U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans
U.S. Network for Education Information (USNEI)
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International Education
Non-U.S. Education Systems
Going Abroad
U.S. Study Abroad Programs
Studying in Another System
Teaching Overseas
Additional Resources

Disclaimer & Policy

General Information for Teaching Overseas

Teaching is a regulated professional occupation everywhere in the world, and as such is governed by local laws and policies concerning who can practice, what their qualifications must be, and other requirements.

You cannot simply take a U.S. teaching license, or education degree, and try to get a job in another country without first learning about, and then following, that country's rules and regulations regarding both foreign workers in general and teaching in particular.

There are generally four types of employment opportunities for teachers and other educators overseas:

  1. U.S. public schools located overseas and operated by the U.S. government for families of employees and contractors stationed abroad.

  2. International schools, usually private, that offer American-style curricula and programs.

  3. Programs hiring persons to teach English as a foreign language or other skills. These are not always located in school settings.

  4. Regular temporary or permanent employment as a teacher in a foreign school, public or private, operating under the regulations of another education system.

U.S. education credentials are most likely to be recognized by U.S. schools operating overseas or other schools or programs organized and structured to provide American-style education. American teachers may also find some success in teaching English as a foreign language. Teaching opportunities in foreign public schools is less likely to occur because of labor laws that give employment preference to local citizens; linguistic and cultural barriers; and differences between American and foreign professional qualification requirements.

Foreign Country Employment Information

It is imperative to check the requirements for working in a foreign country, including obtaining a work visa or permit, with the embassy or consulate of that country's government. Go to Foreign Diplomatic and Consular Services to locate the nearest embassy or consulate of the country in which you are interested.

You should also explore the educational system of the country in which you may work, regardless of whether you want to work in a local American or international school or in a local public school. Links to national education sites can be found by going to National Information Sources

Other Useful General Information

For information on foreign travel and living conditions, predeparture preparation, and special requirements for U.S. citizens entering specific countries, visit the section of USNEI's site called Going Abroad