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Work or Intern Abroad


Professional Work

It will require a lot of research to find an international professional position.  If you are an engineer, health professional, lawyer or business person or have specific professional skills, your task may be a little easier. Teachers are also often in demand at all grade levels around the world.  Start your search early, and be prepared to make many applications before you hit the jackpot.

Why Work Abroad?
  • Gain valuable professional and personal experience
  • Earn $$ and travel
  • Develop language and communication skills
  • Accept the challenge of familiar work in an unfamiliar context
  • Become a part of the global business and information community

Work Abroad Research Links

QUIC has provided these research links to get you started as you begin your research into finding work abroad.  Please note that while these are frequently-used links covering a wide span of countries, work abroad programs and services, QUIC does not advocate for any particular program or organization, and therefore is not responsible for any misinformation connected to these links.

Au Pair Research Links –  A networking site for one to connect with host families.  There is free registration and it is one of the most popular au pair databases.

Au-Pair in Germany – For those seeking to au pair in Germany.  This website answers the questions of what type of VISAS one needs, and how to apply for one.

Aupair World  On this website, you can search for a host family on your own without having to go through one of the more or less expensive agencies. Au Pair World does not only offer the biggest selection of au pairs, but also has the best matching feature i.e. EasyFind. Here you can find the best matching  host family.  Moreover, you can use their services, free of charge!

Great Aupair – A popular networking website for aupairs and families to connect with one another.  The service they provide helps families and caregivers find the best possible two-way match through personalized searches and detailed profiles including background checks, online interviews, references, reviews, photos and videos.

International Au Pair Association – Through this website you can find several au pair companies which you can register with in a variety of countries. Some companies will help you find a family; others allow you to register as an au pair once you have found a family. It’s important to register as this protects your rights and will help you set up a proper contract.

Sample of an Au Pair Contract – This is a good example of a standard au pair contract.  When about to sign one, make sure it’s as detailed as possible to protect your rights.


General Work Abroad Research Links

4 International Careers & Jobs – World-wide directory of quality job sites and career resources and a free starting point for international job seekers, employers and recruiters. the directory covers 190 countries and includes about 600 selected job sites and career resources classified according to 18 categories. – Global academic job site created to search or announce teaching, post doc, endowed chairs, administrative and senior management opportunities at (community) colleges, universities and research institutes in Canada, the US, and around the globe.

AIESEC – Student-run organization which develops experience, leadership and social responsibility amongst students in an international context. Students can gain practical career-related work experience in any of the member countries.

AmeriCamp – AmeriCamp is based in Manchester and offers the chance for you to work at a Summer camp in America as either a camp counsellor or behind the scenes role.  The position is paid.

America’s Job Bank – Provides a searchable database, on-line resume posting service, and automated job searches all to assist with finding employment in the USA.

Anywork Anywhere – Provides lists of casual, seasonal, and temporary job vacancies in various countries. – As the companion web site to “The Back Door Guide to Short-term Job Adventures” this site offers many listings of summer work opportunities, internships, and seasonal-work, and other short-term work options. Most listings are for opportunities in the US but some other locations are presented as well.

Canadian Association Of Career Educators and Employers – A site dedicated to helping students find meaningful employment.

Canadian International Development Agency – CIDA’s web site provides development related information and resources, including employment information.

CareerCross Japan – Offers a range of resources and information for Jobs in Japan and Japanese related positions overseas.

Careerjet – Employment search engine for the UK. It allows you to search a growing selection of jobs listed on company sites as well as jobsites in one go saving you the trouble of having to go to each site individually.

CareerTips – Comprehensive guide to career prospects, education and training facilities, including universities and colleges, professional institutes, industry associations, jobs and immigration rules in Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, UK and USA.  The site also providesl links to other international job sites.

Contact Singapore – Information on living and working in Singapore.

Foreign Affairs Canada – Listings of international youth programs, including co-op education programs, the Young Professionals International, internships and work/travel programs.

Development Executive Group – Become an Individual Member… by posting your profile in the … directory of international development professionals in the world. This is a free service. Offers listings of development jobs worldwide. – EUROGRADUATE LIVE features thousands of Graduate Opportunities across Europe. You can also find expert advice on Career Planning, useful links to other great sites and details about postgraduate options.

European Employment Services – For those seeking employment within the EU Economic Area, EURES offers job search advice, job listings, information on living and working conditions, plus more.

Exchanges Canada – Provides access to information on all sorts of exchange programs and activities available in Canada and abroad.

Expertise in Labour Mobility – Offers advice and training in working across borders and between cultures, including producing guides to looking for work in other countries. – Resource based in the UK providing information and links to help plan a gap year, including options, destinations and activities, working holidays, and help and advice.

Global Experiences – This international education programs provider, specializing in international internships and work experience abroad, is offering a work & travel program in Australia for those seeking a job to support them while they travel and experience a new country. Most jobs are in hospitality, telemarketing, sales, laboring, temping, fruit picking, and charity work as well as a range of other areas. Those with experience in professional fields may be able to find jobs in their field. Normally the working holiday visas restrict holders to only work with one employer for periods of 6 months. The program fees cover either visa service only, or cover a more extensive work/travel package. – Hotrecruit is the UK’s leading recruitment site, aimed specifically at young people (16 – 28yr old demographic) – be they students, recent graduates, working travellers, young professionals or the contingent work force.

International Jobs Center – resource of international jobs for professionals, including international development jobs.

International Youth Experience – this program is aimed to promote the exchange of young workers and young people with Switzerland and Finland. The two programs are helping Canadians develop new expertise while enjoying themselves in a fine cultural, linguistic and sportive environment. The trainee is benefiting the same work conditions as a Swiss or Finnish resident.

JobServe – The largest source of IT vacancies in the UK.

KaReeve – Job search database with seasonal jobs from around the world – Job search database aimed at international opportunities.

Overseas – Features international job opportunities for professionals, expatriates and adventure seekers.

Recruitaly – Services provided for employers looking for graduates and jobseekers who want to work in Italy. – on-line database and resume builders for individuals seeking employment with “ski (and snowboard!) resorts, camps, national parks, cruise ships, restaurants and hotels.”

Ryerson University Office of International Affairs – Ryerson University provides useful tips and links pertaining to work and study abroad.

STA Travel – STA Travel is a global travel specialist with 30 years experience advising young people on holidays and adventures abroad. We offer a unique range of flights, accommodation, tours and expeditions in 90 countries and send over 6 million passengers away each year. STA Travel has over 400 branches worldwide.

Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP) – A program of the Canadian Federation of Students to help Canadian students find work abroad. – Provides searchable databases, resume builders, tips, etc. for summer job seekers. – Easy to use website offering a variety of jobs from different employers in the UK and Europe from smaller and relatively less known employers.

Transitions – A Portal for paid and volunteer work abroad, study abroad, living abroad, and cultural travel overseas. Provides links to au pair, travel, farm, service, summer, internship, and short-term jobs abroad. – This web-site has been written for people from other countries who want to [go] to the UK for study, for work or on holiday, or who are interested in learning about British English or British culture. – Offers searchable databases, resume posting services, tips, etc. for individuals seeking employment in Finland.

WORKgateways – Helps provide employment and advice for those travelling to the UK.

Verge Magazine Program Directory Are you interested in travelling with a purpose? Use Verge Magazine’s Program Directory to search work opportunities all around the world.

Working Abroad: Unravelling the Maze – A publication of Foreign Affairs Canada

Working Abroad by Service Canada – Numerous links to international work sites on government pages compiled to help Canadian youth explore the option of working outside Canada. Also includes internships, volunteer work and living abroad links.

Work the World – Work the World organizes elective placements and projects overseas for medical students, nurses, midwives, dentists and physiotherapists. They work with you to design a placement that matches your interest. The countries they run their placements in are Argentina, Ghana, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.


Intern Abroad

Following the third or fourth year of a degree program is normally the time to go on an Internship. It is usually a period of work directly related to your field of study, where you do some work in return for some practical experience, and in some cases you can have your expenses covered or at least receive a living stipend.

Why Intern Abroad?
  • In addition to practical experience, you can travel and get cross-cultural and language training
  • Get invaluable exposure to international industries
  • Network overseas and make valuable contacts for future employment

Internship Abroad Links

QUIC has provided these research links to get you started as you research for an appropriate Internship.

Please note that while these are frequently-used links covering a wide span of countries and Internship abroad opportunities, QUIC does not advocate for any particular program or organization, and therefore is not responsible for any misinformation connected to these links. 


AFS Interculture Canada – AFS Interculture Canada is part of an international educational movement that promotes global education and intercultural understanding. The organization offers co-op and community service programs for adults age 18 – 55.

AIESEC – The Global Internship Program (GIP) allows students and recent graduates to gain hands-on international experience related to their fields of study and experience. The program is open to candidates from a variety of backgrounds. The internships vary in duration.

Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada Young Professionals International Program – Intended to provide Canadian youth with the opportunity to acquire international experience relevant to their particular fields of study. Canadian citizens who have completed a degree and are under the age of 30 may be eligible to apply.

Australearn – This Australian non-profit organization offers variety of internship opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.

Australian National Internships Program (ANIP) – This program is available to both undergraduate and graduate university students. ANIP provides the opportunity for interns to gain experience through their placements in the Australian (Federal) or the Territory Parliaments, the Australian Public Services, or with non-government organisations (including lobby groups).

Boston University International Programs – Along with study aboad programs, internship programs are offered. Students participate in academically directed internships and fieldwork in host countries. Interns are linguistically and culturally immersed while learning about their field of interest. Program fees apply. – Database geared to Canadian students offering information on internships and volunteer work in business and trade, journalism, technology, medicine, government, U.N., humanitarian and development work and the environment.

Canada-Switzerland Young Worker Exchange Program – The Program is designed for Canadians who wish to gain professional expertise in their field of studies in Switzerland. Whatever your profession or trade could be, a work experience of 4 to 18 months is accessible under this official program between Canada and Switzerland.Candidates must be 18-35 years of age.

Canadian Crossroads International International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) – The program offers young post-secondary graduates an opportunity to gain work experience in CCI’s partner organizations in Africa and South America. The objective is to offer persons aged between 19 and 30 years an enriching professional experience in the field of international development.

Canadian Directory of Internships – Researched by the University of Toronto, sponsored by CareerEdge and published by the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers, the directory is a comprehensive guide to internship programs in Canada, the US and internationally. The directory currently has over 240 internships listed.

Canadian Embassy Internship Program (Washington) – The program is designed to provide undergraduate students with an opportunity for involvement in governmental affairs, as well as provide a general understanding of the Canada-U.S. bilateral relationship through the dynamics at work at the Canadian Embassy in Washington.

Canadian International Youth Internship Program – Canada’s International Youth Internship program is an employment program for young Canadian professionals (ages 19 to 30 inclusive). It offers post-secondary graduates the opportunity to gain valuable international development work experience. Internships are a minimum six months long and include at least five months working outside Canada. The Canadian government, the Canadian and overseas organizations and the intern share the cost of each internship. The Canadian government’s contribution to the sponsor organization is in cash or in-kind (for example, training). Participants receive a stipend to help cover their living and travel expenses.  Descriptions of each placement are also available.

Canadian Resource for Democracy and Human Rights (CANADEM) – The Canadian Resource for Democracy and Human Rights is a national roster of Canadians skilled in human rights, peacebuilding, democratization, admin-logistics, security, reconstruction and other field experience. CANADEM offers a Junior Professional Consultant Internship Program.

Canadian Sport Leadership Corps Program, International Development through Sport – The Canadian Sport Leadership Corps (CSLC) program, delivered by the International Development through Sport (IDS) Unit of Commonwealth Games Canada, uses the development through sport concept to address social issues in Africa and the Caribbean. The interns use sport as a vehicle to develop individual and organizational capacity building, basic education, basic nutrition and health, child protection, and HIV/AIDS awareness. The eight-month CSLC placements are offered to recent Canadian university graduates who have been positively influenced by sport and are prepared to share their experience and expertise in developing countries.

Carter Centre Internships – The Carter Center is committed to waging peace, building hope, and fighting disease, and interns have the opportunity to work for Carter Center programs that contribute to this mission. Carter Center interns make vital contributions to the Center’s work. In turn, The Carter Center provides a substantive learning experience that serves as a basis for interns to explore their career options and to develop professional skills. Internships are offered during three sessions per year to undergraduate juniors and seniors, graduate students, and recent graduates (graduated in the past 24 months).

Centre for Cross-Cultural Study Internship Program in Seville – Semester-long and summer internship opportunities, specifically designed for students interested in gaining professional expereince abroad, immersing themselves in Spanish culture, and contributing meaningfully to the company/organization hosting them.  The Centre for Cross-Cultural Study is also able to provide customized internship options.

Connect-123 Internship Programs – Facilitates career-related internship and service learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in Cape Town, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Barcelona and Dublin in a wide range of fields including public health, medicine, education, economic development, business consulting, human rights, and journalism.

Council on Hemisphere Affairs (COHA) – COHA is a non-profit and nonpartisan national research and information organization.  They offer internships in Washington in the fields of U.S., Latin American, and Canadian relations. These internships provide practical, entry level experience regarding a variety of political, economic, diplomatic, and trade issues.

Cross-Cultural Solutions – The Intern Abroad program gives you the unique opportunity to have a short-term international internship or work experience in the area of health, education, or social services in 5 countries.

Cultural Vistas – Summer internship program in Germany. There are three options to choose from. 1) 1 month lanuage course, 2 month internship 2) 3 month internship 3) 2 month internship. Internship placements are available in wide variety of areas such as: economics, engineering, finance, German studies, international relations, IT, media/communications, non-profit sector and tourism. Placements is Chile, Argentina, Switzerland and Spain are worth checking out as well.

DAAD – The DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service – offers the RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) program, which “gives students in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geology and Physics the chance to spend a summer working with German doctoral students on serious research projects.”

Educational Programs Abroad Internship Program – EPA works mostly with the US student market and offers unpaid internships in six European centres. Program fees apply.

Experiential Learning International – Offers internship opportunities in a variety of different countries.

Exchanges Canada Provides access to information on all sorts of exchange programs and activities available in Canada and abroad.

Global Education and Career Development Abroad (GlobalEd) – provides unique internships in Seville, Spain combining guaranteed personalized internship placements, Spanish language instruction, Myers Briggs training and ongoing coaching throughout the program term.

Global Experiences – An international education programs provider, specializing in international internships and work experience abroad. Internship programs are organized in Ireland, Italy, Australia, Spain, France and the UK. Majority of placements are unpaid; the program fees typically include medical travel insurance, airport transfer, orientation, homestay accommodation with some meals, personal mobile phone, a guide book, etc. (varies by program).

Hansard Scholars Program – Offers internships for undergraduates, postgraduates and professionals to get invaluable experience at the heart of the British political system. You don’t need to be a UK citizen to apply; however, there are program fees.

Horizon Cosmopolite – Offers internships, workcamps, teaching abroad, special programs and language immersion programs.

Human Rights Internet Internships  – The primary objective of HRI Internship Programs is to expose young Canadians to human rights on a global level. Interns become familiar with the challenges facing civil society in other countries and have the opportunity to offer concrete assistance to grassroots organizations. It is an opportunity to apply skills and to develop new abilities. – Search for paid and volunteer, academic and non-academic internships, as well as college credit practical training programs around the world. – Internship seekers can search the database by keywords or location.

International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) – Provides students at Canadian universities and colleges with technical experience abroad, related to their studies. Most placements are for 8-12 weeks during the summer, although a few may be available for longer periods and at other times of the year. Placement may be in a production department, field location, design office, or in a research laboratory depending on the nature of the applicant’s background and interests. Students are responsible for their own travel arrangements and costs.

International Development Research Centre Canada (IDRC)  – IDRC Internship Award – President’s Office. Internships are tenable for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months at IDRC headquarters in Ottawa.The IDRC Internship program is aimed at candidates who, through demonstrated achievements in academic studies, work or research, have shown interest in the creation and utilization of knowledge from an international perspective. Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and citizens of developing countries may submit an application.  They must be either currently registered in a Master’s Program or have completed a Master’s Degree in a recognized university.  Their research must focus on a developing country.  Candidates need not be affiliated with an institution. They may participate in internships as part of an academic requirement.

Intrax Internships Abroad – Intrax Internships Abroad is a professional development program in which students of all majors do mostly business-oriented summer internships with organizations of all types from high tech start ups, social entrepreneurs, and NGOs to Deutsche Telekom, Microsoft, PWC, and Northrop Grumman in major economic centers around the world: London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo, and Santiago.

Japan Co-op Program – Canadian undergraduate students who are enrolled in a Co-op or internship program from participating universities across Canada spend up to 11 months living and working in Japan. This program gives Canadian undergraduate students the ability to gain hands-on experience in Japanese R & D labs and production facilities. Students from all across Canada have the opportunity to develop lasting contacts and lifelong friendships with other Co-op Japan students and colleagues in Japan. This international experience provides students with a practical understanding of corporate Japan that can enhance future career opportunities.

Proworld – An American organization that focuses on helping you gain professional experience in the areas of community development, education, journalism, microfinace and more. Your placement could be with an NGO, non-profit or other local organizations. The application process looks for specific skills rather then your current educational major.

Rooftops Canada/Abri International Young Professional Intern Program – This international development programs of cooperative and social housing organizations in Canada is looking for recent graduates for 6-month internships in South Africa, Cameroon, Tanzania, India, or the Philippines. Each intern receives a stipend to cover travel and living expenses for the 6-month overseas placement, starting in July or August.

Ryerson University – Go International – Ryerson University provides useful tips and links pertaining to work and study abroad.

United Nations International Computing Center – The United Nations International Computing Centre (ICC) has a number of places for final year or recently graduated students specialising in information technology or other relevant disciplines. Eligible candidates are sponsored or encouraged by their institutes, during the course of their studies, to take time out in the industry to pursue their studies and interest in computing. In addition to work experience, an ICC Internship provides a unique opportunity to experience a truly international and multi-cultural environment.

WISE – Work, Intern, Study and Educate Abroad – WISE Abroad is dedicated to the dissemination of global awareness and understanding among college students, recently graduated college students and educators through work-and-travel programs abroad, international internships and study abroad programs. – Canada’s biggest job site for students, with information on youth employment strategies, job and internship opportunities.

World Endeavors – Internships with World Endeavors allow you to gain valuable hands on experience in a professional field. Internships are available in a variety of countries such as: Brazil, China, India and Thailand.  Placements can be anywhere from 1 – 6 month durations, typically with homestay accomodation.  Internship opportunities vary from education, social work and tourism to international relations and human rights. Alternate fields of study can be considered based on personal interest and academic requirements.

Young Professionals Program (World Bank Group) – This is intended as a starting point for an exciting career in the World Bank.  Candidates must be under 32 years of age and possess a Master’s Degree (or equivalent) in economics, finance, agronomy, education, civil engineering, public health, or environmental science. The Program provides the opportunity for professional development through on-the-job experience and exposure to the World Bank Group’s operations and policies. The World Bank Group also offers a Bank Internship Program for graduate students.

Youth Employment Information by Service Canada – The YEI site brings together all the youth employment information available from the Government of Canada. The site provides links to various internship opportunities within Canada and internationally.


Teach English Abroad

This is an increasingly popular option among students completing their degree. There are many companies that do not require an Education degree, or even any ESL experience, although it is recommended that you have a TESL qualification. You usually have to be a native speaker of English, and you are required to have a minimum of an undergraduate degree. 

Why Teach Abroad?
  • Enables you to experience another culture and context while working
  • Apply for international jobs with little work experience
  • Looks great on your resume!
  • If you are a teacher and would like ESL experience, it will be beneficial to be in an environment where you, too, will be a second-language learner


Where can I Teach ESL?

Anywhere in the world where English is not the primary language (and even some places where it is – these are just a lot harder to find without formal qualifications).  Keep in mind that the opportunities are varied and the experience depends on where, when and how long you go for.

Useful Research Links

QUIC has provided these research links to get you started as you begin your search for teaching English abroad opportunities.  Please note that while these are frequently-used links covering a wide span of countries and teaching English abroad programs, QUIC does not advocate for any particular program or organization, and therefore is not responsible for any misinformation connected to these links.

Access South Korea Now Inc. (ASK Now) – Agency that may help you find a teaching placement in South Korea.

Bridge-Linguatec Inc in Chile – BridgeTEFL has been chosen by the Chilean Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) and the United Nations Development Program to recruit a select group of English teachers for the esteemed “English Opens Doors” Program. Recognizing the fundamental importance of English language instruction in the modern world, the Chilean government created English Opens Doors in 2004 in order to connect local children with native English speakers.

BridgeTEFLJobs – BridgeTEFLJobs specializes in locating quality teaching positions with reputable schools around the globe.  They have a vast network of global contacts and dedicated TEFL job placement advisors.

Canadian Connection – agency providing support to candidates interested in teaching opportunities in Korea.

Dave’s ESL Cafe – For ESL/EFL students and teachers from around the world, including a forum where you can search for jobs, join a job discussion forum and more.

ESL Jobs World – Hundreds of jobs posted every week from employers around the world. It has a straightforward interface to help English teachers find jobs quickly and connect with employers easily.

Footprints Recruiting Inc – Employment agency assisting in ESL teacher placement in Korea, Taiwan, China, Japan, Chile and Brazil.

Global Experiences – This international education programs provider, specializing in international internships and work experience abroad, offers a 4 week TESOL Certificate course in 19 international locations. Intensive training courses provide participants with an internationally recognized qualification and prepare them for teaching English as a foreign language anywhere across the globe.

Hess Educational Organization – Recruits teachers from English speaking countries around the world.

International Educator (TIE Online) – Online newspaper with every issue featuring advertisements for hundreds of job openings placed by American and international schools throughout the world. TIE also articles about international schools and international education, personal news briefs and instructions on how to secure an international teaching position.

JET Programme – Run by the Japanese Government, the programme hires Canadian university graduates to teach English in Japan on an annual basis.

Language House TEFL Course – Offers 4-week TEFL courses in Prague for individuals interested in teaching English and living abroad.O-Hayo Sensei

O-Hayo Sensei– Newsletter reporting on English teaching jobs in Japan

Oxford Seminars Canada – Provides TESOL courses in Ontario, including Kingston. Upon completing the 60-hour in-class course, you will receive an internationally-recognized certificate and six months of free job placement assistance through the Oxford Seminars Teacher Placement Department.

People Recruit – An organization run by ex-ESL teachers, who help place you into teaching jobs in Korea.  Their website goes over how the ESL recruiting industry works and of teaching conditions in Korea. – Directory for teaching positions around the world where you can search through educational opportunities, paid work and volunteer international teaching positions.

Teaching Jobs Overseas – Information for educators and students seeking employment abroad.

Teach Away – Canadian recruitment agency helping North American teachers find employment in different countries around the world, including Japan, Korea and Thailand. Teach Away’s partners include a wide range of educational institutions including: Elementary, middle and high schools; international schools; businesses requiring English language instructors; summer camps;  adult learning centres; and private ESL schools.

TEFL Asia – Bangkok-based site offering teaching certifications, job placement opportunities, and creative outlets for teachers all over South East Asia.

TEFL Professional Network ( – Offers a professional register, a selection of current appointments, a resources section and a teacher development program directory.

TEFL Worldwide Prague – Runs a 4-week 120-hour TEFL certification course in Prague. The course includes 8 to 10 hours of practice in a classroom.

Transitions – Site providing vast resources for teaching ESL abroad, study, paid and volunteer work abroad, living abroad, and cultural travel overseas. Includes a teaching English abroad advisor; links to ESL training, certification, and job placement schools and programs; searches by region and by country.

WorldTeach – Non-profit, non-governmental organization which provides opportunities for individuals to live and work as volunteer teachers in developing countries.

TESL/TEFL Qualification FAQ

Is it necessary to have qualifications in order to get a job teaching ESL?

  • No, many countries welcome individuals who wish to teach English and do not have qualifications or experience. The greatest problem, however, may not be finding a job; rather, it may be access to the job market and employment permits.
  • Some countries only offer work permits to those teachers who have been officially invited.
  • Some countries have access to many qualified teachers and therefore the standard for these countries is for applicants to have qualifications; hence, there are fewer places for unqualified applicants.

What does it mean to be a qualified ESL/EFL teacher?

  • What is needed in the way of credentials varies greatly from region to region.
  • A ‘qualified’ ESL/EFL teacher usually holds some form of certification. ‘Certification’ is the formal recognition, in the form of a document or transcript, given to participants who have completed studies in degree, diploma and/or certificate programs focusing on Teaching English as a Second Language, applied linguistics, studies in second language learning, English for special purposes, ESL literacy, English for Academic Purposes.

How does one receive ‘certification’?

  • There are no international standards for TESL/TEFL qualifications. Many programs and courses are offered worldwide. These vary in content and contact hours in the classroom.

Certification requires full or part-time studies in:

  • Bachelor’s degrees with a minor in TESL
  • Master’s of Arts/Education (TESL/Applied Linguistics)

Or short programs e.g.

  • Ministry Certificate (ESL) – 2 levels (4-6 weeks full-time/level)
  • Cambridge University – Royal Society of the Arts (RSA) Preparatory Certificate of CETFLA – 4-5 weeks
  • UK Trinity College London – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Certificate Courses (TESOL) – 4-5 weeks

Are there admission requirements for the short courses?

  • Generally the organizations offering the programs require that the applicant have an undergraduate degree before being admitted.
  • The applicant usually must pass a selection interview.
  • Some programs require the applicants to pass a test on English grammar.

What are the benefits of taking a certificate course?

  • Obtaining qualifications in TESL/TEFL is essential for those who wish to make a career of teaching in this area.
  • Many positions with non-governmental organizations, universities, public schools and nationally and internationally recognized language schools (e.g. British Council) are only open to those applicants who have qualifications.
  • It is easier to get jobs. Employers, while they may not require qualifications, recognize that applicants, who have taken the time to obtain them, may be more competent in the classroom.
  • Job satisfaction also increases, as one becomes more proficient as a teacher in the classroom. Increased experience and skill also go a long way to reduce job stress in difficult classroom teaching situations.
  • The course content of languages studies leading to TESL/TEFL certification often leads to a greater awareness of the cultural factors affecting the learner of English as a foreign language, and hence, can increase the teacher’s ability to engage the learner from a culturally appropriate context.

Where can I take these courses in Canada?

For a complete listing, refer to the English Language Teaching Guide (QUIC Resource Library ID# 686). Several universities offer programs at the Master’s level in TESL/TEFL and applied linguistics.  Many of the same institutions also offer special diplomas in TESL/TEFL.


Columbia College, Vancouver $2500.00 4 weeks
Int’l Language Institute, Halifax $2000.00 4 weeks (plus 12 weeks of paid work experience)
Kwantlen University College, Surrey $2000.00 4 weeks (or 8 weeks part-time)
LSC Language Studies, Toronto $2300.00 4 weeks

University/College Certificate Programs*:

Algonquin College, Ottawa $1375.00 (per semester) 1 year
Brock University, St. Catharines varies varies
Calgary University, Calgary ——– 2 semesters
Carleton University, Ottawa $3527.00 / $1100.00 8 months / 4 weeks
Concordia University, Montreal varies 8 months
George Brown College, Toronto $500.00 (per course) 2 semesters
Humber College, Etobicoke $5000.00 16 weeks
Vancouver Community College, Vancouver $6000.00 10 months
Woodsworth, Toronto $659.59 (per course) 1 year (approx.)

and other places…

Please note that information provided on certification courses is for reference purposes only. Please confirm specific costs, additional application/registration fees, dates, changes in programs, availability, specific requirements, etc. with the course provider.


  • Visit the Oxford Seminars Country Reports and FAQ Page, which give detailed information about Teaching English in a variety of countries
  • The University of Michigan provides very useful information about teaching abroad both without certification and for qualified teachers.
  • For information on TESL/TEFL courses, use our TESL FAQ guide.
  • There are many agencies and placement services that specialize in recruiting ESL instructors available on the Web or in newspapers. You will need to do a lot of research and investigate each company thoroughly. Tip: Always ask to speak to people who have completed contracts.



  • Visit Career Services for information on specific international positions plus resume and interview tips
  • Contact the Embassy of the country you are interested in going to. They may have specific work programs or information on how to search for jobs or internships.
  • Look at specific publications within your field for job or placement offerings.
  • Contact potential companies/organizations with whom you’d be interested to work with your resume and cover letter indicating your interest in working with them.
  • Use any networks or contacts that you or your family/friends may have as much as possible.
  • Contact your department, Faculty or professors. They should have some good ideas and might have some established connections to programs and positions.