Short-term Teaching Programs
Guide to getting a short-term teaching job abroad
Whether you're nervous about committing to a year-long program or are looking to fill your summer with a meaningful opportunity, teaching abroad short-term is a great option.
Most short-term teaching programs range from just a week to a few months. In the end, you'll be able to teach, travel, and live overseas while still being able to come back to your job or continue your studies in the fall.
Types of short-term teaching opportunities
There are many different types of short-term teaching opportunities available overseas. Here are a few common options to help you get started:
Around the world, foreign language summer camps are becoming increasingly popular. During the summer months, many students will head to sleep away camps, where the primary activity is to learn English.
Popular in Europe, these English language camps are a great way for teachers to earn a bit of pay, spend time in beautiful countryside locations, and help a range of kids practice their skills. Additionally, most camps do not require their teachers to have official certification; most are looking for college students or graduates, who have some experience with children.
If you’re making a career change, are newly TEFL certified, or are just looking for a way to make some cash teaching abroad short-term, then a teaching internship could be the right fit for you. Internships are usually for 6 months or less and often include training and support that traditional yearlong teaching programs do not. The best part is, most teaching internships are paid!
Teaching English as a volunteer is ideal for travelers looking to dip their feet in teaching, but who are only able to commit for a few weeks or so. While a short-term volunteer program won't be able to provide a monetary stipend, they usually provide lodging and food. Many programs work with orphanages or children’s centers in countries where there is a lack of attention on English education.
It's common for contracted teachers to leave language schools in the middle of a semester or term. Schools will then hire English teachers to work for a short duration before the next semester, perfect for native-speaking travelers who wish to live in one location for a short period of time. Depending on the course and school, employers may be looking for applicants with previous teaching experience or a teaching certification like TEFL.
It's usually helpful to find jobs with these kinds of language schools while in the same country. This allows you to go in for an interview and, oftentimes, receive the job offer on the spot!
Best countries for short-term teaching
Short-term teaching opportunities can be found all over the world but here are some of the best destinations to spend a few weeks or months abroad.
- Summer camps: Germany, France, and Spain are three of the most popular destinations for short-term summer camp opportunities.
- Internships: teachers interning in Thailand, China, and Cambodia can expect good pay and benefits for their short-term assignments.
- Volunteer: India, Peru, and Nepal happily welcome enthusiastic volunteer teachers and in return provide accommodation, meals, and eager and friendly students.
- Language schools: Poland, Vietnam, and China are always looking for English speakers for short-term teaching gigs.
Average salary and benefits for short-term teaching
Salaries and benefits will be dependent on the type of teaching job, the location, and of course, the individual employer. However, as a guide, here’s a look at the average monthly pay and perks for typical short-term teaching opportunities.
- Summer camps: English teachers working at summer camps in Europe can expect free lodging and meals along with a monthly stipend of around $1,000 to $1,500 USD. Some camps in Germany can pay up to $2,500.
- Internships: monthly salaries for teaching interns can range from $700-$1,000 USD. Some internships may include accommodation. Free accommodation is most common in China.
- Volunteer: typically unpaid but benefits generally include free accommodation, meals, and transportation. Other perks like language classes, insurance coverage, or excursions may be offered too, depending on the program.
- Language schools: salaries vary greatly depending on the country or region. English teachers at language schools in Eastern Europe can expect around $800-$1,100 USD a month while teachers in Asia earn more, usually around $1,500-$2,500 USD.
How to find and apply to short-term teaching opportunities
Finding short-term teaching opportunities is way less intimidating when you know where to look. While requirements may be different depending on the school or location, these are generally the steps you’ll need to follow to teach English abroad short term.
- Meet the basic requirements. Volunteer programs generally don’t require teaching qualifications. However, paid programs usually ask that teachers have a minimum of a TEFL certificate.
- Submit your application. Make sure to have a copy of your resume, university transcripts, references, passport photos, and your TEFL certificate, if needed.
- Prepare for the interview. Know your motivation behind why you want to teach abroad, why you chose that country, and your basic teaching philosophy.
- Apply for a visa! In some countries, you may be able to enter as a tourist but usually, you won’t be able to undertake paid work. Even for short-term programs, many overseas employers will sponsor you for a visa that allows you to work legally.
When is the best time to apply for a short-term job teaching English?
The best time to apply to a short-term teaching job is a month or two before your desired start date. This will give you time to complete your application, get your visa situated, and your transportation to and from your program location. For example, you should apply in the late spring if you'd like to work at a summer language camp or in the fall if you want to teach over the winter break.
What qualifications do you need for a short-term teaching job?
While you usually need a bachelor's degree and a teaching certificate (like a TEFL) to be a full-time English teacher abroad, many short-term teaching jobs have fewer requirements. Most importantly you need to be a native English speaker. Some programs may also require proof of university or college attendance.
How can I get a summer job abroad?
If you're looking for a meaningful and fun job to fill your summer, consider teaching English abroad. As one of the most popular summer opportunities, English language camps are a great way to meet new people, get teaching experience, and travel to a new location.
How long are short-term teach abroad programs?
You can find almost any kind of time-frame you're looking for, ranging from one week to 10 days to a few months. Programs that are considered short-term are usually those that last less than six months.