For some people out there, choosing to teach English abroad after graduation is the simplest choice in the world. For these people, the call of adventure, excitement, and wonder brought by the thought of living in a new country is an alluring light that is near impossible to resist.
For a lot of people, however, the decision is much less clear (especially if you have a full time job). While a year of fun and new experiences in a foreign country seems like a great idea on paper, they think it’s not for them or that something will go wrong.
Some of the common worries people have when thinking about teaching abroad are things like: What happens if I can’t get a job when I get back home? What happens if I don’t earn enough money and get stuck in a foreign country? What happens if I can’t adapt to the culture?
While of course no life changing decision should ever be taken lightly and these are all genuine concerns that you need to think about, I believe that taking the steps into teaching English abroad for a year will be one of the most positive life decisions you can make.
Here are my five reasons why you should drop everything and teach abroad.
1. It will stand explode out of your CV.
Lots of recent graduates or people just starting out in their careers worry that teaching abroad and missing out on a year of experience will really hold them back in the job market. While in certain careers this may well be the case, for the majority of people, teaching abroad will have the opposite effect.
Think about it, the globalization of the modern workforce means international experience is highly valued in the workplace. It shows fantastic adaptability to unfamiliar situations, that you can think on your feet and that you aren’t afraid to make big decisions. These are all traits that potential future employers will value.
2. It will give you the opportunity to learn some really useful skills.
Forget that internship spent making coffee at some fancy company, teaching English will give you the opportunity to really gain some useful skills. Public speaking, management and communication are just some of the things you’ll become great at while teaching abroad. These are all skills that will be useful throughout your life whether in your future career, future study or simply in your day to day life
For example, do you think a presentation in front of a group of colleagues will worry you after you have spent a year talking in front of classrooms full of students? No chance! Or that managing a team of adults in a key project will be a problem after managing classrooms full of excitable young learners? Of course it won't!
The fact is that when you are teaching all eyes are on you and you have to perform. This is the perfect environment for you to adapt and learn new skills and with the right preparation, a little training and a positive mindset you can be one of the thousands of people that succeed at this job every year.
3. The opportunity to travel to exotic places
Teaching English in a foreign country gives you an incredible opportunity to travel to all the places on your travel bucket list. Teaching in China? Then why not visit the Great Wall at the weekend? Living in Thailand? Then some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are just a short bus journey away.
Of course as well as the country you are living in, teaching abroad offers you the opportunity to really make the most of your vacations. Instead of spending them at home, you can spend them in whichever far-flung location you always wanted to visit but was too far and expensive to travel to from home.
4. Teaching English abroad can offer good pay and a range of benefits.
Despite the preconceptions you may have about teaching abroad, it can actually be a good way to earn money. For example if you do a quick Google search, you’ll find English First, one of the biggest ESL companies. At EF you can earn up to 15,400rmb which at the time of writing is over 2300 dollars a month.
Add in a number of benefits such as flights to the country, insurance, performance related bonuses and 10 days paid holiday. Then combine that with the low cost of living in China or Indonesia, and you will find that you have a seriously competitive package.
5. A mind blowing once in a lifetime opportunity to experience another culture.
This is surely the biggest advantage about teaching abroad. While we all know and read about the outside world; between school, college and getting a job, how many of us actually go and truly experience what it has to offer?
Spending a year in a foreign country as a teacher is a great opportunity to do this, all while growing as a person, learning new skills and even earning good money. If you are one of the few people that does choose to spend a year of your life teaching in a foreign country, a whole world of new experiences awaits. You may even find that a year isn’t quite enough!