Teach Abroad as a Volunteer
At Projects Abroad, we believe that every child deserves an education. Every day across the developing world, our volunteers are shaping futures by participating in Teaching Projects. Whether you are new to the field, or have some experience, every volunteer teacher has something to offer. You can teach abroad as part of a gap year, a study break, or a career break, and we also welcome retirees.
Most of the schools that we work with have little access to new skills and or expertise and the students will be excited to have you in their classroom. This is a great opportunity for you to realize your own potential as a resource! Use your skills in English to improve their conversation and use their curiosity to encourage them to practice with you.
What are the requirements to volunteer and teach abroad?
The majority of our standard Teaching Projects do not have requirements. You do not need to be a professional teacher, have a TEFL or TESOL qualification, or speak the local language. It is more important that you can:
- Use the resources at your disposal to create fun, creative lessons that encourage students to speak English
- Help your students improve their conversational skills, along with correcting intonation and pronunciation
- Support local teachers by helping them with their own English
- Create resources that future volunteers can use to further students’ education
Teach abroad as a volunteer with Projects Abroad
You may find that all you have to work with in the classroom is a blackboard and chalk. Fortunately, you can create any additional resources that you need (our local Projects Abroad office can provide most of the materials you will need). 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 showing where you live.
Another great aspect of the Projects Abroad experience is being able to sit down with other volunteers and share ideas of what works best in the classroom. In additional, we also arrange regular in-country workshops to provide training, new ideas, and feedback for our Teaching Project volunteers.
Once you have applied, the Volunteer Advisor for your destination country will get in touch with you to find out more about you and provide details about the school or university you will be joining. Before you leave, we will send you a comprehensive teaching guide with ideas and advice. It includes tried and tested teaching resources and takes you through beginner and intermediate lessons.
The number of lessons per week that you will teach varies depending on the country and the school you work with. In some countries, you will be expected to be at school throughout the working day, though you may only teach two or three classes. In other cases, you may just teach in the mornings. You will have time to prepare lessons and correct students’ work, and we encourage you to make the most of this time.
Teaching subjects other than English
As a volunteer teacher, depending on your skills and interests and your placement, you are also welcome to teach other subjects (although your main focus will be on teaching English). You could find yourself teaching subjects like math, science, or geography. Many volunteers choose to help out with extra-curricular activities like art, dance, sports, drama, or music as well. 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.
Teaching adult students abroad
At some of our Teaching Projects, you also 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.
Volunteer and teach abroad as a professional
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 schools' needs. Please visit the Teaching Projects for Professionals section for more information.