Unfortunately, problems can occur when living and teaching English abroad. Most recently NOVA in Japan has gone bankrupt leaving 4,000 English teachers stranded. Here are some tips to dealing with problems that may occur when living abroad, and resources to help you move forward.
1. Find a new jobIf you find yourself out of a job, chances are there are plenty more available. There are many online TEFL job resources available to help you find a job close to home. Here are my favorites:
[link url=http://www.esljobsworld.com/esl-jobs/asia/japan.html]ESL Jobs World[/link][br]
[link url=http://www.esljobfeed.com/]ESL Job Feed[/link]
2. Belong to Your National TESOL AssociationNational TESOL associations should be able to provide you with the most accurate information and guidance concerning the job market in the country you are living in. They will probably also have insider information on the school you are having problems with. This [link url=http://www.multilingualbooks.com/eslassoc.html]exhaustive TESOL organization list[/link] will help you find the organization you are looking for.
3. Find out about your legal rightsThere may be some confusion regarding your legal rights to back pay, VISA requirements, etc. Get informed as soon as you can about your legal right to work in the country you are currently living in. If you need legal assistance to fight a dishonest employer, local lawyers may be of help (This [link url=http://englishschoolwatch.org/lawyers_law.shtml]list[/link] may help you get started). Finally, you should definitely contact your local embassy or consulate for their advice.
4. Ask your government for helpMake sure to register with your local consulate when living abroad. Your consulate can help you in times of trouble. It's easy to forget to do this, but when the you know what hits the fan, you'll be glad you did! The [link url=http://www.embassyworld.com/]Embassy World database[/link] will help you find the closest consulate or embassy.
5. Find a teaching job on the internetTeaching via the internet is still relatively new and risky. However, a number of companies are offering the opportunity to teach via the internet. [link url=http://www.onlinetutoringworld.com/]Online Tutoring World[/link] provides excellent resources for teachers looking to take advantage of this trend.
6. Find a volunteer positionMany volunteer positions offer food and housing. In a pinch, you might be able to find a volunteer position while living abroad. [link url=http://www.volunteerabroad.com/search.cfm]Volunteer Abroad[/link] offers a comprehensive resource for these opportunities.
7. Think about other job possibilitiesThere are a number of industries that are looking for temporary help. Finding a temporary job might help you get through the tough times until you find a new teaching position. Here are some suggestions for finding temporary jobs:
[li]Hostels and hotels
Wikitravel provides an in-depth look at the [link url=http://wikitravel.org/en/Working_abroad]various opportunities[/link] you should consider.
8. Call Mom and DadOK, we all don't want to choose this option. However, if you haven't put away some money for a rainy day - let's be honest, how many teachers can do that on a private school's paycheck? - then Mom and Dad can at least wire you the money for a plane trip home. Perhaps they've kept your room just the way it was before you left for college...