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How to Teach English Abroad


Photo Courtesy of Maximo Nivel

Article Written by Brieanah Gouveia

  1. Decide what country you would most like to teach English in.
  2. Consult Google to assess what ETA programs exist.
  3. Set up a meeting with your academic advisor, professors in the Language Department, and/or Roanoke’s Director of Scholarships and Fellowships, Ms. Jennifer Rosti.
  4. Based on your academic credentials, and possibly your foreign language skills, discuss what ETA programs you are eligible to apply for.
  5. Research the eligible program. Visit its website and familiarize yourself with factors such as financial assistance, living accommodations, teaching responsibilities, application requirements, and program deadlines.
  6. Start the application process as soon as you have decided on a program(s) and location – most students begin months, some even a year, prior to the program start date. If an official or unofficial version of your academic transcript is required, contact Patty Gladden of the Registrar’s Office for a copy.
  7. Write multiple versions and drafts of every required essay and seek out individuals to read them and offer feedback; those who apply for select ETA programs, such as Fulbright or Rotary Scholarships, will be invited to join weekly writing workshops with Jenny Rosti for tackling personal statements and special essay topics.
  8. Once you have finalized your application, or when there are t-minus 30 minutes until the online submission portal closes, ensure that all the required materials have been uploaded or sent .
  9. After your application is received and reviewed, some programs will invite semi-finalists to interview. If this is the case for your program, wait for a follow up email from the organization with specific steps for their interview process. Depending on your program, interviews may be conducted over the telephone, Skype video, or in-person, and range from 15 to 45 minutes.
  10. At this stage, the waiting game begins, and it is always best to ensure that you have a back-up plan.
  11. Whether you are selected for the program or not, there is a lot to be gained simply from applying. Don’t be discouraged from applying again in the future or to a different program entirely – every year presents a fresh start!
  12. Go out and celebrate your ETA program acceptance with friends by letting them pick up your tab!