By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: I recently became interested in teaching English overseas and am wondering how realistic this is for a Canadian? I would prefer to teach in Spain or Italy. Where would I begin looking and what type of certification would be necessary?

A: It's best to have a certificate acknowledging your expertise. Before considering a profession teaching English overseas, you need to reflect on your core strengths. Phonetics, grammar and syntax are just a few of the topics included in this area.

I'll presume that your skills need honing since you haven't indicated whether you are qualified. Consult universities and see what internship programs you can qualify for. Some employers require TEFL/TESL/TOESL certification.

Since your preferred countries are Spain or Italy, Teach Abroad has a web site chockfull of placement listings available worldwide. Some of these placements interestingly enough require no formal training.

One location I spotted is an American-operated group based in St. Paul MN with a group called, "Global Volunteers, Teach in Italy," which states, "Volunteers pay a tax-deductible fee ($2,295 for two weeks) that covers food, lodging, ground transportation, team leader services and project expenses. Airfare extra."

Basically, you pay them to give you the chance to strut your Inglise. As with anything, research the institutions before deciding which one you wish to pursue. Obtain brochures, request mailings, and determine their history.

If you wish to remain on the conservative side, I suggest contacting universities on this side of the Atlantic as well as pursuing a certificate.


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