Want to Teach Abroad?XploreAsia will help you decide when to teach abroad!
Deciding to teach abroad is already a big leap, but if you’ve gotten this far and are now determining when to go, that in itself can be another big decision. To help alleviate some of the stress, here is a breakdown of how we like to filter our favorite places to go and when.
It’s a good idea to consider semester dates when you start teaching, but it’s not vital to arrive at a specific time as many countries are continuously seeking teachers. Here is a run down of information on our top locations to help you decide what’s best for you.
When to Teach Abroad in South Korea
The academic year in Korea runs from February to March with breaks in July and August for summer and January and December for winter, similar to that of Western countries. Some private schools will still be open during holiday times, so Korea is a very flexible place to begin teaching.
When to Teach Abroad in Vietnam:
The school year in Vietnam typically lasts from September to May and the school week is usually six days, with children only attending school for half of the day. Although the weeks are longer, the hours are a little shorter than in some locations, and with contracts starting from four months, Vietnam is perfect for people who want to teach abroad for a short time… although we don’t know why you’d want to leave!
When to Teach Abroad in China
In China, the school year runs from the beginning of September to mid-July, and a school day typically goes from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a two-hour lunch break. With our placement assistance, XploreAsia can help you teach in China whenever is best for you.
Like the Vietnam program, this program is perfect for if you would like some flexibility with your time overseas. Contracts start from five months, so you can choose how long you want to teach abroad.
When to Teach Abroad in Thailand
The ideal times to take your TESOL course in Thailand are October and April as they take place during school breaks so you can start a new semester straight after your course. However, as English teachers come and go from Thailand all the time, there is always scope to jump in at a time that suits you. Check our websites for our intake dates.
When to Teach Abroad in Myanmar
Myanmar (formerly Burma) is great for those with a more flexible and adventurous schedule. Myanmar has experienced so many changes within the last century, the country is eager to increase the level of education for it’s citizens in order to keep up with the ever growing wave of globalization. So although the academic year generally runs from September through April, the steadily-developing country welcomes teachers at all times.
Depending on where you’re from, it can be tough to adjust to a different climate. Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam all have a similarly tropical climate offering sunshine and hot weather all year round. China and South Korea offer more variety. If you’re not a fan of the heat, the temperature can fall dramatically in the winter in Korea and China. Here is a breif glimpse to help you figure out what to pack:
Many parts of China offer four seasons, similar to western countries. The summer is hot and humid, whilst the winter is very cold and dry. If you’re teaching in China, you will get the chance to experience the country’s diverse weather and the locals are always there to ask how best to cope with it.
Seventy-five percent of the annual precipitation is concentrated in summer from June to August, with frequent showers in July and August. The coldest month is January at an average of -4 °C (25 °F), and the hottest month is July at an average of 26 °C (79 °F).
South Korea offers possibly the largest fluctuation in weather conditions of all six of our TESOL locations. With blistering summers and snowy, icy winters, it’s a great place for photographers as the landscape changes dramatically throughout the year. The spring and the autumn are the most mild periods and there are lots of beautiful celebrations around the cherry blossom season.
There is a delightful spring (April to June), a muggy and wet summer (July to August), a refreshing autumn (September to November) and a freezing cold, snowy, but dry winter (December to March). From summer highs of 37°C, the temperatures in winter can plummet to as low as -20°C on occasion in the northern regions of the Gangwon-do Province, although it can be significantly milder int he winter along the southern coast and on the holiday island of Jeju in the far south.
Myanmar & Thailand
Myanmar and Thailand both have tropical climates with three main seasons: hot (March through April), rainy (May through October) and cool (November through February). While southern temperature never drops below 16 °C (61 °F) northern mountains in Myanmar can be covered with ice-caps.
Conversely, the hot season can reach temperatures of 38 °C (101 °F) followed by heavy rainfall in late June through September and getting as much as 225 mm (8.9″) of rainfall.
As a country that has more than 2,000 miles of coastline, the weather in Vietnam cannot be categorized as easily as the others. Depending on where you are in the country, you will have fairly differing experiences with the weather. In Hanoi and the north, May to October is hot and humid with high rainfall; November to April is cooler and dry.
In the far north, December and January can be particularly cold. Central Vietnam experiences hot, dry weather between January and August when temperatures can hit the mid-30°C’s; whilst high levels of rainfall can occur in September, October and November. Southern Vietnam is generally dry and hot from November to April, and warm and wet between May and October, with the highest rainfall in June, July, and August.
Some westerners worry about missing holidays whilst teaching overseas, particularly family occasions such as Christmas, Hanukka and Thanksgiving. However, Being abroad doesn’t necessarily mean you get to miss out. Not only can you spend your holidays with new friends, you can also partake in new local ones.
While stepping outside of one’s comfort zone is certainly encouraged, for some, the prospect of celebrating a traditional holiday away from family and close friends can be daunting. However, when you teach abroad, there are lots of opportunities to make both new friends and learn about each other’s traditions.
Teaching abroad gives you the chance to celebrate the festivities like a local. You can enjoy international holidays such as Songkran (the Thai New Year), the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, or the Hung Kings’ Festival in Vietnam.
Share your culture and embrace local traditions, such as the Songkran water fight in Thailand.
Teach Abroad with XploreAsia
Although there are many things to consider when making the life-changing decision to teach abroad, we hope this information will help you feel all the more prepared for flying overseas. If you’re looking to add more adventure to your life, check out our in-country TESOL course that we offer in five locations: Thailand, South Korea, Myanmar, Vietnam and Costa Rica. To catch up with how our current teachers are doing in their new homes, check out our Instagram and Facebook pages.