Getting a job teaching English in Myanmar offers a unique opportunity in a country that has only recently opened up to the world. Here are some steps to follow for those interested in teaching in Myanmar:
- Research the Market: Myanmar is experiencing a growing demand for ESL teachers due to its expanding openness to international influences. However, it is important to research and understand the current political and social climate.
- Qualifications: A TESOL certification is typically required. Experience and a degree may give you an advantage, but Myanmar's ESL market is relatively accessible for new teachers.
- Job Hunting: Look for ESL teaching opportunities in language centers, international schools, and private institutions. Online job boards, ESL forums, and teaching agencies are useful resources.
- Visa and Work Permits: Ensure you understand the visa and work permit requirements. Myanmar's regulations can differ from other countries, so it is crucial to have all the necessary legal documentation in order.
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To teach English in Myanmar, the requirements are relatively accessible compared to many other countries, making it an appealing destination for aspiring ESL teachers. The primary requirements include:
- TESOL Certification: A TESOL certification is generally required for teaching positions in Myanmar. This qualification is essential to demonstrate your teaching ability and understanding of ESL methodologies.
- Language Proficiency: While being a native English speaker is advantageous, it is not always a strict requirement. Non-native speakers with full English fluency can also find teaching opportunities.
- Educational Background: Holding a university degree is not typically mandatory for teaching English in Myanmar, but it can enhance your job prospects and open up more opportunities.
- Teaching Experience: Previous teaching experience is not a necessity, but having some can widen your job options and make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.
- Adaptability: A sense of adventure and adaptability is crucial, as Myanmar offers a unique cultural experience different from more developed ESL markets.
By meeting these requirements, teachers can explore the diverse opportunities for ESL teaching in Myanmar, a country known for its rich culture and burgeoning demand for English education.
Most employers will be happy to accept a TESOL certification as long as it is over 120 hours and issued by a reputable company. An online course such as ITTTs 120-hour TESOL certificate will provide all the theoretical training you require and you can even add some additional practical training that can be completed in the location of your choice. The addition of practical teaching practice can be a real bonus as it prepares you for the realities of setting foot in a real classroom for the very first time.
Many trainees decide that an in-class TESOL course is the best approach as it fully prepares you both theoretically and practically, while the whole course is taught in-person by highly qualified and experienced teachers. Although ITTT does not have a training center in Myanmar, there are two centers in Thailand in Bangkok and Phuket. If you choose this option you will benefit from around four weeks of acclimatizing to the local climate and culture before starting work in your first teaching job.
For foreign ESL teachers in Myanmar, understanding and complying with visa requirements is crucial. Here are the key points regarding visa procedures:
- Type of Visa: Most ESL teachers in Myanmar work legally on a Business Visa. This visa typically allows a stay of ten weeks at a time.
- Application Process: While many nationalities can obtain a Business Visa upon arrival in Myanmar, it is advisable to check with a Myanmar Embassy prior to travel for specific requirements and procedures.
- Visa Renewal: Upon the expiry of the Business Visa, teachers are required to leave Myanmar and then re-enter to obtain a new visa. A common practice is to travel to Bangkok for visa renewal and then return to Myanmar.
- Longer-Term Visa Options: Recently, a longer-term Business Visa has become available, which potentially eliminates the need for frequent trips out of the country. It is recommended to inquire with potential employers about the availability of this longer-term visa option during the job application process.
Very few teaching jobs are advertised online so the majority of teachers simply arrive in the country and then start contacting potential employers in person. Private language schools are relatively widespread in the major cities and most teachers should find something suitable within a week or two. If possible you should first contact schools via email prior to your departure to arrange as many meetings or interviews as possible.