Whether you’re headed to Vancouver, Quebec City, or somewhere in between, Canada offers a vast amount of opportunities to teach English abroad. Jobs teaching English in Canada are prevalent, whether as a teaching assistant, working at a language school, or as a private tutor. There are also opportunities to teach French, Canada’s second official language, as well as other academic subjects. Regardless of where or what you teach in Canada, the nation promises to offer diverse cultural experiences and seemingly endless natural landscapes to admire.
Vancouver. Mountains and beaches border this eclectic city that is known for world-renowned restaurants, an up-and-coming art scene, and charming neighborhoods. Opportunities to teach English in Vancouver are plentiful as the city is one of the most linguistically diverse in Canada, with over half of its residents having a first language other than English. Among the top cities in the world for quality of life, Vancouver provides a rich teaching experience - both professionally and culturally.
Montreal. Steeped in a history of European influence, Montreal has both impressive, historical architecture and an abundance of contemporary art. With over 250 theatre and dance companies, more than 90 annual festivals, and artists and musicians galore, Montreal is a booming artistic center. French is the city’s official language, with about 56 percent of inhabitants speaking both French and English at home, making Montreal a great place to teach either language, in addition to other subjects.
Toronto. Arguably the most culturally diverse city in Canada, or perhaps the world, almost half of Toronto’s residents were born outside of Canada, and there are around 140 languages spoken. Not only does this provide a plethora of opportunities for teaching language or other subjects, but it allows visitors to experience a true melting pot of cultures. An established hub for film production, ballet, and theatre, Toronto competes with Montreal when it comes to artistic variety and talent.
Teaching in Canada
Teachers heading to Canada can find opportunities to teach English or French, or they can become accredited by the British Columbia Ministry of Education to teach a variety of subjects at Canada’s multitude of international schools.
Those looking to teach English in Canada can apply to be a teaching assistant, work at a language school, or even teach as a private tutor. Most language schools and teaching assistant positions require a Canadian TEFL Certification. It also helps to have prior experience in English teaching abroad, as the higher paid teaching jobs can be quite competitive.
Salaries & Costs
Accredited teachers can expect the annual starting rate for teaching jobs in Canada to average between about $41,000 and $61,000, depending on the province, to a maximum of about $95,000. Language assistants can expect to make around $18,500 annually, while tutoring salaries vary widely or may not be included if room and board is provided in a homestay.
The cost of living in Canada is similar to the United States; however, can vary by city. A McDonald’s combo meal is around $7, where a dozen eggs is just under $3 on average. Healthcare for non-Canadian citizens can be incredibly expensive so traveler’s insurance is highly recommended.
Accommodation & Visas
If you’re teaching English in Canada through the assistance of a program provider, accommodations and visa assistance may be included; however, it’s important to check. Otherwise expect to secure your own housing while teaching in Canada.
Visa options and requirements vary based on the type of teaching job you obtain in Canada. You can obtain a Temporary Work Visa or apply for a long term visa with Arranged Employment in order to teach in Canada.
Benefits & Challenges
For those looking to teach English in Canada, there are many opportunities to get your TEFL certification in Canada prior to teaching, which is a great way to get a taste of the culture while getting a head start on your job search.
Accredited teachers should research employment options and locations for more or less competitive teaching jobs in Canada.
Teaching in Canada is sure to be an enriching experience, between the cultural smorgasbord that many cities offer and the friendly and accepting nature of Canadian people. Whether you’re spending weekends skiing, catching a show at the theatre, or exploring the many bars and pubs in the major cities, Canada is sure to provide an unforgettable backdrop for your teach abroad adventure.