If you’d like to see the world but don’t have much extra money, you may have considered teaching English abroad. Not only is it a great way to travel, but it’s also a tempting option if graduation is looming and you’re having trouble finding a job in the domestic market.
Nevertheless, the thought of leaving home to move halfway around the world and take a job in a foreign country can be intimidating to say the least. If you make the decision to pack your bags and teach English in another country, you won’t regret it. Teaching English abroad opens the door to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience other cultures as a real member of the local community, earn enough money to travel or pay off student loans and return home with a resume that will stand out.
Traveling abroad to teach English will help you learn to see the world through new eyes. Being immersed in another culture will help you see your own more clearly. If you’re like many people who have traveled abroad to teach English for a time, you’ll gain both a new appreciation of some aspects of American life and a deeper understanding of how American society can be improved. Like many expats who came before you, you’ll gain a truer appreciation of your loved ones back home.
The opportunity to travel and see the world — or at least more of the world than you would’ve seen by staying home — tops the list of many people’s reasons for traveling abroad to teach English. It is true teaching English in another country provides you with the perfect opportunity to travel. When you’re living in Europe, Asia or the Middle East, it’s much easier to travel to exciting and exotic destinations than it is when you’re living in in the States.
Most English teaching positions in other countries pay a healthy salary, provide free housing and reimburse you for your airfare. Many people who go abroad to teach English are able to save anywhere from $500 to $1000 a month. If you’re hoping to travel on weekends, during work holidays or even for several months after your contract ends, you’ll have plenty of money to fund your adventures. If you’re looking to pay off student loans or come back home with a nest egg, you can do that too.
International Work Experience
We’re living in the era of globalization, and employers are looking for candidates who can bring a global perspective to the table. When you come home from teaching English abroad, you’ll have international work experience to put on your resume. That will show employers you’re comfortable working with people from diverse backgrounds and different cultures. You will have experience adjusting to differing cultural expectations, leaping language barriers and adapting to new situations.
International work experience can be incredibly valuable in a range of fields, from diplomacy to international business, to education or journalism. At the very least, it will show potential employers you have drive and initiative; you’re not afraid to take risks, move out of your comfort zone and tackle significant challenges. Many people don’t have the courage to move to another country to work and live even for a short time. Your experience teaching English abroad will put you above most job candidates once you return home.
Make a Difference
So far, all of these reasons why you should teach English abroad have focused on your own personal gain. However, there’s another reason why you should go abroad to teach English — you could make a huge difference in the life of a child under your tutelage. You’ll have the chance to be a positive role model in the lives of young people, and you may even find yourself becoming a confidant to youngsters who may not feel comfortable confiding in parents, friends or others who share their cultural sensibilities.
Even more than that, you’ll be passing on one of the most valuable language skills in the world today. Around the world, the families of children who do not natively speak English are taking great pains to ensure their children learn the language. Increasingly, a command of the English language is necessary for professional success. By teaching English abroad, you can occupy a central role in building a child’s future.
Traveling abroad to teach English is a decision that will change your life for the better. No matter what you do after your contract ends, your time teaching English abroad will give you skills and experience that will remain valuable during the rest of your life.