8 Reputable Government Programs to Teach English Abroad

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CIEE TEFL

CIEE TEFL

Once you decide to teach English abroad and have found the right TEFL certification, it's time to start the job hunt! But finding work teaching abroad can be a daunting task, and there are countless decisions to be made. From choosing where to teach, the grade level you'd prefer, to even the type of teaching job, there's a lot to consider before moving abroad to teach. 

One of the most common ways to teach abroad is through a government teach abroad program. These programs come with their own unique benefits and are a secure way to begin a teach abroad adventure. Plus, government teach abroad programs typically offer more assistance in the actual moving process than private TEFL jobs.

This guide dives into what exactly government teach abroad programs are and a list of the best in the world. 

Learn how to save $150 off the CIEE 150-Hour TEFL Certificate course as a participant of a government teaching position.

What is a government teach abroad program?

A government teach abroad program is an educational initiative typically run by a country's department of education. These programs seek to improve access to English education nationwide while fostering positive international relations. 

Read More: How to Teach English Abroad Without a Degree 

Teach Abroad Job Requirements

While the exact job requirements vary from country to country, in general, if you wish to teach English through a government program, you must:

  1. Be a native English speaker: some countries may have citizenship requirements
  2. Have a bachelor's degree 
  3. Hold a reputable TEFL certificate  
  4. Show proof of a clean background check 

Many government programs have age requirements as well and are limited to young adults under 35 or to those under the national retirement age.

Read More: How Much Should a TEFL Certification Cost?

Pros and Cons of Teaching English With a Government Program

Every job has its benefits and disadvantages, and teaching with a government program is no exception. Here are some pros and cons you may face as a government-employed English teacher. 

Pros 

  1. Enjoy job security and an official visa. Unlike private schools, government jobs are more trustworthy and guarantee employment and a legal residence permit. 
  2. Get a job before arriving in the country and skip the hassle of moving abroad without an income. 
  3. Earn additional benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and sometimes free housing. 
  4. A teaching license and previous experience usually aren’t required making it an excellent opportunity for first-time teachers. 

Cons

  1. Government programs can have a competitive application process.
  2. Government teachers may experience a stricter work environment.
  3. Choosing your placement within the country isn't always possible, and teachers are at the mercy of what's available. 
  4. Some government programs only offer part-time hours, which means salaries can be lower than teaching at private schools. 

Read more: 10 Best Countries to Teach English and Save Money 

8 Best Government Teach Abroad Programs for English Teachers

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into the best government teach abroad programs around the world.  

1. EPIK, South Korea

Earn: $1,750 - $2,500/month
EPIK Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, TEFL certificate, native English speaker from the U.S, U.K., Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand

The EPIK Program not only offers some of the highest wages for TEFL-certified teachers but some of the best benefits. Teachers receive free, furnished housing, reimbursed airfare, health insurance, and contract completion bonuses. 

EPIK teachers in South Korea can list a preference on their application to teach with elementary, middle or high school aged students. Once hired, EPIK teachers are expected to be at school 40 hours and teach 22 hours a week alongside a Korean co-teacher. CIEE Teach Abroad is an official recruitment partner of EPIK and supports those interested in successfully securing public school teaching positions. 

Learn more about teaching English with the CIEE Teach Abroad Program in South Korea.

2. JET, Japan

Earn: $2,200-$2,600/month
JET Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, citizenship from a participating country, native English fluency

An acronym for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, the JET Program is another high-paying teaching opportunity for new teachers. Most who apply to JET are hired as ALTs or Assistant Language Teachers and are placed in private and public schools on a 12-month contract. English teachers in Japan receive a high salary but often have to fund their own housing and cover the higher cost of living in Japan.

English teachers aren't required to be TEFL certified but should demonstrate a keen interest in Japanese culture. JET is unique because the program is also open to other nationalities and language speakers.

3. TAPIF, France

Earn: $890/month
TAPIF Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, B1 level French, 20-35 years old 

The Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) is one of the best ways for Americans to teach English in France and experience life in Europe. France's government teach abroad program is only open to young, native English speakers, and having a fundamental understanding of French is required. 

Teaching assistants are hired on a seven-month contract to work 12 hours weekly in public schools around France. As a part-time position, the stipend English teachers receive is relatively low but teachers can save on costs by rooming with other expat teachers.

4. NALCAP, Spain

Earn: $800 - $1,150/month
NALCAP Job Requirements: Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree, native-level English fluency, citizenship from native-English speaking countries

NALCAP, or the North American Language and Culture Assistants Program, places English teachers in public schools around Spain. Teaching assistants are contracted for eight months and expected to spend 12-16 hours per week in the classroom. The monthly salary for Auxiliares de Conversación (teaching assistants) is €700-€1,000 per month, depending on placement, which is often enough to cover the cost of living. 

However, Auxiliares are placed on a student visa and are allowed to pick up additional work like private tutoring to supplement their income. NALCAP is also an excellent opportunity for those interested in learning a second language or bettering their Spanish. 

Learn more about teaching English with CIEE’s Teach Abroad in Spain Programs

5. English Open Doors Program, Chile

Earn: $125/month
Open Doors Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, 21-35 years old, near-native English ability

The English Open Doors Program (EOD) is a volunteer teach abroad program that places English teachers all over Chile. Volunteers receive only a small stipend for their work. However, teachers also receive room and board with local host families, health insurance, and free travel between work and home. It's possible to volunteer for one or two semesters.

Teaching English in Chile is a fantastic way to experience a taste of South American culture and to live close to jaw-dropping natural landmarks like the Atacama Desert and the mountains of Patagonia. This program is also open to non-native English speakers who can demonstrate near-native ability.

Learn more about CIEE TEFL’s Job Placement Assistance in Chile.

6. TLG, Georgia

Earn: $150-$200/month
GLT Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, native English speaker, clean background check

Teach and Learn with Georgia, better known as TLG, is an English initiative by the Georgian government. The program is open not only to English speakers, but native French, Italian, and German speakers as well. On top of the small stipend, co-teachers receive reimbursed airfare, a free phone plan, health insurance, and living accommodations with a host family for a small fee. After taxes and rent, TLG teachers take home about $150 per month.

7. AIA, Czech Republic 

Earn: $1,200 - $1,500/month
AIA Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, TEFL certificate, previous experience preferred

AIA, or the Academic Information Agency, is a government-approved organization that acts as a liaison between aspiring English teachers and public schools in the Czech Republic. Compared to other government ESL jobs, AIA is very hands-off. Instead, the organization collects teachers' information and passes it on to hiring schools, who then contact teachers when positions become available.

The position is for the entire academic school year (September to June), and teachers are expected to teach about 24 hours each week. Many fall in love with teaching English in the Czech Republic as the nation is beautiful and home to fairytale destinations, well-preserved historical landmarks, and an interesting past.

8. Fulbright ETA, Worldwide

Earn: Varies greatly depending on placement
Fulbright Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, U.S. citizenship, host country language (as needed) 

The English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program is an initiative by the United State’s government that offers participants placements in all corners of the world as full-on teachers or teaching assistants. The program is highly competitive but is a prestigious award and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Those who win a Fulbright ETA award are provided with a stipend based on the cost of living of the host country plus additional benefits.

Get Started with the CIEE TEFL 150-Hour Certification 

Before applying to a government teach abroad program, prospective teachers should think about getting a TEFL certificate in order to stand out from the competition! The 150-hour TEFL course at CIEE is an internationally recognized course that helps ESL teachers secure their dream jobs abroad.

The CIEE TEFL 150-hour course includes:

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