Teaching outside Canada
Information for Canadians who are planning to travel outside Canada to teach.
On this page
Before you leave
If you are planning to teach outside Canada, check the Travel Advice and Advisories for the country where you will be working for information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.
Consider some of the challenges you may face, including:
- the distance from Canada
- cultural differences
- the possibility that few English-speaking people and services will be found in many small towns and even larger cities
- the cost of living
Find out if you need a work visa:
- In some countries, your employer needs to sponsor you before you can get a work visa.
- If you are a citizen of the country where you will be working, you may be subject to laws that would not apply to a foreigner such as paying income taxes.
- For more information, contact the consulate or embassy in Canada of the country where you would like to work.
Travel Advice and Advisories
Foreign government offices in Canada
If you receive an offer of employment, evaluate the offer before signing a contract:
- Have a clear understanding of your and your employer’s contractual obligations.
- Check if the contract includes provisions for housing and medical insurance.
Some employers may provide housing as part of a teaching contract, but you may need to find your own accommodation.
- If your employer does not provide housing, they may still be able to help you find accommodations and negotiate appropriate rent and utility payments.
- You can ask the employer for the contact information of current and former teachers, so you can contact them directly about housing and living conditions.
Before finalizing a rental contract, make sure you understand the contract, the living conditions and the rules.
You may need to pay income tax in Canada as well as in the country where you will be working.
- Canadian taxes
- Check Taxation for Canadians travelling, living or working outside of Canada for information about your Canadian tax obligations
- Taxes outside Canada
- Depending on the country, foreigners may be eligible for a lump-sum refund of their pension contributions and a tax refund
- For more information, contact the embassy or consulate in Canada of the country where you plan to teach
Make sure you have medical insurance. Without it, you may have to pay thousands of dollars up-front if you need medical care.
- If you have medical insurance coverage through your employer, get details about the nature and scope of the coverage.
Check the health section in the Travel advice and advisory page for the country where you will be working:
- You may need to get vaccinations before you leave.
- There may be restrictions on the amounts and types of medications you can bring. Leave medication in its original package and keep a letter from your doctor stating its purpose, as well as a copy of the prescription.
You may initially experience some degree of culture shock.
Travelling with medication
Coping with culture shock
If you need help
If you need help while you are outside Canada, contact the nearest Government of Canada office.
Officials there may:
- notarize documents required to process applications
- renew your Canadian passport while you are abroad
- provide consular assistance in case of emergency
They will do what they can to help you, but there are limits to what they can do:
- They do not maintain a list of teaching institutes and cannot become involved in contractual conflicts.
- They cannot provide legal representation or mediate a dispute.
- They cannot investigate, certify or vouch for prospective employers.
Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
About consular services
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