Why Should You Teach Abroad?

I was recently talking to a friend of mine who is residing back home in the U.S. and expressed his desire to have a life like mine: living abroad, travelling to exotic places and living a life of “adventure”.  When compared to life back home; a dull, 9-5 office job and faltering economy, I suppose my life as an English teacher in Cambodia does seem pretty adventurous.  My life wasn’t always like this though, just over a year ago I was in the same position and daydreaming about how much better my life would be if instead of being stuck in a office working for pennies, I was a crusading globetrotter working as I travelled to fund my many adventures.

Well, I still don’t consider myself a crusading globetrotter, but I will admit, I have had some pretty interesting adventures in the last year and I firmly believe that if I can do it, so can you

Why should you teach abroad?  You’re probably asking yourselves… well, here’s why:

I’m writing this blog for the person who thinks their life is boring and wants to make a life-changing decision, but is still flip-flopping on the idea of teaching English abroad . Why?  Maybe they are nervous about being in the classroom or maybe they are scared of the culture shock, or perhaps they just don’t realise yet how incredible of a person they are and that they can make their life as awesome as they want it to be.

Teaching English abroad is probably one of the best ways for someone to travel (and have adventures!) while still making decent money, both in the short-term and long-term.  Many people get overwhelmed by the contract commitments, but really, one year of your life to live and travel in foreign countries while still making money isn’t much of a sacrifice.  Your life back home will always be there, but the opportunity to fulfil your dreams may not.

It’s not all adventure and play though, you still have to work.  But it’s not meaningless work; you will have an impact of your students and selfishly, it will look good on a resume.  Employers will be thrilled to see experience abroad on your resume, it shows you are confident and able to adapt to new surroundings and people and teaching is considered a respectable position across the world.

This experience includes a hefty pay-check too, so really, you’re not wasting your time gallivanting around like some naysayers may tell you; you are working hard, earning money and being responsible while travelling around during your holidays.

Really, it’s the best deal around for people of all backgrounds.  I know how you feel; I felt it too.  I was so nervous when I signed up for my TEFL course; I could feel it was the start of very big life-change and I was terrified.  When I sent away my first job application, I had to give myself a 20 minute pep talk before I hit “send”.  But I did it and now my life is everything I wanted it to be and more!  I will never, never regret clicking that “send” button or buying that one-way airplane ticket.  I will never regret the last year of my life teaching in Thailand or my decision to move to Cambodia afterwards.  Whenever I was anxiously mulling over whether to try something new and put myself out there, my mom always used to say to me: “Jess, you’ll never know unless you try!” … and that is the best advice she has ever given me.  So, I say to you, the reader, if you are on the edge of jumping into the TEFL world, then the time to jump is now; you’ve spent enough time worrying about it already and you’ll have the rest of your life to think about how it was one of the most defining moments in your life.  Stop stalling and start TEFLing!

– Jessica Watson

Jess Watson completed a 120 Hour Online TEFL Course and now teaches England in Cambodia.


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