Questions about finding ESL/Teaching programs domestically and internationally

Dear Reader,

I am looking to volunteer at programs where I can teach here in the U.S.A. or abroad, preferably for a year.  But I’m having trouble finding programs that don’t require a lot of experience (sorry Peace Corps) and have a good reputation (i.e. Mercy Corps).  If you or someone you know has done programs like these, please comment on the questions I have provided below to help me in my search!  Thanks so much for you help.



Questions about ESL/Teaching Programs

  1. How do you find out about/search for programs?
  2. How do you determine which ones are good programs?
  3. Where are most teaching positions found (in terms of countries/cities)?
  4. Have you tried looking for positions through the Café sites?
  5. Are they legit? (or is more like Craigslist)
  6. What is the application process like?
  7. Have you encountered any ones that were hard?
  8. Which part of the process is the most difficult?
  9. How do you determine the difficulty of the program’s selection process?
  10. For example, the Peace Corps is very hard.
  11. Have you applied to programs where you had to fund-raise for your position?
  12. How hard was it?
  13. Would you suggest applying to programs that cover all (or most) of your costs?
  14. Would you suggest applying to programs that pay you an annual salary instead?
  15. Is it difficult to apply to other programs to continue your teaching while you’re currently teaching?
  16. How hard is it to budget?
  17. Whether or not you’re on a weekly stipend or annual salary?
  18. Do you travel much when you’re there to other cities/countries?
  19. What are ways you become culturally integrated?
  20. Have you ever lived with a host family for one of the programs?
  21. What’s the best/worst program you worked in?
  22. Same for living situation.
  23. Any problems you encountered that hindered or negatively affected your stay?
  24. Is it difficult to live without some of the amenities?
  25. i.e. electricity, water, etc.
  26. What’s the best moment you had when you’re teaching?
  27. What’s the worst moment you had when you’re teaching?
  28. How do you adapt your teaching methods to each classroom?
  29. Do people in the program hang out with each other a lot?
  30. What are Extra Curricular Activities you do while you’re teaching?
  31. Is it difficult to stay in touch with family and friends?
  32. Why did you apply to these teaching programs?
  33. What would your advice be when searching and applying to these programs?
  34. Feel free to add in anything you think is important that has not been covered.

3 thoughts on “Questions about finding ESL/Teaching programs domestically and internationally

  1. Kyle, you should apply for the Spanish government teaching assistant program… I think the deadline for this year is March 31, but you could fill out the application really fast, or just apply next year. It’s totally legit because it’s through the Spanish government. The application process is kind of confusing because it’s partially in Spanish and partially in English, but it does have a relatively good instruction guide to help you through it.
    Also, have you considered Fulbright ETAs?
    I’m pretty sure that in countries that speak less commonly taught languages (Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia) there are a lot of countries that offer programs where you don’t need to have any experience with the language.
    Let me know if you have any questions!

    1. Hi Elly,

      Thanks for the information about Spain and the Fulbright ETAs. I haven’t researched the latter but I will look into. Thanks again for your help and I’ll contact you if I have more questions!


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