Most organizations prefer a commitment of one academic year, though some offer summer or semester possibilities. In most cases you must sign a contract and stick to its terms. It would be a good idea to research a school in advance by speaking to former teachers.
In some instances, some schools will provide you with a return ticket only after you have completed your year commitment. There have been cases where schools have rejected visas if one attempts to change schools before the yearlong commitment has been completed. Alternatively, if you are not interested in signing a contract, there are many short-term teaching jobs, in addition to volunteer teaching positions, with flexible commitments from a few weeks to a few months.
Use caution when signing any legal document. Read the document carefully and ask the school to clarify anything you do not understand. A good contract should clearly state:
• Visa sponsorship: some schools will provide all necessary assistance to obtain a visa fro you. But there will also be many that do not. Make sure to investigate what the schools their guidelines are, as well as the country.
• Salary: always important. Check whether you are on an hourly/weekly wage, ask if there is overtime pay, schedule of paid holidays, sick time, how and when you will be paid.
• Daily and weekly work schedule: know the hours you will be required to teach.
• Health insurance: make sure the coverage is adequate, if covered at all. You might have to acquire additional coverage from your home country or in the country you are teaching in.
Remember, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take nothing for granted…take your time, do lots of research, and follow your gut feeling.
“I wanted to study Arabic in order to connect with my family, history, religion, and culture. I previously lived and worked in an Arabic-speaking country and wanted to learn Arabic more formally in order to maintain personal and professional...”
American Councils for International Education