MFL Teaching Jobs Abroad

The international schools we work with regularly need MFL teachers, teaching at all stages of education and in a wide variety of locations abroad. Your next modern foreign language job could be in a tropical paradise or winter wonderland.

Popular locations:

What’s needed to teach MFL abroad?

From French and Spanish, to Arabic and Mandarin, modern foreign language (MFL) teachers are in demand right around the world in international schools. There is a particular demand for MFL teachers in the Middle East and Asia for students in secondary school education and above.  

If you want to find out more about what experience and qualifications you need to teach in another country then we cover the basics below.

Of course, each job will have its own requirements that are specific to the role and school, but you can use this as a guideline to check if this is the right sort of career move for you.

When applying for an MFL job abroad you will need to take into consideration your personal skills, relevant experience, education and legal requirements.

What sort of personal skills are required?

In order to teach MFL in another country, especially one that has notable cultural differences to the West, schools may look to ensure you can offer the following:

•    An ability to demonstrate willingness to learn the language and adopt the culture to ensure strong communication at all levels. 
•    Have a passion for the language you are teaching that can be transmitted to your pupils and your colleagues.
•    Be adaptable to new ways of working and commit to occasional campus-wide and ad-hoc duties.

What education is required to teach MFL abroad?

The more experience and qualifications you have, the better the opportunities available to you to teach a foreign language abroad. Each school has their own set criteria, but most tend to ask for:

•    A relevant UK degree in the language you wish to teach
•    Bachelor’s degree in a relevant language subject matter or education-related field 

When you make contact about an MFL role at an international school, it will be expected of you to produce documentation that verifies the level of education stated in your application.

How much work experience is needed?

While having the right level of education and personal skills are important, the school will want to ensure you have experience performing both in a live class environment. The type of work experience needed to teach MFL abroad usually tends to be:

•    At least 2-3 years’ of teaching experience at a relevant grade level (IGCSE, GCSE, A-Level etc.)
•    Experience of teaching in a similar type of school (public or private)
•    International Baccalaureate (PYP/MTP) experience is preferred but not always essential 

What legal requirements have to be met?

Travelling and working in a foreign city or country will require you to apply for the legal right to live and work there. For example, Dubai asks you to apply for a residency visa before obtaining a work permit or labour card. Countries like Malaysia request that your passport has at least 18 months left until it expires. China has a list of countries it will accept as part of your visa application. The most important thing here is to be fully aware of the legal requirements involved before accepting any job at an international school.