More Canadians seek work teaching English overseas

Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:07pm EDT
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By Nina Lex

TORONTO (Reuters) - A growing number of recent graduates from Canadian universities are becoming English teachers overseas, discouraged by a tight job market during Canada's deepest recession in decades.

Teach Away, a Toronto-based agency that helps North Americans find teaching jobs overseas, says applications to teach English in Asia and elsewhere have jumped about 400 percent since late 2008.

"Positions are filling quicker this year than ever before," said director Rene Frey.

Vancouver-based Footprints Recruiting has experienced a similar trend, receiving 100 more applications a week than it did last year, said co-founder Ben Glickman.

"We definitely see economic causalities come through the door. You see a lot of fallout from the financial industry, where people that were involved in finances are now teaching overseas," said Glickman.

"I interviewed a guy the other day -- he has a masters degree in quantitative science. I mean last year he probably wouldn't be applying to teach in Korea."

In Canada, the unemployment rate climbed to 8.4 percent in May, its highest in 11 years.

Footprints, which places most of its applicants in South Korean schools, says more teachers working overseas are staying put rather than coming back because jobs at home are scarce.   Continued...