Forget finding true love, climbing Everest and/or saving the world – here are 6 reasons to teach abroad before you die! With over a billion people learning English worldwide teaching English overseas is one of the easiest ways to start working abroad… all you need is a TEFL course!
1. You’ll get paid to travel
We’ve all been there – nose pressed up against the window, dreaming of somewhere a little less grey and drizzly, but alas, that pesky bank balance says no. The good news is that working abroad is a great alternative to remortgaging your house, selling your body on the street and/or begging your parents/partner/children (delete as applicable) to fund your adventure. Don’t forget though teaching isn’t just a free ride to travel (if you’re planning on teaching abroad you’ll still need to get a bit of change together for your TEFL course and flights), but because you’ll be earning while you’re overseas, you’ll soon be able to make back that initial outlay – and still have some change left over to explore the country you’re living in.
2. You’ll meet new people
Let’s be honest now – you can never really have enough friends (unless you’re some kind of global superstar with an entourage that would put P Diddy to shame – then you’re probably sorted). And working abroad is a fantastic way to make friends from all over the world, who you wouldn’t have met had you stayed at home – fellow expats, neighbours, colleagues. Hey, you might even meet the love of your life – it’s happened many a time before!
3. You’ll really experience another culture
A lot of people go travelling to experience another culture, but just end up sightseeing and lounging around in youth hostels with the same kind of people they hang out with back home. Not so when you work abroad – because you’ll be living and working with local people: you won’t be on the outside taking snapshots to post on Facebook, you’ll be part of the picture yourself.
4. You’ll gather a lifetime’s worth of awesome stories
In my time editing i-to-i’s TEFL community Chalkboard, I’ve heard of teachers who’ve battled students who snack on teaching resources, tackled exploding toilets and even planted a few trees. So, if you feel your life needs a bit of extra spice, living abroad could be just the seasoning you need!
5. You’ll get valuable work experience
Silliness aside, working abroad can be pretty handy in the long-run, especially if you’re teaching. You’ll boost your leadership, organisational and communication skills, plus get loads of lovely work experience to put on your resume. So, when you get home, you won’t just be another bum who’s spent the last year or two loafing around the world.
6. You’ll have the chance to learn a new language
You don’t have to speak another language to work abroad (many jobs just want you for your English skills), but it’s certainly a great opportunity if you do want to brush up on your existing language skills, or even get to grips with a totally new language. Try a language swap, or wangle free language lessons as part of your job contract.