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03 December 2008
Teaching English Abroad, Part One
If you are worried about a recession, one way to get by is to become an expat and leave rainy, depressed England behind for a spell working abroad. Very well, I hear the cynics amongst you say, but doesn't an expat need to be highly skilled?

Not necessarily, replies your friendly old Exile, who does know a thing or two about living abroad. Have you ever considered taking a CELTA?

The CELTA is the Certificate in Teaching English to Adults, and it is offered at literally hundreds of sites throughout the UK. It is the premier English teaching qualification on offer, probably because the certificate itself is marked University of Cambridge. There are other qualifications on offer, but none carries the CELTA brand recognition.

The course usually lasts four weeks full time and it cannot be broken down into modules, so if you start it then you must finish it in one chunk. It is an expensive course to take, with an average cost of about £1,250, but if you want to work abroad then it is a price worth paying.

Entry requirements are fairly standard - you just need to have been educated up to A-Level, but obviously a degree is preferred by many institutions. The lower age limit for entry to a CELTA course is usually 20, but some centres will take you at 18 - you need to ask around.

Finally, if you do your certificate at any of the International House centres that are dotted around the country, then they will guarantee you a job abroad upon successful completion of the course.

Coming up next: some of the pitfalls that you may face teaching English abroad.

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Good summary. If people don't have a degree, they might find they can get a CELTA but can't get a visa or a job. If the centre aren't honest enough to tell you this, that means they are one to avoid

4 December 2008 at 09:14  

I didn't know that Alex, so thanks for the input.

4 December 2008 at 12:00  

Hmm - that 'guaranteed job' gimmick usually applies only to those candidates who pass the CELTA course with a Grade A. But they don't tell you that until later, of course. On my Celta course, done at IH MANY years ago, nobody got an A - not even a B!

And that 'guaranteed job' could be in a place that doesn't appeal to you. Fancy 12 months in a smoky Czech industrial town? Or some shithole of a Portuguese market town? Think twice at least - caveat emptor, matey!

Nice blog, BTW. Shame about the colours and the graphics though...

4 December 2008 at 15:17  

Thanks for these updates - it is what blogging should be about as the punters come in and add to the post's value with extra information.

My view is who cares where the job is? You get a British wage, paid into your British bank account and a local stipend paid in the local currency.

So you do three years in Upper Bollocks and then another three in San Pendejo. At the end of the time you should have six years worth of real money stashed away in the UK - not enough to retire on, but enough to buy a house, furniture and car.

Bastard work is about money, isn't it?

4 December 2008 at 16:04  

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