Our Teach Abroad program in Myanmar is perfect for the adventure traveler looking to make a positive impact on their host community.
Our Teach Abroad in Myanmar program is an opportunity distinct from other English teaching positions, offering full cultural immersion in the unique country of Myanmar. By promoting active, responsible and sustainable engagement in Myanmar, our English teachers will positively impact the country and its people. In contrast to traditional tourism, we believe that the nature of the long term, immersive travel on this program will promote valuable cultural exchange and meaningful interactions with the local communities.
This program offers:
July 29, 2019 – Placement Only*
September 30, 2019
*If you would like to get TEFL certified abroad, you can always take the TESOL course in Thailand first and then teach in Myanmar after! See Thailand course dates here!
We can also accept participants for Myanmar on a rolling basis throughout the year as long as you are open to doing the TESOL course in Thailand first and then travel the short distance to Myanmar, where you will receive the cultural orientation in a one on one format. Please let us know what time of the year you are wanting to arrive in Myanmar if it’s not around a start date listed above, and we can let you know the availability. We have TESOL courses in Thailand every month, all year long.
There are no exceptions to the eligibility requirements.
As this is a program in a developing country, the ideal candidate should have a sense of adventure, and will understand that there will be a learning curve and possible changes as the program develops. Applicants should be very flexible and open-minded. Extra staff support will be provided in country during the beginning of your program to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
Still need your TEFL/TESOL certificate?
Add on a 3-week 120 hour TESOL certification course in Yangon on ANY start date. The TESOL course is required for those participants who did not major in Education or have a teaching license. Those who take the course will continue their training for three additional weeks after the one week cultural orientation upon arrival. More than 90% of our teachers that do this program also take this TESOL course in Yangon, upon arrival.
Course at a Glance
Why should you take the course in Myanmar?
Taking an in-person course instead of an online course is highly preferred by hiring schools not just in Myanmar, but all over the world. By taking the course in Myanmar you will get hands on experience with Myanmar students, as well as personal and helpful guidance from your TESOL teachers. You’ll also get to spend an additional 3 weeks in Yangon with all of the others taking the course before you head into your placements – and it’s a lot of fun!
If I need to take the TESOL course, do I arrive 4 weeks before my start date?
No, we have TESOL courses on EVERY start date listed on the website. Everyone (regardless of if they need to do the course) will start the orientation together, and those taking the course will stay an additional 3 weeks after orientation.
Please note, all prices are listed in USD
Myanmar Teaching Placement Only: $1,750
Myanmar Teaching Placement + TESOL Course: $2,520
It is free to extend your program for additional semesters!
Why do I have to pay for a job?
Programs like this one in Myanmar don’t have direct government funding, so teachers who want to teach there must cover some of their own expenses. When programs cost money, we do try to keep them as cheap as possible (we are a non-profit!) but there are some costs associated with running a program when it does not have any direct funding. The program cost covers things like extensive support from your program manager, insurance, orientation and excursions, accommodation during orientation (and the TESOL course if you add that on), support staff, airport pickup, transfers, administrative costs of placement and support, etc. Program staff will be available to answer any questions before and after arrival, and you’ll have access to 24/7 support if needed while in Myanmar.
It is also free to extend your program for additional semesters or take your skills to another country! As a Myanmar program alumni you are entitled to lifetime job placement in Thailand, Vietnam, or Myanmar. You are welcome to stay in Myanmar for as long as you like, or come back later down the line, as long as you maintain the correct visa and immigration status through your school. You never have to pay a program fee again if you extend your contract past your first semester, it’s a one-time fee!
In order to interview you will need to submit a $300 deposit which works towards your total program fee. We only interview serious applicants, which is why we require this deposit ahead of the interview and processing your application. If you do not pass the interview and are not accepted (rare), you will receive this deposit back in full.
After your interview and acceptance you will also be asked to submit a $300 commitment deposit to confirm your spot on your chosen start date, and this also works towards your total program fee. The rest of your balance is due after acceptance, 6 weeks before departure. You’re welcome to pay off your balance in as many “installments” as you want leading up to the 6 week mark before you leave.
Picture yourself abroad and scroll through our participant’s Instagram posts at #GreenheartTravel!
With a recent sharp increase in tourism and NGO involvement in Myanmar, there is currently a shortage of housing options in Yangon, which has driven up the monthly cost of rent in the city.
The program has rented accommodation in Yangon in order to provide affordable housing to the teachers on the program. You will pay rent if you live in Yangon to live in the program housing, or if the accommodation is full (rare) you will be given assistance in locating accommodation in Yangon or your placement location. There are currently two apartments teachers have the option to live in. Both are located in a very vibrant, centrally-located and upcoming neighborhood known as Myanigone. The apartments are well equipped with single beds, shared bathrooms, air-con, washer, fridge, hot water, and western toilets.
Rent is typically around $200-300 USD per month in Myanmar, but could be more if you choose to live in a very desirable neighborhood.
Can I talk with alumni or current participants from the program in Myanmar?
Of course! Please join our Facebook community specifically for teachers in Myanmar or read our reviews on GoOverseas.com!
Where is Myanmar?
Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia that is bordered by India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand, putting it at the center of the cultural and ethnical crossroads of Indo-China, and creating a unique blend of cultures and religions seen nowhere else in Southeast Asia. One-third of Myanmar’s borders are uninterrupted coastline along the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal.
Background on Myanmar
Myanmar is the largest country in Southeast Asia, and the 40th largest country in the world. The Myanmar population is estimated at around 48.3 Million. Within the past nine months, tourism has increased at an exponentially. It is fast becoming a hotspot for adventure travelers. The country is also making major strides towards democracy.
Though political change is happening slowly, the optimism and anticipation on the faces of the local people is palatable. The main languages spoken are Burmese and English, with varying dialects of Burmese spoken throughout the country.
Myanmar still lacks technological development; it is not surprising to see a majority of the people traveling by horse and buggy as well as bicycles and trishaws rather than driving cars. Cell phones and ATM’s are both rarities in Myanmar, making the country particularly attractive if you are looking for an escape from modern technology.
One very alluring aspect of Myanmar is that the country has an unparalleled concentration of temple architecture, featuring sophisticated techniques and vaulting that is unseen in any other Asian civilization. Bagan, in particular, has the densest concentration of Buddhist temples anywhere in Southeast Asia.
Do people speak English in Myanmar?
The level of English proficiency in Myanmar is higher in urban areas than it is in rural areas, though the desire to learn English is equally high across the country. Because of the professional and personal importance to Myanmar people of building a capability in English language communication, a decision to teach English in Myanmar will have an enormous impact on the lives of Myanmar people and on the future trajectory of the country.
Why have travelers stayed away from Myanmar (Burma) in the past?
In the past, the National League for Democracy argued that by visiting Myanmar, tourists were endorsing the regime and putting money into the government’s pockets instead of the Burmese people. A government campaign to increase tourism in the 1990s was boycotted by many travelers.
Is it okay to visit now?
Even during the boycott, many argued that it added to the isolation of ordinary Burmese people. Aung San Suu Kyi now believes that private-sector tourism is a good thing.
Voices for Burma, a pro-democracy advocate group, states, “We believe that small-scale, responsible tourism can create more benefits than harm.” So long as tourists are fully aware of the situation and take steps to maximize their positive impact and minimize the negatives, we feel their visit can be beneficial overall. Responsible tourists can help Burma primarily by bringing money to local communities and small businesses, and by raising awareness of the situation worldwide.”
“We want people to come to Burma, not to help the junta, but to help the people by understanding the situation: political, economic, moral – everything.”- Win Tin, politician and former political prisoner in Burma, speaking for the National League for Democracy in 2010
There is a lot to think about when considering visiting or living in Myanmar. The government’s controversial policies and actions affect worldwide opinions on the pros and cons of foreigners visiting the country. It is the view of Greenheart Travel that by promoting active, responsible and sustainable engagement in Myanmar, our teachers will positively impact the country and its people. Greenheart Travel teachers should be thoughtful, informed, and engage with the locals. In contrast to traditional tourism, we believe that the nature of the long term, immersive travel on this program will promote valuable cultural exchange and meaningful interactions with the local communities.
However, we encourage everyone to do their research on the situation in Burma and make their own personal decision before deciding to join the program. Greenheart Travel will provide all of our teachers with comprehensive resources and guides about living and traveling in Myanmar ethically, sustainably and responsibly.
Will I have access to internet?
There is limited access to internet in Myanmar but this is improving everyday. All teachers have regular access to internet, but be prepared for outages. There is wifi in the program house in Yangon.
How are foreigners treated in Myanmar?
Foreigners are treated with kindness and respect. The people of Myanmar are very curious and approachable towards visitors to their country.
Can I drink the water in Myanmar?
Only store-bought water would be considered safe to drink, but tap water is safe for use for brushing teeth and showers.
What kind of support will I receive on this program?
Greenheart Travel will work with you before you depart to make sure that you are well prepared for your adventure. You will receive a pre-departure orientation on everything from the food, cultural norms, and how to be a responsible and ethical ambassador while you are in Myanmar. From the moment you arrive in Yangon for your orientation or TESOL course, you will be well taken care of, and staff members will make sure that you are settled in. You will also have an English speaking coordinator at your school, who will be able to introduce you to the school and your neighborhood, and will be there to support you or assist you with any questions or issues that you have. If there is something that cannot be resolved with your school coordinator, our program staff is always there to provide additional assistance, 24 hours a day. Additionally, Greenheart Travel has a 24 hour emergency line for your family at home, in case of emergency.
How will the logistics of this program work?
Before you depart for your program, you will apply for a Myanmar Business visa. You’ll book your flight to arrive in Yangon, where you will be met by a staff member at the airport and escorted to your accommodation. Depending on when you arrive, you will have time to sightsee around Yangon and have time to get settled into the local neighborhood.
On Monday, you’ll begin the one week orientation. Accommodation for you during orientation is already included in your program fee. For this week, you’ll learn all about Southeast Asia while participating in exciting cultural excursions and getting to know other new teachers who will be teaching in Myanmar. If you are signed up for the Teach in Myanmar plus TESOL program, you will continue class work for several more weeks to complete your TESOL certification course.
During the orientation or shortly after, you will meet your school coordinator, who will give you an orientation of the school and the city. Staff will help you find an apartment.
Business visas last 3 months, and you will need to fly to Bangkok to renew your visa every few months. In most cases, you will be responsible for the expenses of traveling to renew your visas, but sometimes your school will cover these costs for you. Oftentimes it’s a great way to have a mini-vacation, and you can visit some of the surrounding countries.
Will I be covered with medical or accident insurance?
The schools will not provide insurance, so you will be signed up for international medical and accident insurance through Greenheart Travel. The cost of the insurance for 6 months is included in the program fee.
Do I need a TEFL/TESOL certification?
A TEFL certification is required for our program in Myanmar, unless you majored in Education or have a teaching license. Greenheart Travel highly recommends that you obtain a TEFL/TESOL certificate before teaching abroad, even if you did major in Education. All Teach in Myanmar participants can opt to take a 4 week TEFL/TESOL certification course before placement. This is highly recommended (and not to mention, a lot of fun!). By taking the course, you’re setting yourself up for success in your new teaching job!
Can I apply with my friend/spouse/significant other?
Yes, we welcome friends and couples to apply and we can place you so that you can live together! Every applicant can note in their application who they are applying with. It’s also important to note that you will not necessarily be placed in the same school. You may find that instead you are placed in different schools close to each other and live together in the same accommodation.
I am a certified teacher/majored in Education, but should I still take the TESOL Course?
While the course won’t be required for you, we still do recommend it. You’ll learn methodology specific to Myanmar, as well as cultural things that will help you succeed at your school.
Why does Greenheart Travel charge a program fee?
Our free programs are free because they are fully funded by the Ministry of Education in our partner country. Programs like this one in Myanmar don’t have direct government funding, so teachers who want to teach there must cover some of their own expenses. When programs cost money, we do try to keep them as cheap as possible (we are a non-profit!) but there are some costs associated with running a program when it does not have any direct funding. The program cost covers things like your orientation and excursions, accommodation during orientation (and the TESOL course if you add that on), support staff, airport pickup, transportation, insurance, administrative costs of placement and support, etc. We’ll make sure that you’re guaranteed a placement at a safe and reliable school, and that you’re well taken care of from when you first inquire about teaching abroad, all the way through to the end of your program. You will receive a generous salary and benefits once you’re working…you just need to get yourself there! You can read more here: http://greenhearttravel.org/general/so-what-is-a-non-profit
How does Greenheart Travel assist with the visa application process?
Once you are accepted we will send employment documentation so that you can apply for your visa from your nearest Myanmar embassy or consulate. This process will occur 1 month before departure.
What if I want to stay longer than one year? How do I extend?
Your school will usually ask you if you want to stay longer, in most cases. If for some reason your school does not ask you to stay, we will do our best to find you another placement in Myanmar! You do not have to pay the placement fee again in order to stay another semester, it’s free to extend!
Are there any required vaccinations for Myanmar?
While there are no required vaccinations for Myanmar, we highly recommend that you see a doctor or travel clinic for advice on vaccinations. You can find more details about recommended vaccinations on the CDC website.
We recommend the following vaccinations from your doctor: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Tuberculosis, Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies. Dengue Fever and Malaria are present and potent throughout the country; contact your medical provider to find out what preventative medication you can take for Malaria. There is no direct anti-Dengue medication, the best protection is prevention with anti-mosquito spray. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, please inform our confidential staff members in advance, and be aware that access to pharmaceuticals may be more restricted in Myanmar than in your home country. If you really need something, bring a good supply of it with you.
What are my start up costs?
In addition to the program costs, you will need to buy your plane ticket to Myanmar, which averages about $500-$800. We also recommend you bring living expenses for your first month (at least $1,000 to get by until you get your first pay check). Teachers will also need to purchase their own visas, which cost around $50.
Will someone be there to pick me up at the airport?
Yes, you will be picked up at the airport, unless you are traveling independently before the program begins.
Are flights included and booked for me?
No, flights are not included in the fee, and you are responsible for arranging your own flights/transportation to Myanmar. We recommend booking a one-way flight, and purchasing your return flight later. The visa you arrive on will allow you to enter with a one-way ticket. You may book your flights once you’re accepted onto the program, and we will let you know when you can do so!
When should I arrive?
We will let you know the exact date you should book your flight for after you have been accepted to the program. Typically you should arrive one day before your intended start date.
What is the most common level of teaching – elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper-intermediate, advanced? Does this differ by age group?
While Myanmar has lost opportunities and not reached its potential under mismanaging military regimes, this is not a country of uneducated children. People here are intelligent and, due to the high percentage of people who speak ethnic-minority languages, it is not a place where people are unused to the idea of learning a language. If you have any Kachin, Shan, Chin or other ethnic minority students, you will find that English is their third or even fourth language. English proficiency is higher in urban areas than in rural areas, but the desire to learn English is equally high across the country.
What meals are provided throughout the program?
You will be required to pay for your own meals. Breakfast and lunch at the school should cost no more than $3USD. Still, some schools offer free lunch depending on their budget and the luck of the teacher! Meals are also not included during orientation (or TESOL course) but meals in Myanmar are very cheap, and usually will cost around $3-5 USD.
Is Myanmar safe?
Myanmar is a very safe country. However, just like in any country, you should exercise some caution: be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye on your belongings, don’t walk alone late at night, etc.
Can I bring my children and/or pets?
No, you cannot bring your children or pets.
What holidays will I have off?
You will have all National Myanmar holidays off! Please remember, Myanmar is mostly a Buddhist country, so you might not get time off for holidays like Christmas or other similar holidays.
Will teachers need malaria tablets?
All teachers need to consult a qualified medical practitioner or travel doctor about taking malaria medication when travelling to Myanmar. We have not had any teachers suffer from malaria, but we cannot guarantee that you will not catch it.
Can I use my credit card in Myanmar?
Major credit cards are more recently accepted by hotels and large shops in larger cities and tourist areas, but cash is the ideal method of payment almost everywhere. Typically establishments will only accept credit cards for large purchases, so plan on paying for most things in cash. If you are bringing USD to convert into kyat, please make sure they are crisp and unaltered bills.
The one-week Cultural Orientation in Yangon, Myanmar includes the following:
1. Cultural Excursions
2. In-depth classroom learning covering:
3. Accommodation throughout orientation at a local hotel/hostel (this is subject to availability; meals are not included, but food is very inexpensive)
4. Opportunity to meet many other new like-minded and adventurous teachers!
Most teaching placements are in Yangon, the former capital and largest city in Myanmar. Most school placements will be in private international schools or language schools, in which you may be required to teach at several different branches. Currently, it’s not allowed to teach English in public schools, which is why our placements are in private schools. We hope this will change and open up soon as well though.
We also have placements in other cities, like Tachilek, Pyin Oo Lwin, and Monywa. Here is a map of where we have placed people in the history of the program. Please note, Myanmar is changing drastically and becoming more open to English education, so new placements are popping up often.
The positions are full time, meaning that hours will range from 35-40 hours per week, five days per week.
You may teach from kindergarten up through high school and even young adults. It depends on the school that is interested in your profile. A TESOL course will train you to teach people of all ages and skill levels.
Required Documents To Apply:
The course is an optional add-on to the Teach in Myanmar program. Those who opt to take a course will continue their training for three additional weeks after the one week cultural orientation upon arrival.
Course at a Glance
Advantages of the Myanmar + TESOL Course
Who Should Take This Course?
You should take this course if:
This TESOL course is internationally accredited by the Online TESOL and TEFL Standards Agency (OTTSA). The course is audited quarterly by OTTSA staff, and will qualify you to teach anywhere that requires or prefers a TEFL or TESOL certification.
Have questions or want to talk to the program manager, Kara? Set up a time to have a phone call below.
Take a glimpse into life in Myanmar through some teacher’s photos. Make sure to also check out #greenhearttravel on Instagram for more!