Welcome to the career resources page!
Click to access the Global Guide, a site to begin the search for scholarships for research and study abroad, volunteer and internship opportunities, and employment in Pittsburgh, the U.S. or abroad.
Gap Year Resources
The Institute of Irish Studies
The Institute of Irish Studies now offers two summer school programs, the new one is specifically conflict transformation oriented.
AmeriCorps programs exist throughout the country in a variety of fields.
PULSE recruits college graduates to serve in Pittsburgh nonprofits and gain leadership skills.
Direct Action and Research Training Center (DART)
DART is made up of several organizations that bring people together across different racial, religious and socioeconomic lines in order to pursue justice in their communities.
Peace Corps is an international service organization that sends Americans abroad to help other countries address critical needs. Contact Abraham Kim for more information on the application process and to find out when Peace Corps-specific information and events are happening.
Fulbright US Student Program
Fulbright has many different programs for research, teaching and other projects in several different countries. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni can apply but must be endorsed by Pitt.
Undergraduates should contact Shannon Mischler if interested in it: email@example.com
Graduate student should contact Jessica Sun if interested in it firstname.lastname@example.org
An organization legally recognized by the Government of Ecuador, which was constituted through the ministerial agreement No.0350 on October 10, 2005. Currently it is the only organization authorized to select and supply volunteers to third party organizations providing their services in social, community, educational, healthcare and ecological projects/programs throughout Ecuador.
Global Routes is a non-governmental, non-sectarian organization committed to strengthening our global community through voluntary work overseas. The organization designs foreign exchange programs based on community service, bringing people with different world views together.
Global Service Corps
A non-profit organization that focuses on service learning and overseas volunteer programs and international internships in Thailand, Cambodia and Tanzania. International stays range from 2 week Introductions to Service Learning, 4-6 week Short-term Volunteer Abroad Assignments and 9 Week to 6 month International Internships and Overseas Volunteer Assignments. Global Service Corps’ mission is to design and implement volunteer vacation and service-learning community development programs that benefit the volunteers and positively impact the communities they serve.
Hands for Help Nepal
Hands for Help Nepal is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that sends volunteers to various projects in Nepal. Currently, Hands for Help Nepal provides volunteer opportunities that include teaching in schools, assisting orphanages and community health clinics, teaching English in a Buddhist monastery, school constriction and renovation and teaching environmental awareness. Programs last from one to five months.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
WWOOF organizations publish lists of organic farms, smallholdings and gardeners that welcome volunteer help at certain times. The diversity of hosts available offers a large variety of tasks and experiences. Volunteer helpers ("WWOOFers") choose the hosts that most interest them and make direct contact to arrange a stay. Volunteers usually live as part of the family.
NATO Internship Programme
Citizens of NATO-member countries who are 21 and older and who graduated not longer than 12 months before are eligible to apply for this 6-month internship at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Belgium. There are internship opportunities in human resources, diplomacy, policy and many other disciplines. Check the website for details.
International Organization for Migration
IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization for migration and “works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.” They offer internships in their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa (VPWA)
Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa (VPWA) is a volunteer driven non-profit NGO based in Ghana which aims to promote better life opportunities for people in under privileged communities through better education, health, sanitation and sustainable development.
Africa Development Corps
Africa Development Corps, also known as Visions in Action, is a nonprofit international development organization based in Africa with programs in Liberia, Uganda and Tanzania. The volunteer program lasts 6-12 months and involves serving with an indigenous NGO in a field of your interest. Positions available with nonprofit development organizations, research institutes, health clinics, community groups and the media.
United Nations Internship Program
Be an intern at the United Nations--an organization committed to maintaining international peace and promoting human rights. You can intern in New York City or other major UN offices internationally within a year of graduation. There are several different areas in which to work, including human resources, finance, language, management, law, and security.
To learn about more possibilities for your gap year experience, consult the Global Guide here on the Global Studies Center Website.
Teaching English Abroad
Teaching English abroad is a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some helpful resources. This is by no means a comprehensive list and may be amended as more useful information is discovered. If you have any specific questions, please contact the Global Studies Student Ambassador, Crystal Christophe at email@example.com. She taught English in South Korea and Oman.
In order to be competitive, it is best to have 1) teaching experience and 2) an ESL certificate. For some positions, it may require that you major in a related area such as English, education, and linguistics. For business English, they may expect a business background. Note that this is not always required, but the first two items are usually a minimum requirement.
1) How do I get teaching experience?
- Tutoring! See how you can get involved in peer-tutoring with the Writing Center http://www.writingcenter.pitt.edu/
- Contact the Pittsburgh Literacy Council about teaching/tutoring opportunities http://www.gplc.org/
- Contact the Pittsburgh Project about tutoring in afterschool programs http://pittsburghproject.org/get-connected/volunteer-opportunities/218-2/
2) How do I obtain an ESL certificate?
These certificates have different names and are offered by different organizations all over the world. They are can be intensive programs that lest a few weeks or they can be longer programs spread out over a few months. There are also online options, although sometimes, schools will not regard them as valid. Prices vary depending on location. These programs focus on teaching English to speakers of other languages and require a substantial amount of reading, writing, and usually a teaching practicum component. These certificates are generally geared to adults.
- Pitt’s Linguistics Department hosts a yearlong graduate-level TESOL certificate program. http://www.linguistics.pitt.edu/tesol/
- CELTA is offered through Cambridge English and has courses all over the world: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/teaching-qualifications/celta/
- Oxford Seminar is another certificate program offered in various locations. https://www.oxfordseminars.com/
3). How much will I get paid?
This depends greatly on a) the type of teaching position you have, b) the specific location, c) the school, and d) your education level and experience.
Things to consider:
- It is more expensive to live in major cities, so keep that in mind when comparing salaries
- Generally, South Korea, Japan, and the Middle East will offer the most money, with the Middle Eastern countries offering the most.
- Many Middle Eastern school positions require a teaching credential (certification to teach in public schools), but if you teach at a Foundation Institute, you only need a bachelors degree.
- Some positions will include housing at no charge or will offer a housing allowance. Other programs will not offer housing or an allowance. Consider that in your budget.
- If you do not have considerable financial obligations back home, it is very easy to save money while teaching abroad.
- You are usually paid in the currency of the host country and you will open up a bank account there. Be aware of exchange rates and procedures for transferring money to your American bank accounts. In the Middle East and in South Korea, many of the banking platforms are NOT compatible with Mac OS and the process to make transfers can be complicated in the beginning.
Using a recruiter can help alleviate some of the stress of trying to find a teaching position. Many schools will outsource their recruiting to different companies. You submit your information and credentials to the recruiter and they find schools that may be a match. The schools ultimately decide whether or not to hire you. Here is a preliminary list of recruiters.
- Footprints: http://www.footprintsrecruiting.com/
- TeachAway: https://www.teachaway.com/
- Gone2Korea: http://www.gone2korea.com/esl-recruiter.html
- Adventure Teaching: http://www.adventureteaching.com/
- Aclipse: http://www.aclipse.net/
- Korvia: http://www.korvia.com/
- Canadian Connection: http://www.canconx.com/
You can search job listings and apply directly to the hiring schools. Most require an undergraduate degree. Some require a relevant major. Others may require a masters degree and a minimum number of years experience.
- HigherEdJobs: https://www.higheredjobs.com/
- Dave’s ESL Café: http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/
- Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/
- TeacherPort: https://teacherport.com/
- TESOL. International: http://careers.tesol.org/jobs
- Teacher Assistant Program in France: http://highereducation.frenchculture.org/teach-in-france
- North American Language and Culture Assistant in Spain: http://www.mecd.gob.es/eeuu/convocatorias-programas/convocatorias-eeuu/auxiliares-conversacion-eeuu.html
- English Language Fellows Program: http://exchanges.state.gov/us/program/english-language-fellow-program
- Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program: http://us.fulbrightonline.org/about/types-of-grants/english-teaching-assistant-grants
- Peace Corps: http://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/learn/whatvol/edu_youth/
- JET (Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program): http://jetprogramusa.org/
- Open Doors Program in Chile: http://www.centrodevoluntarios.cl/
- Teach for China Fellowship: http://www.tfchina.org/en/index.aspx
- TaLK Program (Teach and Learn in Korea) – must have at least 2 years of college: https://www.talk.go.kr/talk/talk_new/main/main_eng.jsp
- EPIK (Teach English in Korea) – must have a bachelors: https://www.epik.go.kr/index.do
- Other countries have different policies regarding discrimination. They will often ask for a photo and they will judge you based on your appearance. Keep a professional headshot handy and do not show excessive skin, tattoos, or piercings in the photos.
- They will search for you on social media, so be aware of what you post and lock down your privacy settings.
- Bring toys, books, videos, games, and other items with you to share with your students.
- Consider preparing a slideshow about life in your hometown and share that with your students as a means of cultural exchange.
- Utilize social media to find others who have taught in the places that interest you. There are many Facebook groups and independent forums available. Be aware, that one of the main things that will shape your experience is your own ATTITUTE before, during, and after.
- Practice the 3 Ps when you are living abroad: Patience, Politeness, and Persistence. Things are done differently in other countries. Sometimes it can be frustrating. It is important not to take things out on your students, your colleagues, or others in your new host country.
Helpful Websites for English Grammar and Teaching