Best Volunteer Teaching Programs in the World
Thousands of individuals are looking for volunteer teaching positions in areas around the world. Volunteering abroad not only exposes you to a different culture, but it also allows individuals to explore the world and give back to the communities that support them. Volunteer teaching, in particular, is a popular option for many people who are looking at breaking into the international volunteering arena because teaching is a valuable and rewarding career. Many employers also see it as a valuable job skill.
Here are some of our favorite volunteer teaching programs from around the world, in no particular order:
Experience the Republic of Georgia through Teach and Learn in Georgia
Why it’s the best: Experiencing local culture and making a real difference. Georgia is also one of the few places where non-native English speakers can find teaching jobs.
In recent years, Georgia has been working hard to reform itself into a modern and competitive nation. To further its progress, it has made English education a top priority. Schools throughout the country, from the urban and hip capital city of Tbilisi, to the rustic and rural mountain villages are looking for English speakers to come and teach English in Georgia. This is one of the few places where anyone who can demonstrate fluency in English—regardless of their home country and native language—can easily and legally find a teaching job.
Benefits include paid flights, and in-country assistance. Plus, there is a visa-free entry for up to one-year, that’s one less hassle that you have to worry about. Most teachers here live in a home-stay with a Georgian family. You won’t make a large sum of money teaching English in Georgia (teachers are compensated with what amounts to a typical Georgian salary), you’ll make enough to get by, as well as fund some travels during weekends and breaks. Most importantly, you will have a unique chance to be immersed in this culture and to be working in schools that really need qualified teachers.
Make a Difference with the English Opens Doors Program in Chile
Why it’s the best: Make a difference, jobs easy to find
Adventure, beautiful scenery, and friendly people all await ESL teachers in Chile. Opportunities to teach English are plentiful here, and often involve meaningful work with schools in rural areas. Chile’s unique dialect of Spanish is a big draw for those interested in linguistics, or just for those looking to improve their Spanish. Salaries for teaching English in Chile are not high, but you can easily make enough to live on, and still have some left over to travel around the country.
Travel A World Away – Teach in Bhutan
Why it’s the best: Getting paid to volunteer in the happiest country in Asia
Teaching in Bhutan works in partnership with the Ministry of Education in Bhutan to send certified native English speaking teachers to public schools across the country. Teachers are responsible for paying for their airfare, travel and medical insurance, visa and work permit and start-up costs. As an employee of the Government of Bhutan, you will be paid a local Bhutanese salary of 20,000 Nu ($400USD) at the end of each month. This salary is more than enough to cover your living expenses for the month, including your accommodation, food, and travel. Volunteer opportunities in Bhutan include positions in urban and rural settings. This beautiful Himalayan kingdom may be landlocked, but the beautiful mountain scenery, a strong sense of national identity and an isolated culture are bound to make your experience out of this world. Besides, what could be better than volunteering in the happiest country in Asia?
Teachers Without Borders
Why it’s the best: A variety of programs to choose from
Teachers Without Borders is an international non-profit organization that enhances human welfare by connecting teachers around the world with communities in need of help. TWB offers programs in Asia, Africa, South America and North America. They’re looking for teachers who can support, inspire and share information within communities across the world.
Why it’s the best: WorldTeach is often considered as an alternative to the Peace Corps.
Where in the world do you want to teach? WorldTeach offers programs all over the world. They accept applicants of all nationalities who speak a native level of English. They also accept married couples and friends, which is a draw for many young volunteers who are looking to get into the international volunteering arena. In short, WorldTeach is an excellent non-profit organization that can put you on the right path to volunteering abroad.
About Carrie Kellenberger
A Canadian expat that has been living abroad in Asia since 2003, Carrie began her career with Reach To Teach Recruiting in 2006 as an ESL teacher in Taiwan. Today, she and her husband are co-owners of Reach To Teach. In her free time, Carrie works as a freelance travel writer and photographer, providing regular content to several publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. She writes about her personal travel adventures on Travel Asia – My Several Worlds. Follow Carrie on Google+ or on Twitter @globetrotteri.