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Ultimate Guide to
Teaching Abroad
2016-17 edition
Contents
Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
2
4
6
12
13
18
20
21
22
Introduction
Teach Abroad FAQ
Choose the Right Location...
3
Compiled by James Rector
Founder of Teach Abroad Network
This updated 2016/2017 guide comes from my years of experience ...
4
Introduction
Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
“I’m interested in teaching abroad…
But where? And how?”
Chapter 1
5
Introduction
The	attraction	to	teaching	abroad	may	reflect	a	desire	to	experience	the	
exotic,	a	chance	to	gain	internat...
6
Do I need to speak the language?
No. It’s not necessary to speak the language of the country you’re going to – but try t...
7
Do I need to have experience? Will I get training?
Most countries do not require any experience for teaching English abr...
8
Can I save much money?
Yes. Teaching abroad is great for this! Asia and the Middle East are the primary places where
you...
9
Advice for Non-native
English Speakers
Are there nationality requirements?
To teach English in Asia or the Middle East (...
10
Do I need a Criminal Background Check (CBC)?
You won’t have to worry about this until you’re officially hired and you h...
11
Other "soft requirements" that schools prefer:
The requirements to teach abroad can be flexible, as you read above. Her...
12
1. Start the process early. Review organizations and jobs for teaching overseas on
Teach Abroad Network and begin conta...
13
Choose the Right Location:
Country Comparisons 2016-17
Chapter 4
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PAID TEACHING: WHAT’S OUT THERE
MAP ...
14
POPULAR LOCATION COMPARISONS
*I have calculated the monthly savings potential based on cost of living, which includes s...
15
In short: Asia is the region for first time teachers abroad who want to save some money,
and for career subject teacher...
16
Chapter 4: Choose the Right Location: Country Comparisons 2016-17
In short: The European job market for hiring English ...
17
Chapter 4: Choose the Right Location: Country Comparisons 2016-17
In short: The Mid East is a high paying region for te...
18
How to Stand Out From the
Crowd on Teach Abroad
Network
Chapter 5
Getting started
First thing is to sign up at www.Teac...
19
Chapter 5: How to Stand Out from the Crowd
Introduction Video – Must do!
In my experience, people with intro videos got...
20
How to Nail Your Interview for
Teaching Abroad
Chapter 6
3 Application Tips from 20 Principals and Recruiters Abroad
Wh...
21
The #1 Thing You Should Do If
You Get a Job Offer
It	doesn’t	matter	if	you’re	using	Teach	Abroad	Network	or	some	other	...
22
How to Have the Best Year
Ever!
I	hope	this	guide	has	given	you	the	confidence	you	need	to	use	Teach	
Abroad	Network	to...
23
www.TeachAbroadNetwork.com/Signup
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Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad, 2016-2017 edition

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Interested in teaching abroad but don't know where or how to get started? Read through Teach Abroad Network's official starter guide to begin your first adventure teaching abroad!

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Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad, 2016-2017 edition

  1. 1. Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad 2016-17 edition
  2. 2. Contents Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad 2 4 6 12 13 18 20 21 22 Introduction Teach Abroad FAQ Choose the Right Location: Country Comparisons in 2016-17 How to Stand Out from the Crowd How to Nail Your Interview The #1 Thing You Must Do if You Get a Job Offer 5 Steps to Getting a Teaching Job Abroad Teach Abroad Plan: How to Have the Best Year Abroad! Welcome / 안영 / / ‫مرحبا‬
  3. 3. 3 Compiled by James Rector Founder of Teach Abroad Network This updated 2016/2017 guide comes from my years of experience in the international teacher recruitment industry connecting new and experienced educators to schools around the world. Additionally I study the market itself: By scanning the most popular job boards and sifting through the offers on the major recruiter websites, I know the opportunities that are out there, and where to start your job search. I know which locations have schools with real job offers, and have written this guide with the first time overseas teacher in mind. I hope you enjoy reading about exotic lands abroad, but more importantly, I hope you do something with it. Add me as a friend on Teach Abroad Network when you join! - James Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  4. 4. 4 Introduction Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad “I’m interested in teaching abroad… But where? And how?” Chapter 1
  5. 5. 5 Introduction The attraction to teaching abroad may reflect a desire to experience the exotic, a chance to gain international experience after college, a way to improve a stagnating career, or aspirations to live and work in a new and challenging environment. The things you learn – both personal and professional – can shape an exhilarating and fulfilling life. Teachers - good teachers - are some of the most valued members of society. They are responsible for the way entire generations grow into the people they will become. A large number of bright young people teach overseas each year who want to take on the challenges and responsibilities of teaching, while also experiencing the beauty of the unknown, the lands beyond home. Wherever your heart is set upon, the process of learning about teaching opportunities abroad is difficult. Furthermore, trusting the job posters on the major industry job boards, liked Dave’s ESL Café, can be dubious, and recruiters force you to choose between their (limited) options. This guide will provide you with the information, advice and resources you will need to start your first adventure teaching English abroad. Armed with a thorough understanding of how the system works, and with the proper preparation and mindset, you will soon stand a good chance of heading off to your first teaching job abroad! Chapter 1 Did you know: With just a BA, you can dive into a full-time paid job with monthly savings, have amazing travel opportunities, and learn the skills of managing a cross-cultural classroom? Learning to teach well gives you an invaluable skill set that translates to many other career fields, as well. Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  6. 6. 6 Do I need to speak the language? No. It’s not necessary to speak the language of the country you’re going to – but try to learn! If you’ll be teaching in a major metropolis, you can get by fine with just English. If you’ll be teaching in a rural area, learning the language will be more important. What will I teach? Most of you will be teaching ESL / TEFL / TESOL / EFL / etc. (all the different acronyms you’ll see just mean the same thing: teaching the English language). If you’re a licensed K12 subject teacher, you are eligible to teach at private or international schools. Is a Bachelor’s Degree required? For a paid teaching job, yes, you must have a Bachelor's degree or higher. For volunteer teaching programs, a degree is often not required. If you don’t have a BA and want to teach, read Where can I teach abroad without a degree? NOTE: These requirements are based on getting a legal teaching visa. You might have heard of teaching in Asia on a tourist visa or business visa but these are (usually) technically illegal options and therefore you could be subject to fines and deportation if anyone found out and cared enough to report you to the local immigration office. Nonetheless, I have to acknowledge many teachers use the tourist visa as a means of flexibility. Just know the risks. A visa is the government's approval to allow you in to the country, and it dictates what activities you can/can't participate in. Having a tourist visa does not allow you to teach. You should make sure your school is providing you a legal teaching/work visa. Know the Basics: Teach Abroad FAQs Chapter 2 Do I need to speak the language? What will I teach? Is a BA required? Do I need experience? Do I need TEFL certification? How long are the contracts? Is safety a concern? I don’t want to leave my friends and family for a year! Can teaching abroad boost my resume? Can I teach with family, friends, or a spouse? Can non-native English speakers teach abroad? What is the maximum age? Criminal background check Other “soft” requirements Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  7. 7. 7 Do I need to have experience? Will I get training? Most countries do not require any experience for teaching English abroad; they will expect you to have at least an online TEFL certification (easy to get - see more about TEFL certification next) and will train you for a short time when you arrive (a few days of training and a week of auditing another teacher’s classes is common). If you’re a licensed K12 or University teacher who wants to teach in your subject area, you will likely need 2+ years experience to get hired at a private or international school. However, China is special (and China deserves special attention because it is by far the biggest market for teachers). In China’s tier 1 cities, they have a 2 year “experience” requirement for English teachers (they say you need 2 years of post-college "work experience", which doesn't have to be teaching). Yes, they categorize them by “tiers”, but tier 2 and 3 cities are still huge cities with high living standards. In reality, and this is backed up by my recruitment experiences with Chinese ESL schools, most schools (that aren't in the heavily desired tier 1 teaching markets of Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong) can get you a visa even if you have no experience. Schools can waive this because of their relationship with their local government officials. Do I need TEFL certification to teach abroad? Yes, to teach English abroad. Academies usually only give jobs to teachers who put in the effort to obtain an online TEFL certification (Teach English as a Foreign Language). A 120 hour online TEFL course certification is a standard requirement. In-person courses (like CELTA) are not required and are expensive, but they are excellent at preparing you for your future ESL classroom. Nonetheless, an online TEFL certification is sufficient. See our recommended online TEFL course here (with discount!). To teach a K12 or University subject, you'll need a teaching certification in that subject area. However, my experience in recruiting has taught me that you can have a MA/MS/PhD in that subject area to substitute for certification. Schools view content mastery as the main requirement, though you obviously have to demonstrate a great aptitude for teaching if you don't have proper certification (create a video on your profile to accomplish this). They expect you'll do an online TEFL course in lieu of traditional teacher training. How long are the contracts? When teaching English, most contracts are 12 months. You can find some 3- or 6-month contracts here and there. See the Country Comparison chart later for the lengths of contracts in those places. If you’re a licensed K12 or University subject teacher at a private or international school, most contracts are 12-24 months in Asia and 24 months in the Middle East. Chapter 2: Know the Basics: Teach Abroad FAQs Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  8. 8. 8 Can I save much money? Yes. Teaching abroad is great for this! Asia and the Middle East are the primary places where you will be able to earn enough to save a lot. See the Country Comparison chart later in the book for how much you can expect to save in the most popular teach abroad destinations (calculated by average teacher salary minus cost of living, including leisure spending like travel). If you’re looking to save money or pay off debt, you can find teaching jobs in Asia or the Middle East for which you can save $10,000 or more (not just make, but save) in 12 months. Is safety a concern? If you’re teaching in a popular teaching destination, chances are you will be in an environment that is friendly to Westerners. Nonetheless, be a smart traveler. Read these Travel Safety Tips: Advice, Programs, Embassies, Insurance, etc. I don’t want to leave my family and friends for a year I guess this isn’t a question, but it’s a common fear people have. Do you know who quickly your year abroad will pass? Faster than you realize. When you’re busy absorbing a new culture and making new friends and teaching, a year will go by quickly, believe me. And guess what? Your family and friends will still be there when you get back, hanging on your every story! Furthermore, modern technology like blogs, messaging apps, social media, and Skype allows you to stay in touch easily – and make your friends and family jealous of your awesome adventures! Can teaching abroad boost my resume? Yes. I really enjoyed this post on Travel Pulse speaking to a college student's concern about teaching abroad looking like a blank space on his resume: “Teaching abroad can look good on a resume if you invest in yourself and the job position. For example, I now have the confidence to stand in front of people twice my age (most of them with PhDs) and lecture about business principles in English-speaking countries. That same confidence relates to all other forms of public speaking.” Can I teach abroad with friends, family, or spouse? Yes, you can. Teaching couples and friends often ask about this possibility. Read this forum post about teaching with family, friends, or spouse, which goes over some basics you need to understand about housing, jobs, and education for children if you want to teach with another person. Chapter 2: Know the Basics: Teach Abroad FAQs Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  9. 9. 9 Advice for Non-native English Speakers Are there nationality requirements? To teach English in Asia or the Middle East (the biggest markets for teachers), most countries require you to have a passport from a "native English-speaking country" (US, CAN, UK, IRE, AUS, NZ, or SA) for at least 15 years. The requirements for Europe and Latin America are more relaxed, though the markets are much smaller (i.e. fewer jobs). To teach a K-12 subject at an International school (if you’re a licensed teacher), the citizenship requirement is relaxed. Does this mean non-native English speakers can't get jobs teaching English abroad? No, but it's more challenging. Indians, Filipinos, Europeans, etc who speak excellent English, should check the advice article in the right column. Follow the advice to make schools view you as a teaching professional that would improve their educational atmosphere. In the teach abroad industry, Native English speakers are defined as having passports from one of these countries: •America •Canada •UK •Ireland •South Africa •Australia •New Zealand 9 Chapter 2: Know the Basics: Teach Abroad FAQs Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  10. 10. 10 Do I need a Criminal Background Check (CBC)? You won’t have to worry about this until you’re officially hired and you have to collect documents to apply for a visa to legally teach in the country to which you’ll be going. When applying to teach around the world, almost every government will require a CBC from a state-level police department (i.e. California State Police). This is easy to obtain; just call your state- or province-level police department and ask how to get a background check. You probably can just request it online. Korea is the exception! You must have a clean national level criminal background check. This requires getting a fingerprint card done and sending it to your country's national-level police department (i.e. the FBI in America, Scotland Yard in the UK, RCMP in Canada, etc.) with a completed application form and small fee. Ordering a CBC can take anywhere from 4-12 weeks, unfortunately, so get started right away. Waiting will adversely affect your ability to get hired. Your background check cannot be older than 6 months at the time of your Visa application. See instructions for how to get a national-level background check. See instructions for how to get a state-level background check. Is there a maximum age? Yes/No. I know there are many of you 60+ retired teachers out there who would love to teach abroad! There is no definite answer here. The governments of the popular teach abroad destinations around the world don't all have strict rules in place, and even when they do, the province-level governments of the schools that are requesting visas for teachers might be more lenient in granting visas to older-than-allowed teachers if they recognize that it's difficult to attract teachers. There are conflicting reports from all over (especially China) about the age requirements to teach English abroad (or K12): The maximum is 55, no wait it's 65, no wait it's any age as long as the school can convince the immigration officials on your behalf. To be honest, these reports are all correct! My advice for candidates older than 55: 1. Ask schools if your age will be an issue when you apply 2. Add a video to your profile (read more about this later in the book), which makes you more than just "an applicant". Show them that you are a vibrant, professional teacher that can add great value to their school community. For more information, check out this article: I'm 55, 60, 65+...can I teach abroad? Chapter 2: Know the Basics: Teach Abroad FAQs Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  11. 11. 11 Other "soft requirements" that schools prefer: The requirements to teach abroad can be flexible, as you read above. Here are some other things that schools look for in candidates: 1. Candidates who show a passion for teaching. Many are intimidated by teaching if they’ve never done it, but it is extremely rewarding and a lot of fun. 2. For college tutoring academies: Graduates of good universities (top 30 universities like, obviously, Oxford and Yale, but places like NYU and Pomona as well). Brand names of good schools are significant factors in hiring at test prep academies that market their classes to parents who hope to one day send their kids to school in America. 3. A bright personality! Honestly, this is really the biggest thing that schools are looking for. The certifications are nice, but, bottom line, they want people with great personalities. Spending the 20 minutes to create an excellent profile video will go a long way toward getting hired by a school that wants to find great personalities! (read: all schools want that). Want more information? Know the 4 types of schools abroad Chapter 2: Know the Basics: Teach Abroad FAQs Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  12. 12. 12 1. Start the process early. Review organizations and jobs for teaching overseas on Teach Abroad Network and begin contacting schools and recruiters 3 to 6 months in advance of when you want to start teaching. 5 Steps to Getting a Job Teaching Abroad Chapter 3 2. If you are interested in teaching abroad in one or two countries only, write directly to schools located in these regions and apply to their jobs. Make sure your TAN profile has a complete resume, two recommendations, professional photo, and introduction video. 3. When applying to jobs, indicate when you will be available for a Skype interview. 4. Select the organization that seems most suited to your needs, taking into consideration not just the salary or city, but your goals for your time abroad. Consider if you value free time, vacation days, language study, weather, small classes, etc. 5. If you do not receive an offer to teach abroad shortly afterwards, don't give up! Inquire about new jobs that appear weekly on TAN. Network with schools when you have a strong interest. There are a significant number of jobs for teaching overseas that open up between June and September and again between December and March. Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad >> Here are 10 tips to nail your Skype interview.
  13. 13. 13 Choose the Right Location: Country Comparisons 2016-17 Chapter 4 OPPORTUNITIES FOR PAID TEACHING: WHAT’S OUT THERE MAP OF DEMAND FOR TEACHER RECRUITMENT If you want to teach and save money: You can see that the largest demand and salaries are in Asia and the Middle East. This does not mean that you cannot find a paying English teaching job in another country (for example Latin America or Europe); it just means there is an established market for English teachers in the countries highlighted above and thus schools there are willing to pay to recruit teachers (like you) from overseas. If you want to teach in a specific country not highlighted on the map: You can find jobs in other countries not highlighted above, but it will be difficult unless you have feet on the ground there or connections via Teach Abroad Network, or do a volunteer program. Schools in these countries are not likely to spend money recruiting native English speaking teachers from overseas; rather, they look for teachers in their local city. Examples: France, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, etc. Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  14. 14. 14 POPULAR LOCATION COMPARISONS *I have calculated the monthly savings potential based on cost of living, which includes spending on leisure and travel. **Passport holders from US, CAN, UK, IRE, SA, AUS, or NZ are preferred, but only required if specifically written. Chapter 4: Choose the Right Location: Country Comparisons 2016-17 Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  15. 15. 15 In short: Asia is the region for first time teachers abroad who want to save some money, and for career subject teachers with or without families. China is the market leader. There is a huge demand for young, energetic English language teachers (ESL/TEFL/TESL) in Asia. The Big 3 in the East are the largest markets: China is by far the biggest market for teaching jobs in the whole world, as a result of its economic growth and population. South Korea and Japan continue to be major markets for ESL teachers, though these are well-known teacher job markets by now and are therefore saturated with teachers. Getting an ESL job in South Korea or Japan is no longer as easy as it used to be! Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries are continuing a slow climb into becoming major destination for teachers, though jobs in these tropical locations have little savings potential. But the beach sure is nice… Learn more! Browse Asian City Guides and Asian Country Guides on TAN, like these: Chapter 4: Choose the Right Location: Country Comparisons 2016-17 Asia Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  16. 16. 16 Chapter 4: Choose the Right Location: Country Comparisons 2016-17 In short: The European job market for hiring English teachers from abroad is small due to the ease with which they can find their own native-level English speaking teachers. Although many have the dream of teaching English and traveling throughout Europe, it has a small jobs market for English teachers compared to Asia and the Middle East, though there are seasonal recruiting openings in Spain, Poland, and Russia. The market for English teachers in Europe is small because they can easily find native-level English speaking teachers in their own cities, or from nearby England. It doesn’t mean there is not any demand - there is - but it means the salaries will be comparably lower than those in other regions and the jobs will be fewer and farther in between. Learn more! Browse European City Guides and European Country Guides on TAN, like these: Europe Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  17. 17. 17 Chapter 4: Choose the Right Location: Country Comparisons 2016-17 In short: The Mid East is a high paying region for teachers with experience. The United Arab Emirate’s ADEC (Abu Dhabi Education Council) is a major employer in the region. The Middle East is often viewed as the place for teachers with some experience under their belt, and is the place where teachers can make and save the most money. Many teachers start at postings in Asia because of the huge demand there and move on to higher salaried positions in Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, etc. This higher salary is a reflection of their desire to attract more Western educators to the Middle East. Learn more! Browse Middle East City Guides and MidEast Country Guides on TAN, like these: In short: Similar to that in Europe, the job market for hiring English teachers in Central and South America is small compared to those in Asia and the Middle East. English teacher wages in Central and South America are extremely modest but given the low cost of living full-time teachers are able to live comfortably, though without much savings. Most jobs here entail teaching adults at private language schools. Middle East Latin America Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  18. 18. 18 How to Stand Out From the Crowd on Teach Abroad Network Chapter 5 Getting started First thing is to sign up at www.TeachAbroadNetwork.com. Recruiters and HR Managers look for teachers there and you can apply to teaching jobs posted by reputable organizations and schools around the world. Complete your Recruiting Details, Resume and professional Profile Photo A professional photo is especially important for Asia. Make sure to fill out all the Recruiting Details on your profile, which are how employers will know more about you. Fill out your Resume for the same reasons. Highlight your intentions, your skills, and the reasons why you would be a good candidate for the job. Check out this article from Footprints Recruiting about how to write a teacher resume. Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  19. 19. 19 Chapter 5: How to Stand Out from the Crowd Introduction Video – Must do! In my experience, people with intro videos got interviews almost twice as much as those who didn’t take the time to supplement their application with a video. They let their personalities and attitudes about education come out in the videos, which really made hiring managers interested because it added a human touch. Especially if you don’t have any experience, or are a non-native speaker, you really should create an introduction video. Cross-cultural recruitment is a tricky business and schools are always concerned about one thing: Does this teacher have a good personality? If you can help them see your personality, you will have bridged a culture gap and gone to the top of that employer’s applicant list! Examples: BASIC: This introduction is short, simple, and sweet. You could do this! ADVANCED: Wow! This is a good one! She does a lot here; you don’t have to go that far. But if you did… How to Record a Video: Option 1: Use TAN’s Guided Self-Introduction Video Recorder. Quick and easy! Option 2: Use software on your computer to record yourself answering these questions and then upload it to YouTube. Popular software includes Photo Booth for Mac OS X and Camera for Windows 8+. Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  20. 20. 20 How to Nail Your Interview for Teaching Abroad Chapter 6 3 Application Tips from 20 Principals and Recruiters Abroad When I was a recruiter, I used to travel a lot to talk to staff managers at the schools we worked with. I sat down with dozens of principals and hiring managers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul at all types of schools (private, public, kindergarten, test prep, language academies, etc.), and I asked them what they care about most when hiring teachers. These job tips come directly from the people who make the hiring decisions! Basically every school I talked to had a few things in common. Watch this 7-minute video detailing the 3 most essential tips I heard from them all. It could be the difference in your getting a job. 10 tips to ace your video Skype interview for teaching abroad Things to prepare - A clean room with reliable internet - A simple greeting in their native language (it’s OK to have fun!) - A headset with microphone (better audio) - Bright lights should be in front of you (just like photos, you want the light hitting your face, not the camera) - Think about finding a nice background, rather than a blank wall (if possible) - Turn off your cell phone, tell people not to disturb you How to dress - A clean dress shirt (think conservative) - Less makeup is better than more makeup - Take out ALL facial piercings (girls, smaller is better for earrings) - Look as clean cut as possible (if you have facial hair or long hair, consider a serious trim, cut or pull-back) Here is a short video I made to prepare teachers for a Skype interview with a school overseas. I made it after listening to feedback from schools after they interviewed teachers from my old recruitment company, as well as listening to some other advice from popular sources online. Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  21. 21. 21 The #1 Thing You Should Do If You Get a Job Offer It doesn’t matter if you’re using Teach Abroad Network or some other way to find your teaching job abroad, the one thing you absolutely must do, when offered a job, is… …speak to a current teacher at the school! Chapter 7 Schools won’t allow this until after they make you a job offer. But when they do, speaking to one of their current teachers (at the branch you’ll be working at, if it’s a chain school) should be your first request. And make sure you speak to someone who is culturally similar to you (i.e. American speaking to American). It’s the best way of making sure you’re hearing the full story of the workplace and location. When you do, ask these questions to get a comprehensive view of the situation: 1. How were the salary and benefits? 2. How is the neighborhood / location? What’s the transportation like? 3. How are the teacher accommodations? 4. How is the teaching experience at the school? 5. Does the school support you when you need help? 6. Overall, has the experience been worth it? Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  22. 22. 22 How to Have the Best Year Ever! I hope this guide has given you the confidence you need to use Teach Abroad Network to secure a teaching job in an ideal location. Conclusion When it’s official, you are probably going to be excited, nervous, and a little overwhelmed! My recruiting partner and I wrote a “Teach Abroad Plan” for our former teacher recruits. I’d like you to read it to make sure that your year (or longer, if you are really bitten by the bug) is as happy and productive as possible! Click here to download the Teach Abroad Plan Ultimate Guide to Teaching Abroad
  23. 23. 23 www.TeachAbroadNetwork.com/Signup

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