After completing a TESOL course you will be ready to start looking for that all important first teaching job, but how long do employers expect you to commit to them for? Below we outline what you might find when signing contracts in different parts of the world.
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When working in Europe the most common contract length is for an academic year that generally runs from September to June in most countries. This can be ideal for many teachers as it allows you to take a couple of months off during the summer to travel around the continent, or you can continue earning in a different environment such as a summer camp. English language summer camps run for between four and eight weeks and can be found in many European countries. Contracts for six or even three months are also possible in some countries, but they are much less common. If you want a short deal you will need to do a bit of research online in advance to find potential opportunities.
The most common length of a teaching contract in Asia is for one year, although this can be an academic year or 12 months depending on the type of employer. The standard academic year also varies across Asia, so your contract could potentially begin in January, May or September. One of the biggest draws about teaching in this part of the world is that it is common for jobs to be organized before you leave home. Pre-arranged jobs that have a year contract are very common in countries such as China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. If you are looking for a shorter term deal, it is often possible but you will most likely need to be in the country to find them.
Once again, one year contracts that cover either a full year or an academic year are common across Latin America. The academic calendar does differ across this very diverse region, so it is advisable to do some research on your country of choice before deciding on your travel plans. If you are looking for a bit of adventure off the beaten path, it is possible to find short term contracts and volunteer teaching work in some of the less developed parts of Central and South America.
Some of the most lucrative TESOL contracts in the world are available in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. On top of a high salary you can expect return airfares, free housing and a good amount of paid holidays. However, most employers will require a full one year commitment and some of the best paid jobs will expect you to sign a two year contract. You may find shorter contracts available in some of the smaller countries in the region.