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.