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Teaching Abroad

International educator Cristina Chua has been teaching abroad for more than ten years. In the early 2000s, Cristina lived in the Philippines and worked office jobs. She had bounced from the retail industry to the hardware industry, but she wanted a career more meaningful to her. 

Why Pursue Teaching?

Cristina says “I came across this saying ‘teaching is a devotion, not a vocation’ and it really struck me as meaningful.” It occurred to her that she had always wanted to teach. Cristina recalls “when I was young I would always find writing materials to ‘teach’ my playmates or imaginary students.”

Now that Cristina has been teaching for over a decade, she maintains a love and passion for the role. She states, “I find satisfaction in teaching and seeing the light bulbs shine bright in the children.”

“My favorite part of being a teacher is seeing the children learn to read independently. Additionally, I enjoy watching them be kind individuals without being prompted.” Cristina gives an example of a time when one of her students was particularly thoughtful. “There was this incident when I was teaching when we heard a knock on the door from one of our staff. The staff bought bags of vegetable items and this six year old child in my class did not hesitate to approach the staff and carry one of her grocery bags. Though the bag was heavy, the child heaved it into the kitchen without giving up.” 

Teaching in Singapore, Christina Chua uses bright colors and fun activities to engage her preschool students.

How to Teach Abroad

Cristina is teaching in a preschool in Singapore, a role she has had for ten years. Having been at her current school for five years, she has already earned the Long Service Award and been promoted to Senior Teacher. As a Senior Teacher, a role Cristine enjoys, she shares her knowledge and successful teaching practices with new teachers and colleagues. Prior to moving to Singapore, Cristina taught in a preschool and primary school in the Philippines. 

Cristina has been able to move internationally while maintaining her teacher certification because she earned her certification using American Board’s certification program. The steps to International Teacher Certification with American Board are simple.

To use a teaching certificate from American Board in a school outside of the United States, candidates will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Contact the school you wish to teach at. Confirm that they accept American Board teacher certification in the subject area in which you would like to teach.
  2. Inquire if the school of your choice will have an opening for you. It’s much better to have this information before you spend 10 months working on your American Board teacher certification, especially if the school does not have openings.
  3. Complete the American Board program. Final exams can be taken from home, and at Pearson Vue testing centers around the world.
  4. Secure a job in the school of your choice and begin teaching.

American Board’s International Teaching Program

Cristina states that through American Board’s international certification program, “I was able to review the online resources provided as well as take the exam online without having to physically fly to the U.S. I gained practical knowledge and the fundamental skills needed to teach. I took Elementary Education and I needed to keep a lot of U.S. facts about history and geography in memory. The resources provided were helpful. I also gained confidence to teach as it gave me the message that no matter what you are doing, you can become a teacher.”

Hear from another American Board graduate teaching abroad here: Adam’s Story. Lastly, you can follow American Board on YouTube for weekly testimony from our graduates.

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