Volunteer Teaching Abroad
- Role: Assisting local teachers with classes or leading your own classes and teaching children, teenagers, and adults subjects such as English, IT, and French.
- Requirements: None
You don’t have to be a teacher to volunteer abroad on our English teaching projects. There is no need to have a TEFL or TESOL qualification to gain international work experience in any of our destinations. You don’t even need to speak the local language where you are volunteering. The program is open to all volunteers whether you are on a gap year, at university or wanting a career break. All we require is a good standard of spoken English.
You will find a warm welcome awaits you from our students around the world. Often the local teachers are very capable of teaching the structural aspects of the English language - such as the grammar - but do not use the correct intonation or pronunciation, because they lack the confidence of a native speaker. By providing conversational English teaching, you can greatly enhance the learning experience and the future prospects of thousands of children and adults with whom we work in the developing world.
Often you will find that all you have is a blackboard and a piece of chalk in the classroom. Fortunately, the main resource you have is yourself. The students will want to find out about you. They will want to know why you have chosen to come and teach in a school in India or a university in Mexico. Lots of the lessons will give you the opportunity to explain about where you live or your interests and hobbies at home.
The amount of English lessons per week that you will teach varies depending on the country and even the individual schools. In some countries you will be expected to be at school during the entire working day, though may only teach two or three classes. In other cases you may just teach in the mornings. You will also need to take time to prepare your lessons, and correct your students’ work. Many volunteers choose to help out in other areas too, helping students with extra-curricular activities like sports, drama, or music lessons for example.
Once you have applied the Desk Officer in your destination country will get in touch with you to find out more about you and explain more about teaching in the school or university you will be joining. Before you leave we will send you a comprehensive teaching guide with ideas, teaching games and advice. It includes tried and tested teaching resources, and takes you through beginner and intermediate lessons.
It is a good idea to bring some of your own resources too, whether it is pictures of your friends and family or some postcards of where you live. Another great aspect of a Projects Abroad experience is being able to sit down with other volunteers and share ideas of what works best in the classroom. Before you know it your great lesson plan will be being repeated in classrooms across the city where you are based.
To help make sure our volunteers are prepared and effective in their roles as teachers, Projects Abroad also arranges regular in-country teaching workshops to provide training, new ideas, and feedback for Teaching volunteers overseas.
Teach Sports, Drama and Music Abroad with Teaching Plus
The schools we work in are generally poorly resourced but full of students eager to meet you and work with you. Whether you are teaching cricket in India or music in Mongolia, you will find that students and staff will be excited to work with a new person from another part of the world. You will often find yourself as something of a local celebrity!
Teaching Plus is a program where you can participate in one of our teaching projects across a variety of subject areas. You might want to help teaching sports, teaching music, teaching art, teaching drama, or another subject that you specialize in. You don’t need to be a qualified or experienced teacher to join the program, and you are sure to receive a warm welcome from the schools we work with who are eager to have our volunteers.
These programs run alongside our Teaching English and Teaching French programs. Some volunteers choose to combine teaching a language with teaching arts and crafts. Just ask and we will see if the school can fit the combination that suits you.
Here is what some of our past Teaching volunteers have said:
“The overall experience of teaching 13 -18 year old children in the third world in Peru was a remarkable/ incredible/ enjoyable experience. I shall never forget the interest all the children had in their ‘English teacher’.”
Teaching volunteer in Peru
“My most memorable experience was the wonderfulness of the local people and the children at school begging us not to stop teaching at the end of a school day.”
Teaching volunteer in South Africa
“Life for school children in China is at times very boring so letting them have some fun always led to a sea of smiling faces. At the end of our placement we were presented with two pairs of Silk Pajamas and a beautiful certificate, and it was amazing to realize how much we were appreciated by the school for the work we did.”
Teaching volunteer in China
Volunteering Abroad as a Professional on a Teaching Project
If you are a professional and want to put your skills to use on a Teaching project, Projects Abroad has a skilled and qualified arm called Projects Abroad PRO. Our main focus is to match your skills with our partner organizations' needs. Please visit the Teaching Projects for Professionals section for more information.