Teach Abroad as a Volunteer
- Role: Assisting local teachers with classes or leading your own classes and teaching children, teenagers, and adults subjects such as English, IT, and French.
- Requirements: Fluency in language taught; some related education for Vietnam.
Volunteers who want to work as teachers abroad can participate in a Projects Abroad Teaching Project. You do not have to be a teacher to get involved and you can gain international experience in any of our destinations without needing a TEFL or TESOL qualification. You don’t even need to speak the local language where you are volunteering. The program is open to all volunteers whether you are on a gap year, a study break, or a career break.
Students at our placements around the world will be excited to have you in the classroom. Often the local teachers are capable of teaching the structural aspects of the English language - such as grammar - but do not use the correct intonation or pronunciation, because they lack the confidence of a native speaker. By providing conversational English teaching, you can greatly enhance the learning experience and the future prospects of thousands of children and adults with whom we work in the developing world.
Often you will find that all you have is a blackboard and a piece of chalk in the classroom. Fortunately, the most important resource you have is yourself. The students will want to find out about you. They will want to know why you have chosen to come and teach abroad in a school in Nepal or a university in Mexico. Your lessons will give you the opportunity to explain about where you live or your interests and hobbies at home.
Volunteering as a Teacher Abroad with Projects Abroad
The amount of lessons per week that you will teach varies depending on the country and even the individual schools. In some countries you will be expected to be at school during the entire working day, though you may only teach two or three classes. In other cases you may just teach in the mornings. You will also need to take time to prepare your lessons, and correct your students’ work.
As a volunteer teacher, depending on your skills and interests, you are also welcome to teach other subjects. You could find yourself teaching math, science, geography, and more. Many volunteers choose to help out with extra-curricular activities like sports, drama, or music lessons as well.
Once you have applied, the Volunteer Advisor for your destination country will get in touch with you to find out more about you and explain more about teaching in the school or university you will be joining. Before you leave we will send you a comprehensive teaching guide with ideas, teaching games, and advice. It includes tried and tested teaching resources, and takes you through beginner and intermediate lessons.
It is a good idea to bring some of your own resources too. These could be pictures of your friends and family or some postcards of where you live. Another great aspect of a Projects Abroad experience is being able to sit down with other volunteers and share ideas of what works best in the classroom.
To help make sure our volunteers are prepared and effective in their roles as teachers, Projects Abroad also arranges regular in-country teaching workshops to provide training, new ideas, and feedback for volunteer teachers abroad.
Teaching Extra-Curricular Subjects Abroad
The schools we work in are generally poorly resourced but full of students eager to meet you and work with you. It is a great idea to get involved with extra-curricular activities such as art, dance, drama, music, arts & crafts, and sports. Many of your students would not normally have access to these kinds of activities, so this experience would benefit them enormously. Giving them a chance to develop their skills and creativity will also help boost their confidence and quality of life.
Here is what some of our past Teaching volunteers have said:
“The overall experience of teaching 13 -18 year old children in the third world in Peru was a remarkable/ incredible/ enjoyable experience. I shall never forget the interest all the children had in their ‘English teacher’.”
Teaching volunteer in Peru
“My most memorable experience was the wonderfulness of the local people and the children at school begging us not to stop teaching at the end of a school day.”
Teaching volunteer in South Africa
“Life for school children in China is at times very boring so letting them have some fun always led to a sea of smiling faces. At the end of our placement we were presented with two pairs of Silk Pajamas and a beautiful certificate, and it was amazing to realize how much we were appreciated by the school for the work we did.”
Teaching volunteer in China
Teaching Adults Abroad
As a Projects Abroad volunteer teacher, you have the option of teaching adults in universities, language institutes, special evening classes, and community literacy programs. You can teach adults in Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Senegal, and Vietnam.
Volunteering Abroad as a Professional Teacher
If you are a professional and want to put your skills to use on a Teaching project, Projects Abroad has projects available specifically for qualified professionals. Our main focus is to match your skills with our partner organizations' needs. Please visit the Teaching Projects for Professionals section for more information.