Group of young people smiling and waving against a backdrop of mountain scenery in China
English Language Teachers on a trip to China's picturesque Yunnan Province. ©

Image used with permission.

Gain classroom experience, improve your language skills, develop your cultural awareness and professional skills.

We offer the opportunity to teach English overseas on a paid six-month or one-year placement working as a Language Assistant. Teaching time is limited to between 12 and 20 hours a week, giving you plenty of time to experience the country and pursue other interests. Many language assistants use their time abroad productively, from starting a small business to appearing on TV.

Benefits of participation

As an English Language Assistant, you will: 

  • strengthen your CV
  • improve your fluency in another language
  • gain a number of skills including communication, presentation, time management, organisation, teamwork, and problem-solving
  • immerse yourself in another culture and improve your cultural awareness
  • develop professional confidence

Hear what our former English Language Assistants say about their placement experiences.


Grace Grossman, used with permission.

Brexit and the English Language Assistant programme

Last updated 06/01/2021

Following the agreement on the UK's withdrawal from the the European Union, we are now updating our processes in line with the new arrangements.

We would like to offer our reassurance that both the British Council and our overseas partners both in Europe and worldwide remain committed to the programme.

The Language Assistants programme is not reliant on EU funding to function and as such any potential impact of the UK leaving the EU would be at an individual participant level in terms of visas, health insurance etc rather than at a programme level.

Guidance is currently being put into place to support applicants taking part in next year’s programme 2021-22, covering updates for English Language Assistants e.g. visas or work permit processes and costs.

Those taking part in the 2020-21 programme have already received guidance on applying for residency in their host country and other related advice which they should follow.


We always recommend that both prospective and current assistants stay informed by following the latest guidance e.g. the UK Government foreign travel advice website to comply with local and national regulations.