Will I Get Vacation Time When I Teach English Abroad?

do English teachers abroad get paid vacation?

Yes! (But it may not always be paid)

Vacations while teaching English abroad not only provide a break from the daily rigors of a typical work-week, they also provide invaluable opportunities to travel and to experience the culture in which you live.

Whether it's Christmas in Salzburg, Lunar New Year in Shanghai, or Ramadan in Cairo, holidays also present unique chances to experience a nation's most venerated cultural traditions, including cuisine and music. In addition, while you may not even get the day off for your own national holidays, you'll find that celebrating them abroad is often memorable, loads of fun, and provides a great opportunity to bond with your compatriot overseas. You may not find fresh cranberries in Thailand, but the Thanksgiving you celebrate in Bangkok will likely be one of the most unique and memorable in your life.

Vacation Time

Vacation time for English teachers abroad varies from country to country, school to school, contract to contract, and it is important to inquire about vacation time during the hiring process and while you are interviewing for English teaching positions. In Asian countries, it is common to receive 2-4 weeks of vacation (often paid) plus national holidays (usually 10-15 a year). This is also the case in the Persian Gulf countries of the Middle East.  In Europe and Latin America, it is common to receive  4-12 weeks of vacation time plus national and religious holidays.Vacations & holidays for teaching English abroad

It is also worthwhile to find out if your vacation time is paid or unpaid. Typically, if you are paid hourly (this is often the case in Latin America and Europe), your vacation time will be unpaid. If you are paid a set salary, your vacation time will be paid.


Here is a general breakdown of vacation by region (note that vacation policies will vary from school to school): 

Europe:

  • Christmas & New Year: 2-3 weeks (typically ends after Ephiphany, also known as Three Kings Day on January 6;

  • Easter: 1-2 weeks;

  • Summer: 4-6 weeks primarily in July/August;

  • National holidays: 10-15 annually depending on country & calendar.

Christmas teaching English Europe

 

Latin America:carnivale english teaching brazil

  • Christmas & New Year: 2-3 weeks (typically ends after Ephiphany, also known as Three Kings Day on January 6;

  • Carnivale: A heck of a party just before Ash Wednesday.

  • Easter: 1-2 weeks;

  • Summer: Christmas - February (6-8 weeks);

  • Winter Break: Public schools in many South American countries take a week or two off in July or August for winter break;

  • National holidays: 10-15 annually depending on country & calendar.

 

Asiateach english in china

  • Lunar (Chinese) New Year: 1-2 weeks (typically in late January/early February - will vary depending on the lunar cycle);

  • National Holidays: 10-15 annually depending on country & calendar;

  • Western Holidays: The vast majority of American holidays will not be recognzied by schools, but major internationally recognized holidays such as Christmas and New Year's may be celebrated at internationally owned schools and training centers.

Middle East and Islamic Nations

ramadan teaching english in Egypt

  • Islamic Holidays: 10-14 days - Islamic holidays will be set by the Islamic lunar calendar, which means dates will vary year-by-year in the Western Calendar and they may vary by country;
  • National Holidays: 10-15 annually depending on country & calendar;

  • Summer Holidays: many English teachers may receive 1-2 months off;
  • Western Holidays: The vast majority of American holidays will not be recognzied by schools, but major internationally recognized holidays such as Christmas and New Year's may be celebrated particularly by western-owned or international schools.

Christmas-in-Germany.jpg

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Related Resources:

Article Index - Holidays, Festivals, Sports & Other Fun Stuff Around the World

How Much Money Can I Earn Teaching English Abroad?

How Do I Get Health Insurance When I Teach English Abroad?

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