Guest Blog by Lauren Seidl
Many people dream of taking a year to live and work abroad, but the task of finding a job in another country seems so daunting they don’t even try. Teaching abroad is one simple way to combine work and travel that is often overlooked. With English becoming such a widespread language, schools across the globe are seeking native English speakers to teach the language to their students.
Not a teacher? Not a problem. If you want to teach English abroad, all you need to do is spend a few weeks earning a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate and you’ll be good to go.
Now that you know teaching abroad is a possibility, you may be wondering why you should actually go through with it. Here’s a handful of reasons:
Get Paid to Travel
Traveling takes money, which is something not everyone has a great deal of. By teaching abroad you can live in another country and earn a paycheck to go toward your travel expenses. While you probably won’t be able to add any of your earnings to your savings account, you will be preventing the need to save up a lot of money for your trip.
Be Fully Immersed into the Culture
When traveling on your own, sometimes it’s hard to feel like you’re truly a part of the culture. As a local teacher you won’t only be part of the community, but you’ll also be contributing to it. You’ll be speaking with locals on a daily basis and learning all about how they live and what their interests are. Teaching abroad allows you be tossed right into the thick of things and really get a feel for the country you’re in.
Explore a Career Path
Maybe you recently graduated and are having second thoughts about the degree you earned. Or maybe you’ve been working in one industry for years and think it’s time for a change. Either way, teaching abroad is a great way for you to explore a new career path without making any huge commitments. If you discover that teaching or working with children is your new life calling, then you can go back to school and make a change. If you realize that talking in front of a class is terrifying to you, no harm done.
Gain Leadership Skills
You will be in charge of your class, from their daily routines to the types of activities they do. Teaching abroad will help build your leadership skills and make you into a take-charge type of person. Not only will you be able to lead a class, but you’ll also be able to lead yourself. Solo traveling always gives you the opportunity to become more independent, and teaching abroad is no different. Learn to navigate through a new city and a new job all on your own.
Learn a New Language
Yes, you’re the one teaching a new language, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn one as well. Build a better relationship with your students by asking them to teach you words and phrases in their native language. Even if you don’t learn much from your students, you’ll likely pick up on the language from living in that country for a year.
Make an Impact
Teaching abroad allows you to make a larger impact on the community than just traveling would. You’re teaching others a language that will help them succeed in the future. Besides that, you’re building relationships. You get to make connections with students and act as a role model and mentor. By teaching abroad, you can be part of a local’s life. How often do you get the chance to do that?