2017 Best Teach Abroad and TEFL Programs
If you want to make a lasting difference for people in need worldwide, teaching is the way to do it. Education is the key to poverty alleviation: it encourages children and youth to build brighter futures for themselves, and allows men and women to pursue better career opportunities to support their families and make a positive impact within their communities and beyond.
There are so many different teach abroad opportunities for travelers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels - whether you want to teach basic English to children, educate adults in business English, mentor youth through sports programs and classroom activities, or even empower women and girls through entrepreneurial and life skills workshops, you’re bound to find an incredible teaching opportunity anywhere you want to travel.
The types of work you can expect to do will vary based on your background and qualifications - if you’re new to teaching or can’t stay abroad for more than a week or two, you may focus more on helping local teachers with their daily work, teaching basic English phrases to students, or even assisting with a school’s administrative work. If you have teaching experience or if you’re able to travel longer and earn training from your teach abroad program, your responsibilities can include developing lessons, preparing tests, tutoring students, and even leading your own classroom.
Teaching English in particular can be a way to make the best, and longest-lasting impact on your travels. As English speaking and writing has become one of the most valuable skill sets worldwide for those entering the workforce - particularly in international sectors - it’s vitally important that people all across the world have access to quality English education. This is where you come in: through high-quality TEFL certification programs (including ones in this article), you’ll be able to teach English to learners of all ages and skill levels even if you don’t have any prior experience as a teacher. And better yet: a TEFL certification will open you up to job opportunities and paid internships globally. What better way to get paid to travel?
Ready to travel? Let’s take a look at some of the very best teach abroad opportunities you can sign up for all over the world right now!
Since 1997, GVI has placed more than 20,000 volunteers and interns on meaningful programs all over the world. With opportunities in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australasia, and Africa, GVI has no shortage of impactful adventures you can sign up for - and right now, GVI is offering several dozen teaching placements where you can help out in a classroom, develop your leadership skills, and make a difference for children and teens. GVI also offers TEFL certification if you would like to get paid to teach English worldwide.
On this internship, you will provide much-needed support for children who have been affected by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. Based in Pokhara, you’ll spend your first 12 weeks completing an orientation, training alongside GVI team members, and learning the basics of educating in classrooms and community centers. After that, you’ll start your teaching internship placement with GVI or with a trusted project partner, where you will develop your skills while assisting with the day-to-day operations of community initiatives that support disadvantaged children. As a bonus, you may be given the opportunity to work with GVI or a selected partner organization in Nepal after successfully completing your teaching internship. Learn more here!
If you’re up for adventure, check out GVI’s sports and surfing volunteer program in South Africa. Based in Cape Town, this program invites you to mentor and teach local children how to surf - plus you’ll have the chance to lead physical education classes and coach other popular South African sports such as football, netball, cricket, and rugby in nearby townships. During your free time and weekends, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to relax, explore, or travel. Learn more and sign up here!
Since 2003, Maximo Nivel has offered volunteer abroad programs, internships, study abroad opportunities, and teach abroad placements in Latin America. This wonderful organization partners with local NGOs and schools to provide the best impact on their communities throughout Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. If you’d like to teach English abroad, Maximo Nivel offers TEFL certification, which includes 150 hours of coursework, 6 hours of practical teaching experience, and 6 hours of observation from teachers. After completing your TEFL certification through Maximo Nivel, you’ll have lifetime job placement assistance to help you find paid teaching placements worldwide.
Through Maximo Nivel’s volunteer teaching English program, you can travel to Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru to educate ESL learners. The public education system in these countries does not usually offer high-quality ESL programs, so as a volunteer, your job will be to fill in this gap to provide students with greater academic and career opportunities. You’ll have the chance to teach in a variety of settings, such as public schools, community centers, after-school programs, and other locations to create lesson plans, teach classes, help with tutoring, and planning games and activities. Learn more here!
If you’d like to get TEFL certified - which will open you up to paid English teaching opportunities worldwide - take a look at Maximo Nivel’s four-week, 150-hour course in Latin America. Modules include Approaches to Learning and Teaching, Critical ESL Techniques, Class Management, Lesson Planning, English Grammar, Teaching Vocabulary, Assessing Learners, and more. In this course, you’ll participate in 100 hours of in-class instruction, 35 hours of reading and written assignments, and 15 hours of observation and practical teaching. During the final week of your course, you’ll take over duties in an English class, teaching hour-long lessons for five days so you can become more familiar with the work you’ll do as an ESL instructor. Click here to learn more!
Since 2007, IVHQ has provided affordable volunteer programs throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific. To date, more than 68,000 travelers have signed up with IVHQ, which offers a wide variety of placements from teaching, to community development, to special needs support, and much more. There are lots of amazing teaching opportunities with IVHQ, including TEFL certification, English teaching, French education, general classroom support, and much more.
Right now, IVHQ is offering a specialized online TEFL certification course for only $399 through a partnership with CCELT Online, a worldwide leader in TEFL training. This 100-hour course equips you with the knowledge and abilities you’ll need to succeed as an English language instructor overseas - whether you decide to volunteer on IVHQ’s many different English teaching placements, or if you’re interested in pursuing paid teaching opportunities later at schools or private programs worldwide. Click here to learn more!
As a volunteer on this program, you will have the chance to teach French - Morocco’s unofficial third language, and its primary language for commerce and economics - to students in local community centers. These centers offer free or low-cost French lessons to children, teens, and adults of all skill levels so that they can become better equipped to enter the job market and build successful careers. On this French teaching placement, you will help staff with running classes, tutoring for school exams, helping with homework, and organizing educational games and activities. Learn more and sign up here!
Based in Africa, Agape Volunteers offers volunteer and adventure programs in South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, and Maasai-land, with many different opportunities to teach sports, music, and formal programs such as English, computer literacy, math, and other subjects. And no matter what volunteer opportunity you sign up for, travel insurance is included in your program fee with Agape Volunteers.
Through Agape Volunteers’ teaching in Kenya program, you will help lead a formal curriculum of English, math, science, religion, and social studies in a local classroom. As a volunteer, you’ll work alongside a teacher who will cover lessons in Kiswahili, and you will have lots of opportunity to get used to the Kenyan education system before leading your own class and developing lesson plans for your students. Textbooks and other basic materials are provided, but you may wish to bring along other materials to supplement your work, such as pens, pencils, paper, and chalk, as well as games and activities you might want to introduce to your students. Learn more and sign up here!
In Ghana, you’ll have the wonderful chance to teach music to students in Jamestown, a beachside area of Accra. Through this program, you’ll work with Agape Volunteers and a local music and cultural troupe to provide music lessons to students who cannot afford formal education. As a volunteer, you can teach music theory, composition, how to play different instruments, and much more - through these lessons, students can develop confidence, skills in communication and math, and have a structured environment that will keep them connected and productive in their community. Click here to learn more and to sign up!
Founded in 2007, Volunteering Solutions (VolSol) offers more than 120 different volunteer programs, internships, and teach abroad placements throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific. If you’d like to plan lessons, lead classrooms, and support students in attaining their educational goals, VolSol has plenty of opportunities from girls’ empowerment, to English teaching, to basic classroom assistance.
Based in Tanzania, this program invites you to teach English at a nursery, primary, or secondary school in Zanzibar from one week to three months. Many schools in this region lack necessary resources and adequate infrastructure, so there are plenty of ways you can help out. A few tasks you’ll take on include preparing lesson plans, helping teachers lead their classes, assisting with day-to-day school operations, developing tests, practicing vocabulary with your students, and helping to come up with new teaching methods. Learn more and sign up here!
If you’ve always wanted to visit China, VolSol has the perfect opportunity: through this program, you’ll teach English at a Beijing primary school that educates children from impoverished immigrant families. In addition to English lessons, you also will have the chance to teach Chinese, math, physical education, and other subjects by helping build language skills, supporting teachers with their day-to-day lessons, assisting with school administrative work, designing lesson plans, and much more. Click here to learn more!
Love Volunteers is one of the fastest growing and affordable volunteer abroad organizations you can sign up for right now, with more than 20,000 travelers placed on more than 120 projects in 34 countries worldwide since 2009. There are lots of different teaching opportunities you can check out through Love Volunteers, including English teaching, sports coaching, women’s empowerment, and beyond.
Based in Arusha, this program invites you to support women who have been subjected to injustices and traumatic events. As a volunteer, you will work with women and their children in a safe space where they can recover from their past and build brighter futures. One of the project’s goals is to provide quality education and skills development opportunities, and you can help by volunteering in the daycare or pre-school, teaching computer skills or English, and providing vocational training. Learn more and sign up here!
Through this program, you will be able to help improve the educational and career prospects for some of Rio de Janeiro’s poorest and most disadvantaged residents. Because access to basic English education is severely lacking in Brazil’s favelas, your assistance can make a great difference by helping residents prepare for the job market, school exams, and much more. You can help lead classrooms, design lesson plans, network with local residents and project staff, monitor students’ progress, and much more - click here to learn more and to sign up.
Since 1994, i-to-i has provided TEFL certification, adventure trips, paid internships, and jobs for travelers who would like to get paid to teach English abroad. More than 175,000 graduates have completed i-to-i’s accredited TEFL courses, which provide certificates that are recognized by thousands of employers all over the world. i-to-i offers many amazing journeys for English teacher travelers, including four- to five-month trips to China and Vietnam, and even shorter-term TEFL experience trips to Thailand, Cambodia, and other countries.
One of i-to-i’s paid internships invites you to Vietnam, where you will spend four-and-a-half months teaching English to students in a local classroom. To start, you will take a 120-hour online TEFL training course to help you learn to teach English confidently, followed by 20 hours of in-classroom training once you arrive to Vietnam. After that, you’ll begin your teaching experience, where you can work with students aged 4 to 18 in a major city. You’ll earn a living allowance of $700 each month, plus housing will be provided with fellow interns. Upon successful completion of your internship, you will earn a $700 completion bonus. Learn more here!
Another excellent opportunity i-to-i is offering right now is a two-month Cambodia TEFL Experience, where you will travel throughout the country and teach English at a private school in Phnom Penh. To get started, you’ll complete i-to-i’s 120-hour online TEFL qualification, and then take on seven weeks of practical teaching experience in a school with students aged 3 to 16. At the end of your trip, you’ll spend a week relaxing and reflecting at a Sihanoukville beach resort. Click here to sign up!
For more than 20 years, Projects Abroad has provided volunteer programs and internships worldwide for individuals, groups, and students. With more than 10,000 travelers placed throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific, Projects Abroad has an incredible variety of opportunities you can sign up for right now. If you want to teach abroad, this organization offers plenty of placements, including English, French, IT, and physical education.
Based in Addis Ababa, this program gives you the chance to teach in elementary, high school, or language school classrooms with students aged five and up. In Ethiopia, English is the primary language used for STEM fields in particular, which makes your work vital to encouraging students to pursue greater educational and career opportunities. As a volunteer, you will help children learn English from an early age by improving their conversational skills, vocabulary, and grammar, plus you can help out with other subjects and extracurricular activities. Learn more and sign up here!
Another excellent teaching program you can sign up for right now with Projects Abroad invites you to teach practical computer skills to children in Jamaica. As more primary and junior high schools throughout the country incorporate IT lessons into their curriculum, volunteers are needed to help staff supplement their work, and provide support for schools that do not have adequate computer education. As a volunteer, you will help with lessons in desktop publishing, internet research, email communication, and much more. If you have website design and social media experience, you’re encouraged to help the school update their website and communications online as well. Click here to learn more and to sign up!
If you’re interested in a teach abroad experience that’s unique, exotic, and off the beaten path, check out Fronteering. With volunteer programs and internships in 14 different countries worldwide, Fronteering offers amazing opportunities to visit unspoiled locations and make a positive difference in a variety of sectors.
One of Fronteering’s many unique travel experiences invites you to Madagascar to teach alongside educators in an underprivileged school and help make a difference for children in need. Most of the teachers in the area where you’ll work have little access to proper training, so as a volunteer, you will be able to help make sure local children have the education they need. There are many different ways you can assist, including after-school support, helping teachers with their daily work, providing training to the teachers, and helping students improve their literacy and numeracy skills. Click here to learn more and to apply!
Another teaching opportunity you should check out with Fronteering takes you to Ghana, where you will teach English, sports, math, and economics in a local classroom, or even help with arts and crafts, rhymes, songs, and storytelling if you volunteer with younger students. Your responsibilities as a teacher will vary based on your background and the needs of the project, but you can be sure you’re making a positive impact among the students you’ll work with each day. Learn more and sign up here!
Another excellent organization you should check out if you want to teach overseas is A Broader View. Since 2007, A Broader View has dedicated more than 1.5 million volunteer hours and raised $2.5 million in donations for their program partners worldwide. Right now, this nonprofit is offering dozens of teaching opportunities in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Based in Quito, Ecuador, this English teaching opportunity invites you to work alongside local teachers at a local high school. For two weeks to three months, you will have the chance to teach in a high-quality school and assist staff and educators with anything they might need. Through this program, you’ll be able to help prepare students for higher education opportunities as well as successful entry into the workforce. Learn more and apply here!
Based in Nepal, this program gives you the wonderful chance to teach nuns aged four to 18 in a monastery. Most of these nuns are from poor families, and are sent to the monastery for better living conditions and to receive an education. As a volunteer, you will teach English under the supervision of a local teacher or administrator, and you can also help with other activities throughout the monastery to provide extra support. Learn more and apply here!
Since 1989, Frontier has invited travelers of all ages to work along with researchers and local communities in capacity building, ecosystem protection, community development, economic growth, and the development of civil society. This nonprofit scientific research organization hosts more than 400 projects in 72 countries worldwide, and offers volunteer programs, gap year travel, internships abroad, and teach abroad / TEFL programs.
On this program, you will have the chance to teach in a school in Puerto Jimenez, offering support to local children and assisting staff with curriculum development, lesson planning, and much more. There are a variety of classroom activities you can assist with based on your background and the needs of the school, which will allow you to engage with the children, be creative, and help out with many aspects of their education. A few subjects you can contribute to include math, English, and reading, and you may even have the chance to plan your own lessons to teach a small group. Learn more and sign up here!
Another opportunity being offered by Frontier right now invites you to Madagascar, where you will help teach at a school that suffers from underfunding and lack of resources for their students. As a volunteer, you will help teach language, sports, music, and science at the school, and depending on the time of year that you travel, you also can teach adults at language camps or at churches. Learn more and apply here!
Naturally Africa Volunteers also offers excellent teach abroad opportunities for travelers who want to make a positive impact. For two weeks to three months, you can volunteer in Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, or South Africa, with teaching programs available in preschools, children’s centers, primary schools, and more. Depending on the teaching program you sign up for, Naturally Africa Volunteers may ask you to complete a basic TEFL course before you travel - their team can work with you to find the best program for your schedule and needs, and ensure that you are comfortable leading your own classroom.
Through this teaching program, Naturally Africa Volunteers invites you to Malawi, where you can provide care and development support for children in a preschool group. Because there is little formal education in this country for students aged six and under, there is much you can do to help young children get a head start before they enter primary school. As a volunteer, you can teach basic English, serve meals to malnourished children each day, record children’s weight to monitor their improvement, and promote the benefits of good hygiene by teaching children how to brush their teeth. Learn more and apply here!
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If you’re ready to make a positive difference on your next vacation by teaching English and other subjects, click here to create a profile and start fundraising! And if you’re looking for more inspiration for your teach abroad experience, check out these articles:
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February 02, 2017 | Read 697,286 Times