Finding a Teaching Job in the U.S. After Teaching Abroad

Sep 27, 2021

Returning home to the United States after teaching abroad is a journey in itself. 

After spending months or years in a foreign country, you might feel transformed with new routines, connections, and ways of thinking. Hopefully, your experience cemented your passion for teaching — a path you can now pursue full-time back home. 

Transitioning to life after teaching abroad isn’t always easy, though. Here are some of the best tips to help you readjust and build a strong career with your next job in the U.S. 

Prepare for reverse culture shock.

Most people know about the emotional and psychological distress you can experience when adapting to a new culture in a foreign place. However, the transition back to your home country — a.k.a reverse culture shock — can come with its own set of challenges and frustrations. Friends may have moved away, and your favorite places may have changed. Most of all, you will have changed with new habits, values, and relationships. Give yourself time to adapt and work through what has now become unfamiliar. 

Network with other teachers who’ve returned home.

Remember, you’re never alone! Lean on the wisdom of others who have taught English as a foreign language (TEFL) and came back stateside for their next job. Reach out to those you may have met through your TEFL course or while living abroad. You can also build your network through online platforms such as Reddit, Facebook, Meetup, and travel blogs. 

Once you connect, ask them about their job search process and any advice they may have. Many TEFL teachers become full-time teachers in the U.S., some after getting a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education. Others leverage their teaching abroad experience to launch new careers with an international focus (more on that later). And others pursue more flexible jobs like teaching English online or substitute teaching. You have plenty of options to explore! 

Identify your new skills and international perspective. 

You should carry your teaching abroad experience like a badge of honor. Even if you don’t plan to pursue a career in education, you can still connect the lessons and skills you learned from your time abroad to your future career goals. Teaching abroad can significantly develop your ability to problem-solve, improve, organize, lead a group, communicate effectively, and speak multiple languages. Add these to your resume!

Plus, teaching abroad equips you with cultural sensitivity and first-hand knowledge of other areas of the world. Use this to your advantage; many organizations, educational or not, need professionals who can work in diverse, multicultural environments and teams. 

Stay busy with part-time or volunteer work.

Returning home after a whirlwind adventure in another country can feel a little deflating at times. After all that excitement, you might feel bored or unchallenged as you submit job applications and wait for responses (or still think through what you want to do now!). Consider taking on part-time or volunteer work in the meantime so you can put all the skills you’ve just learned to good use. 

Many companies allow you to teach English online from home, which has its pros and cons. If you crave in-person interaction, though, substitute teaching is a fantastic option with many perks. You can set your own schedule, earn up to $145 per day, and get started with only a high school diploma or GED in many states. 

Finding nearby substitute teaching jobs is easy on Teaching Nomad’s job board. We’ll connect you with reputable schools and the best open positions in your area. Plus, our expert placement consultants can answer all your questions about substitute teaching, certifications, and transitioning back to work in the U.S. Register with us today to get started!


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