Frequently Asked Questions
Below are quick answers to some frequently asked questions. If your question isn’t included on our list, send us an email and we’ll get you an answer!
Once you complete your training and certification and leave the Training Center to begin your paid teaching assignment, you’ll live in an apartment that you’ve rented for yourself, or in an accommodation provided by the hiring school. Generally, these accommodations are furnished apartments, with the amenities you’d expect. These apartments may be air-conditioned, and Internet connections can often be arranged. In some cases, you may share an apartment with one or more roommates, like other teachers, international students or locals; typically you’ll have a private bedroom and bath. Accommodations that are provided by the hiring schools tend to be located at, or very nearby, the schools. Obviously, an apartment that you rent for yourself will be located wherever you choose.
Our Online Program participants will be assigned an Online TEFL trainer who will provide them with career assistance and resources in order to find ESL teaching positions.
For participants in all of the Asia programs, you will be given a personal international cellular telephone and some “starter” minutes.
Note that dialing international phone calls can be relatively expensive, while receiving calls initiated by the other party is quite inexpensive (sometimes free). Be sure to tell your family and friends back home!
Life as a Teacher
Our teachers are generally paid the equivalent of US$450-2,000 per month, depending on the country, and the details and conditions of each specific teaching assignment (see Locations for more details – click the “Job Prospects & Pay” link for each country). Sometimes, when compensation is at the lower end of the country range, free accommodations, insurance or other services are provided by the hiring schools. Some schools offer additional compensation for specific added teaching services you provide (tutoring, for example). Other schools may offer reimbursement for some portion of your airfare costs, based on completion of a given period of work (six months to a year, typically).
In all locations, you should be able to earn enough to live comfortably, although in Europe, the Middle East, and most Latin American countries, you may not be able to save much. Asia is the most lucrative region for English teachers, you should earn enough to live comfortably, and save several hundred dollars per month.
Ultimately, the decision about which teaching assignment to accept will be yours to make. But it’s important to keep in mind that there will often be differences between “best available” opportunities and the “perfect scenario” you may have envisioned – an open mind and a little flexibility can lead to a wonderful overseas teaching adventure!
LanguageCorps considers any form of direct pay, allowances or reimbursements you receive as compensation to you; we do not collect a portion of your salary as a fee, as many recruiters or placement agencies do.
A teacher’s work schedule typically encompasses 4-7 hours per workday, five days per week. There are sometimes requirements for weekend or evening class sessions.
Depending upon the local practice, there may be multiple holidays and vacation periods during a longer-term teaching assignment. Many of our teachers have ample time to take excursions or tourist trips based on the class schedules of their assigned schools. But, you must be clear on this central point: You will be working in a paid job as an EFL teacher. Your hiring school – and LanguageCorps – will expect you to abide by your commitments as an employee and professional.
In Europe, many schools in the Czech Republic and Russia will sponsor their teachers for a work visa. However, it is difficult for non EU citizens to obtain work visas elsewhere in Europe. Most schools do not want to go to the trouble to obtain them, as it is a lengthy process, and in fact, if a school sponsors you for a work visa, you would typically need to fly back to the U.S. and go to a consulate to get the visa, and then return to Europe. For most teachers and schools, this is too expensive and time-consuming. The common practice is for schools to hire non EU citizens for “cash-in-hand” positions, and most people just overstay their 90 day tourist visas. Many non EU citizens are in Europe teaching, and being a native English speaker along with a TEFL certificate (after you complete the four week course), makes you quite marketable. In Europe, it is sometimes possible to apply for a students visa. A student visa allows you to work 20 hours per week legally and can usually be renewed from within the country. Ask us for details!
Some countries, namely Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, have agreements with other countries which allows their citizens to work abroad through a Working Holiday Visa. Please note that there are typically certain requirements such as age, length of stay, type of job, insurance and bank saldo.
If an assigned LanguageCorps teacher simply decides to quit his/her paid teaching assignment and return home with no regard to an emergency or other serious issue, that action would create significant problems for the school and its students, and for other LanguageCorps teachers and staff. In such a circumstance and your employer would almost certainly cancel any bonuses or incentives they had offered.
Of course! Although most of our teachers like to use holidays and vacation time to travel and explore the new part of the world in which they’re now living – it’s a great opportunity to experience a new corner of the globe!
Subject to the requirements of your teaching commitments and schedules, it’s certainly possible that you’ll have enough time to organize a brief visit home. However, we caution you that it can be a somewhat complicated and expensive undertaking. In some of our destinations, you may encounter work visa or re-entry issues caused by an interim trip home. And of course, you’ll have to bear all the costs for traveling home and back.
Some programs also include local language training and informal acculturation training, so that you arrive at your teaching assignment with some sense of local practices and customs, and some limited skill in the local language to help you get around, go shopping, order food, and so on.
Safety and Security
We highly recommend you purchase international medical insurance with coverage of $50,000 to $100,000. International medical insurance is easy to get and very inexpensive—you never even have to visit your doctor. These insurance covers accidents and illnesses while abroad, but pre-existing conditions and well visits are not included. Usually, they also provide evacuation service, in the event that your illness or injury is serious enough to require that. Finally, keep in mind that if you get ill or injured or encounter any problem, the training center staff is nearby, and will be available to help.
We suggest you look at CISI, Seven Corners and GEO Blue to get the best rates.
Some of our host countries do require immunizations or vaccinations prior to entry, but these health requirements frequently change. Please check with your primary care physician or local travel clinic for the most current information about the country you plan on teaching in. You can also visit the Center for Disease Control’s website at www.cdc.gov/travel for current recommendations.
Like any responsible service organization, LanguageCorps has no intent to put our teachers or staff in harm’s way; we abide fully by the recommendations from leading healthcare authorities including the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Neither of these, nor any other major international health organization, has issued any advisory or caution against traveling to, or living and working in, any LanguageCorps assignment country.
We are relieved that SARS no longer poses a significant threat. In fact, there are new reports that US and Asian researchers are now close to perfecting a vaccination to guard against contracting or spreading the SARS virus.
Bird Flu has not been a recent concern, and early reports of rapid spread to humans and fears of an immediate epidemic have been discounted by health experts. We are encouraged by recent reports of several new Bird Flu vaccines, but do suggest awareness of potential pandemics worldwide (i.e. at home as much as abroad).
Zika outbreaks have been reported in Latin America, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Africa, and parts of south and southeast Asia. It is spread to people primarily by the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms are usually mild and many people do not even have symptoms. However, a pregnant women can pass the ZIKA virus to her fetus which can cause serious birth defects. Pregnant women should not travel to these destinations and also their partner should consider postponing their trip until after pregnancy as it is can be passed through sex. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-information
The Ebola virus originated in Africa and mainly effected Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia in 2014-2015. The disease is spread by direct contact with blood or body fluids of a person that is infected with the virus. In 2016, the large outbreak was officially declared over. Ebola is deadly and there is currently no vaccine. The risk of people traveling to Africa is now minimal, but there is still a small chance of getting effected, especially for people that are in close contact with non-human primates (monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas) or bats in the more tropical parts of the continent. Also caretakers are at a higher risk. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/ebola
We share the confidence of medical professionals and healthcare authorities that our teachers and staff now living and working in our Asian destinations are safe.
All of our Training Centers, most schools, and teacher accommodations are located in or near primary and secondary cities in our assignment countries. We take care to place our Centers in fun, attractive, safe areas, and work only with select schools that operate in similarly attractive, secure locations.
It’s only prudent to be vigilant in avoiding petty theft, and to watch out for vehicular traffic which doesn’t follow the same patterns we are used to in the US. Presuming that our teachers exercise appropriate good judgment and caution, we believe that the levels of personal safety and well-being they enjoy are as high as in most US cities. Upon arrival in your selected destination, you will receive an orientation in which the local staff will discusses the safety issues related to the country.
LanguageCorps enforces a strict requirement that our teachers not indulge in illicit drugs of any sort, not only out of concern for your safety and well-being, but because we know that the local penalties for illegal drug possession and use can be quite harsh. Laws governing alcohol consumption in our assignment countries tend to be similar to those with which you’re already familiar at home. While we do not enforce any specific rules regarding drinking after class hours, we do expect our LanguageCorps teachers to act as responsible, professional adults, and behave in a manner that will reflect well upon them, their employing schools, and upon our organization. We depend upon an informal honor system to govern the good behavior of our LanguageCorps teachers and staff.
Are you flexible? Able to adapt easily to a new environment? Are you independent-minded? Are you excited by the idea of leading a classroom of eager students who want to – but don’t yet – speak your language? Are you comfortable being the center of attention? If so, then you’re a LanguageCorps teacher! To get a better perspective, go to our Reality Check page to read about experiences and adventures of some of our LanguageCorps teachers.
- Empower our teachers with great training and support.
- Make the process easy, so our teachers can focus on the experience of living and working abroad.
- Challenge our teachers to learn and apply new skills, while making real contributions to the success and well-being of others in the world.
- Facilitate the development of “teacher diplomats” who appreciate different cultures, foster mutual respect, and encourage understanding among culturally diverse people.
LanguageCorps offers a TEFL Certification Program with program fees that range from approximately US$1,395-$2,295. We offer our TEFL Certification Programs in Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. The program is an intensive and thorough 4-week course of classroom training and practice teaching, leading to a TEFL Certificate which is internationally recognized. As part of all TEFL Certification Programs, you will receive job search assistance, and in all locations, most people who are persistent and flexible are successful in finding teaching positions.
Our Online TEFL Certification Program includes a full 150 hour certification course. In this course, you’ll be assigned a personal TEFL trainer that will coach your during the 15 hours of Skype tutoring that are included in the course. Besides, you will teach 6 1-hour classes to a live English students online. These classes are observed by your TEFL trainer who will provide you with constructive feedback. This program is designed to be flexible enough for full time students or working professionals, while still ensuring a rigorous training. The program fee for our Online TEFL Certification Program is US$495.
For all Programs we require a deposit of US$500 ($300 for the Online TEFL Certification Program) to reserve your scheduled start date. This deposit is deducted from the total program fee and is non-refundable. The balance of the program fee is payable 60 days prior to your scheduled start date.
To ensure placement in the program you desire, we advise applying four to six months prior to your intended start date (four to six weeks for the Online TEFL Certification Program). Late placements are sometimes possible, so if you are applying less than two months (30 days for the Online TEFL Certification Program) before your desired start date, please contact us immediately. There is no financial commitment to submitting an application so you need not wait until you are absolutely sure about your plans – in fact, discussing your options with our admissions staff may help clarify your thinking. Keep in mind that popular courses may fill several months in advance, and that once accepted, you must submit a deposit before we can guarantee a spot in a particular program. Also keep in mind that flight can be significantly cheaper when you book them months in advance.
LanguageCorps offers several different programs for adventurous people interested in living and working in a different culture. The programs offered vary by location.
Our TEFL Certification Programs is a four-week, intensive TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification course, conducted in many different countries. During the program, you will learn the skills and methodology needed to be comfortable and competent teaching EFL (English as a Foreign Language) abroad. You will also receive job search assistance, and teachers have been very successful in all locations finding paid teaching positions. Accommodations can be arranged in all locations for an additional fee. For some programs, local language and cultural training is included in the Program.
The TEFL Practicum includes the regular four-week Certification Course, and is followed by a 3 month teaching practicum. You will work alongside teaching English professionals and receive a monthly salary. Accommodations are included both during your training and your teaching practicum.
And for those who only have a limited time to spend overseas, we offer a Online + Onsite Combined TEFL Certification program in three locations: Peru, Guatemala and Costa Rica. This program only requires two weeks of Onsite Training and includes the exact same modules as the full Onsite Program. The first half of the course can be completed Online, and includes 7 hours of Skype tutoring. For the second half of the course, you either travel to Peru, Guatemala or Costa Rica to join the Onsite students and complete your 6-hour teaching practice Onsite.
Our Online TEFL Certification Program is designed to be flexible enough for full time students or working professionals, while still ensuring a rigorous training. The program includes a full 150 hour certification course, including job search assistance. This module includes 6 hours of practice teaching.
The good news is that full year commitments isn’t required any of our programs. That being said, shorter time frames may limit your employment opportunities (many hiring schools ask for at least a 6 month commitment, which means you would be abroad for 7-8 months, including training time). If you only havea few months available, you could spend a month abroad completing one of the TEFL Certification Programs and do some traveling afterwards. We encourage longer stays, in order to allow full immersion into the culture of your host country!
All our Programs include an intensive 4-week TEFL training and certification course, and job placement assistance and support services in those locations are only available to our program participants. The quality of other TESOL/TEFL certification programs varies, and we have had many people who previously received certification participate in one of our programs. In many cases, our programs are more thorough than previously experienced, and many find it worthwhile as a refresher and update in TESOL methodology. And, of course, the job placement assistance and support while adjusting to a new culture is worthwhile!
You must provide for your own travel from your home to your arrival point and for your own travel back home at the end of your teaching assignment. (NOTE: Some hiring schools may offer partial or full reimbursement of airfare costs as part of your overall compensation.)
In some teaching assignments, you may have accommodations, and/or free access to dining facilities, as part of your compensation. But more commonly, you will have to pay for your own food and rent. In addition, an apartment you select may require additional “up-front” payments such as security deposits and fist-month’s rent. As in all walks of life, be sure to have enough funds to get through to your first monthly paycheck!
You will need to pay for your food during the program, although in some countries a home stay is an option, which typically includes two meals per day. Furthermore, you will have to pay for any personal items and services (cleaning, laundry, etc.) you may want, and for your own entertainment, vacation or leisure travel, gifts or other personal shopping. Depending on your locations and life style, we recommend you have access to $1000-$1500 for Asia, $2000-$3000 for Europe and $1000-$2000 for Latin America.
In all locations, accommodations can be arranged for an additional charge during the 4-week training and certification course. The housing fee varies by location (please see the country program pages for specifics).
After training, some hiring schools may provide free accommodation as part of your compensation. Otherwise, you must pay for your own rent in a local apartment or rooming house. Some housing situations may require a refundable security deposit from you. (Note that in some cases where housing is not provided, your direct pay may be somewhat higher, or the hiring school may offer a separate housing allowance).
Participants of the TEFL Practicum Program in Peru, Costa Rica and Guatemala, will be placed at a local language institute and join the professional teaching team for three months.
For Online course participants, you assigned Online TEFL trainer can assist you in determining the overseas location that best meets your goals and qualifications. He or she will act as a professional reference for future ESL opportunities.
Given the high caliber reputation of our LanguageCorps teachers, our staff’s knowledge of and experience with local EFL teaching opportunities and our focus on job placement, we are confident that by the time you complete your certification / orientation or soon thereafter you will have received at least one, and usually more than one, offer(s) for a paid EFL teaching assignment. Our staff can also assist with the oftentimes complicated contract negotiations, to ensure our teachers receive the maximum benefits and pay they are qualified for.
Sometimes a teacher will work in two or more part-time positions instead of one full-time position, or may elect to supplement their primary job with side work such as tutoring.
LanguageCorps does not offer guaranteed job placement, however, our participants have been very successful with job placement in all locations.
No. Schools hiring EFL teachers do not expect that they will speak the local language. They are more concerned that their teachers are native or native-level English speakers, and that they have been thoroughly trained in Teaching English as a Foreign Language methodology. They (and LanguageCorps) prefer an immersion approach to teaching EFL, in which only English is spoken in the classroom. Schools can be concerned that if an EFL teacher is also fluent in the local language and uses that common language to communicate during class, students may not feel the same incentive to really learn English. If you do know the local language, that is fine, but be sensitive to a school’s request that you speak English with your students.
Some Programs include local acculturation and language training, both as a learning exercise for you, and to help you acclimate yourself to the local area. Also keep in mind that our training center staff is always nearby to help you.
Many schools offer additional free or low-cost local language training, and a popular option is to trade private ESL tutoring for local language lessons.
No! LanguageCorps is a full service provider of TEFL training and certification, and as part of our programs, we also provide job placement assistance, and local support for EFL teachers, who are our clients. While recruiting new teachers is certainly a part of what we do, paid recruiting of teachers is not a part of our business model. Recruiters, or recruiting companies, get paid by a school (their true client) only when a teacher (like you) accepts a job there. The recruiter’s primary incentive is to serve its client school – and to convince you to accept whatever job is available from the school that pays the highest recruiting fee, whether or not that job meets your preferences. Our objective is to help our teachers have a rewarding international experience by providing thorough training, support, and assistance finding a job that best meets personal preferences.
LanguageCorps does not have scholarships available. Your options might include borrowing from a relative, personal loan from your bank, credit card, or personal fundraising. If you would like more information about fundraising, we can provide some tips on how to go about it.
TESOL, TEFL, and EFL
EFL classes tend to be culturally unified, allowing teachers to gear instruction specifically to the needs and learning styles of their local-market students. EFL Instructors must therefore be well versed in the educational and cultural expectations of their students. Typically, EFL teachers take on the responsibility of being their students’ primary source of English exposure.
English as a Second Language (ESL) differs from EFL, in that ESL implies the teaching and learning of English in an English-speaking region (e.g., the US), while EFL more commonly applies in non-English speaking regions. EFL and ESL involve different challenges and strategies for teachers and learners alike.
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) are often used as interchangeable terms. While they differ slightly from one another, both are established, internationally recognized standards for methodology and practice to teach English language skills to non-native-English speakers. TESOL certification is widely regarded as a rigorous standard for teachers, and requires prescribed curriculum, and a minimum six hours of supervised practice teaching in an actual student-classroom environment. A TESOL certificate is widely recognized by EFL teaching schools and programs as the mark of a well trained, highly qualified EFL teacher.
On the student side, the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a widely recognized test of proficiency in the English language. At most US and U.K. colleges and universities, a verifiable passing mark on the TOEFL exam is a requirement to matriculate for all students from non-English-speaking countries.