Posted on June 24, 2019 | By Isabelle Sudron
16th May 2019
Setting your heart on teaching English abroad can be a life-changing decision. It might mean quitting a job that makes you unhappy, taking a well-deserved break from education, or travelling by yourself for the first time ever. But no matter how much it may turn your life upside down, we reckon there are plenty more reasons that make TEFL ultimately worth it.
#1 Live overseas in an exciting place
For lots of TEFL teachers, part of the appeal of the job is being able to live in another exciting country and learn about a different culture. Not every career allows you to travel but TEFL is one where working abroad is actively encouraged. Not only will you have the opportunity to explore a new country in your spare time – and possibly nearby surrounding countries too! – you’ll find yourself picking up parts of the local culture in the classroom too. You can’t get this kind of knowledge from textbooks either, what you’ll learn can only be done on the ground in another country.
#2 Gain a new outlook on the world
Living overseas isn’t just like an extended holiday, there are many stages to moving abroad and becoming acclimatised to your new environment. Over time, you’ll likely start to see your chosen country in a new light as well as your own culture and cultural differences.
#3 Become more adaptable
This isn’t just about being in a new country, it’s about a new routine and lifestyle. There could be habits and behaviour that you suddenly find yourself needing to change to get by. It might be a shock to the system at first but learning to adapt will be undoubtedly beneficial in the future.
#4 Gain amazing work experience
Anyone just starting out working in any industry knows that it can be difficult to get that first bit of experience under your belt. Many employers won’t take the risk of hiring students straight out of university or candidates with lots of enthusiasm but no previous experience. However, in the TEFL world, there are literally thousands of jobs that require no experience, just a strong command of the English language, a good work ethic and the drive to teach others. So, if you’ve been struggling to find a way to get your first bit of experience, teaching abroad could be your way in.
#5 Teaching abroad looks good on your CV
Speaking of gaining experience, TEFL can look great on your CV no matter what career path you intend to go down in the long run. Teaching English abroad demands a variety of transferable skills that are required in all sorts of jobs. It shows that you can adapt to new environments and situations, manage a schedule and workload independently, handle groups of people and command attention, and much more! So, if you know what career path you’d like to take in the long run but you’re not quite ready to get started, teaching abroad can be a great way to bridge the gap.
#6 Learn a language
There’s no better way to learn a language than by total immersion. Once you’re surrounded by people speaking another language, it’s hard not to pick up a few words and phrases. And if you put in the effort to take classes or practise with locals, you may even find yourself becoming fluent over time!
#7 Earn a pretty penny
Teaching English as a Foreign Language can pay extremely well, depending on where in the world you are. In fact, many TEFL teachers earn more teaching abroad than they would earn in their home country. Alternatively, some jobs may pay a low wage but because of the low cost of living, they still allow for a higher disposable income than you had in your home country.
#8 Meet like-minded people
Like any industry, TEFL often attracts a certain type of person. While you’re teaching abroad, it’s likely you’ll meet other people with similar aspirations or a similar outlook on life. You may even make some friends for life!
#9 There’s something to suit you
If you’re not sure that traditional teaching is for you, don’t rule out TEFL yet – there’s a variety of job types to suit every kind of teacher. If you don’t fancy teaching kids, there’s positions teaching adults. If you don’t like speaking in front of large groups, you can do one-to-one teaching or tutoring. TEFL positions vary massively, from the type of school to the type of students and the country you’ll teach in. There are even specialist positions for the right individuals, teaching drama, science or maths in English. In some countries, you can even be an English-speaking football coach! Though, it’s worth noting that these positions are very competitive and may only be found through word of mouth once you’ve been in the country for a while.
#10 It’s great fun!
Despite TEFL being a sensible choice in lots of ways, it’s also a fun and exciting experience. Most TEFL teachers report having an amazing time teaching abroad, both bonding with enthusiastic students and exploring their local surroundings.