bringing your family overseas with you is a great opportunity for you and your family to see the world. This could be an especially good opportunity for children to learn another language and culture.
49. Can I bring my pets?
  • You can bring your pets if you like, but there are several things to consider before you make this decision.
    • Your pet should be up-to-date with all shots and vaccinations. Research which vaccinations are necessary for the country in which you are considering working.
    • In general, and with the exception of certified service dogs, pets will most likely have to travel in the cargo compartment.
    • Depending on the country you are going to, your pet might need an import permit (even for transfers). Check the requirements of both the local government and the airline that will be importing your pet.
    • Flying with an animal can be very expensive for you and stressful for the pet. Depending on the airline you might not be able to see your pet for the duration of the trip.
    • Most countries will require a period of quarantine. In Taiwan your pet will have to stay quarantined for 25 days. In Japan, the quarantine period is 40 days.
  • Some schools are unwilling to accommodate teachers with pets, especially in the case of a large dog. Be sure to communicate your desire/intention to take your pet with you before signing a contract.
  • Contact the embassy of the country to which you are traveling and any country you might be transferring in for more information about bringing your pet overseas.
50. How much luggage can I bring?
  • In general, you can bring two suitcases and a carry-on. Your suitcases will need to be under a certain weight. It is important to keep this in mind because if your luggage is over the allotted weight, you will have to pay an overweight fee. Check with your airline for luggage policies.
51. Is there anything that I should not bring into my destination country?
  • Obviously you should not bring anything illegal. In addition to this you have to be aware that each country has its own restrictions, especially on items such as fresh fruit, alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription drugs. Check with the embassy/consulate of your destination country before leaving.
52. Where is my embassy?
  • A great website for locating information regarding embassies and consulates abroad is
53. What are the restrictions and guidelines for admissible items on airplanes?
  • As security restrictions vary from country to country, and are subject to change, it would be prudent to confirm policies before traveling.
  • Remember that, even if you are just transferring within a country, you must pass through their customs and are, therefore, subject to restrictions in their country.
  • For up-to-date information about US security measures, check out the Transport Security Administration.

Work Visas

54. What is a Working Holiday Visa (WHV)?
  • A Working Holiday Visa is an agreement between the US and another country that allows American citizens to go to that country to work and travel. In turn, the US allows citizens of that country to work and travel in the US.
  • For more information on Working Holiday Visas, visit the Visas & Travel Documentation section of the website.
55. Can I work on a student or tourist visa?
  • It is possible to work on a student or tourist visa; however, this practice is often illegal.
  • In Asia, many schools will ask you to come on a tourist visa, especially if there are time constraints involved.
  • For more information on student or tourist visas, visit the Visas & Travel Documentation section of the website. In some countries (like those in Latin America) it is very difficult to obtain a working visa, so working on a tourist visa is common practice.
56. How can I get a working visa?
  • The process of obtaining a visa is different for each country. Often, you must apply for a working visa from outside the country in which you intend to work. Some countries even require that you apply for the visa from home.
  • For more information on Working Visas, visit the Visas & Travel Documentation section of the website.
57. Can I work on a spousal visa?
  • This depends on the country. Contact the nearest embassy/consulate to find out the exact requirements. Visit for a complete directory of the worlds embassies and consulates.
  • For more information regarding working on a spousal visa, visit the Visas & Travel Documentation section of the website.
58. Why is it more difficult to get working visas in some countries than others? How can I find out about getting a visa in the country in which I wish to work?
  • How one country will treat its foreign workers is often reciprocated. In most cases in order to qualify for a working visa you need to have secured employment and produce proof of that employment.
  • For more information on obtaining a work visa in your destination country, visit the Visas and Travel Documentation section of the website.
59. Will I need to have a medical to get my work visa?
  • There will most likely be a medical required. This will usually entail:
    • Blood tests for STDs, Hepatitis A, B and C, Tuberculosis, etc.
    • A routine medical eyes, ears, lungs, heart
    • Urine tests for pregnancy, STDs, infections, etc.
  • Visit Visas and Travel Documentation for more information.
60. Why is a medical required and what happens if I fail?
  • A medical is required by law in most countries in order to obtain a working visa for several reasons.
    • The first is for the safety of the population. SARS, the Bird Flu, the H1N1 Virus, MERS, Ebola and the West Nile Virus have brought the reality of global epidemics home.
    • The second is because you may be provided with medical insurance, so they simply want to be certain that you are healthy. They do not want you leaving a week after you arrive due to medical problems.
  • The consequences of failing a medical depend on where you are and why you fail. If your sickness is curable you will probably be allowed to take medication at your own cost, and then retake the medical.
  • If you have a more serious illness you may not be granted a working visa.
61. I want to teach in the European Union (EU). Do I need an EU passport?
In order to work legally within the European Union, as in any country, you will need a work visa unless you possess a valid EU passport. It is possible to get a working visa in the EU without an EU passport; however, the process is difficult and expensive for the school. Few schools are willing to go through this process and many are not comfortable with hiring teachers who are applying from overseas. Some EU countries will hire ESL teachers without EU passports; however, you will likely be working under the table; illegally, on a tourist visa. It is worthwhile to see if you are eligible to obtain a Working Holiday Visa. Consult your nearest Embassy or Consulate for more information.
62. What is the easiest way to start teaching in the European Union (EU)?
For ESL teachers holding EU passports, it is recommended that you travel to the area in which you hope to work and start contacting schools with your application. Some teachers find that with persistence they are able to obtain a teaching position when applying from the United States. Non-EU ESL teachers will likely have to travel to the area in question and apply in person for positions, trying to secure employment `under the table`; work on a tourist visa that may in time lead to a work visa. It should be noted that this is a short term solution, and Oxford Seminars does not condone working in this manner. Contact the nearest embassy of the country in which you or your parents (in some cases, grandparents) were born and inquire as to whether you qualify for an EU passport. You can obtain a passport by completing a form online or in person, having it signed by a Notary Public, and paying a processing fee. Please be patient when applying as passports can take a month or longer to obtain.
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