My boyfriend and I are both interested in taking a gap year to teach English abroad.
We've both heard about a wide range of these types of programs: Programs that are very competitive, programs that are not so much, programs that pay a decent wage with lodging or travel allowance, and programs that don't so much. We are not independently wealthy and we have some loans (small loans) here at home that we hope to have mostly paid off by this time, but regardless we'd prefer a position where we could actually make money for savings vs. one where we're paying for the experience (don't know if this is even a thing?).
Some facts about us:
1) We're both interested in teaching in a variety of places, but our first choice is Poland. It would be cool to both teach in the same program/city, but this is not a necessity.
2) Boyfriend's mom is Polish, family from Poland, but he's not by any means fluent in Polish. We've both studied Russian at the intermediate level so we could probably pick up some Polish (especially him with his background, he knows a bit).
3) We're cool with paying to get CELTA certified (or any other certification; advice on which would probably be the most useful is welcome).
4) Boyfriend will be applying to graduate programs upon return, and having learned a foreign language abroad will look great on his application (according to his mentor) -- how much of the language is it realistic to pick up (keeping in mind the Russian background, but no formal study of Polish so far)?
So we have a few questions:
1) How to determine if a program is reputable? There are a lot of programs out there. For instance, this one
sounds great, but is there a good place to see aggregated reviews/recommendations for programs?
2) What is a typical timeline for these programs? It seems certification can take about a month, then you apply and can get sent off to teach in a few months time. Does this sound accurate? Is there are a lot of pain and hassle with paperwork?
3) We are not doing this as a get rich quick scheme. That said, will we probably be richer or poorer by the time we're done? The voice of experience would be useful here.