Certified and Experienced Teachers: Teaching K-12 Abroad

Teachers with K-12 certification (some experience a plus) have a wide range of options. The types of schools where one can teach vary in terms of the amount of integration into the host culture, from island to full immersion. Below are categories of international teaching opportunities for K-12 certified teachers.

Department of Defense Schools

Department of Defense Schools
Located at U.S. military bases around the world, the teaching environment is roughly similar to that of American public schools. Contact with host-country nationals would be relatively limited, since students and staff are American. The milieu will be decidedly military.

Private International Schools- Job Fairs

Located worldwide, nearly 1,000 private, English-language K-12 schools educate the children of expatriate diplomats and business people, and occasionally children of wealthy host-country nationals. The teaching environment is similar to that of elite U.S. private schools. Although one can apply directly to a given school, the most efficient way to apply is through job fairs given in the U.S., most of which take place in February (apply early, since some fill up by December!). Job fairs include the following:

International Schools Services (ISS)
Very selective program entails interviewing at an International Recruitment Center (IRC) after passing the initial screening by ISS. Must have bachelor's degree, teaching certification, experience living overseas and be willing to go to any country for a 2-year contract. Areas in special demand include math, science, computers, library science, and elementary teaching. Apply by December 1 in order to qualify to register for the IRC. Most teachers placed by ISS have several years teaching experience.

Search Associates
Fairs in February/ March and June. Candidates lacking certification or experience may be eligible for Search Associate's International School Intern Program (ISIP).

University of Northern Iowa's Overseas Placement Service for Educators
Nonprofit. More than 100 schools and organizations are represented at a job fair in February in Iowa.

Queen's University Teachers' Overseas Recruiting Fair
An annual recruiting event held in February in Kingston, Ontario. Provides a forum for teachers to have face-to-face interviews with administrators of international schools or their representatives. Participation is limited to teachers with at least two years of full-time elementary or secondary classroom experience.

Volunteer Organizations

Most long-term volunteer opportunities (1 year or more) will provide basic amenities and a small stipend for teachers. Options range from the government-sponsored Peace Corps to religious organizations (from non-proselytizing to traditional missionaries). Many volunteer opportunities will work in schools attended by host country national children.

U.S. Peace Corps

U-M Peace Corps Office
U-M International Center

If you live outside the Ann Arbor area, contact:
U.S. Peace Corps

Religious organizations should be contacted directly; some recruit at the teaching abroad fairs already mentioned. For contact information, see our page on Long-term Volunteer Programs.

Fulbright Programs for Teachers

Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program
A mutual, one-for-one exchange of teachers and participants who are fully integrated into regular host country schools. K-12, community college teachers, and administrators are all eligible. Applicants must currently have a full-time teaching or administrative position. Application deadline is in October for the following academic year.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships
See the U-M campus Fulbright advisors in the U-M International Institute. English teaching options for recent B.A./B.S. graduates, master's and doctoral candidates, young professionals and artists in over 60 countries. Currently enrolled U-M students should apply through the university. Application deadline is in late August for current U-M students.