Why Teach English Abroad?
May 2, 2010 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) 2836 Views
They say that travel broadens the mind. They're right. Teaching English abroad offers a world of opportunity and discovery. For anyone keen on foreign cultures, travel and testing their own skills and resourcefulness teaching English as a foreign language abroad offers a passport to a rich and fascinating new lifestyle. There really is no better way to see the world.
While some people are happy and content enough with the familiarity and security of their home comforts, others are keen to break out of their comfort zone and seek pastures new. Thousands of people every year take the plunge and head off to work in new jobs, to meet new people and to experience a brand new lifestyle. Whilst TEFL jobs might not be for everyone, few people ever regret the move and many look back and ask themselves why they hadn't been more adventurous years before, such are the many returns and benefits that they enjoy through travelling and teaching.
Working as a TEFL or ESL teacher offers a regular income, often relatively substantial amount when compared to local earnings. You instantly have access to a network of other teachers and students keen to share and are in the privileged position of being able to enjoy a window on a different culture blessed with inside knowledge. It offers an experience that simply travelling or being a tourist can never provide.
Teaching also affords you a level of self-esteem that you may not enjoy at home. Teaching English is a skill that is of great value to your students and your commitment to their language leaning is usually very much respected and appreciated. Teaching people and helping them improve their language skills feels good.
Of course the experience will be different wherever you go. In parts of Asia such as Korea for example, you will find yourself working extremely hard. But the job pays particularly well and you may well be able to save decent amounts. In China you may find your services in demand in other areas too - private lessons, translation, marketing and media. Teaching abroad just seems to open doors. In other territories you may not be worked as hard but then again your may not enjoy quite as good a lifestyle.
The nature of employers as well as employment changes too. Some positions will support you with proper and professional teacher training. Other 'language mills' may simply hand you a book and tell you to just get on with it. And to be fair that's often the best approach. When you're a TEFL teacher there will always be interesting opportunities and challenges thrown your way. Often the best way to deal with them is simply to take them as they come. "If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same" as Kipling wrote, then you'll be fine.
Wherever you end up living and working you are in for a life changing experience. The likelihood is it will be a positive one. The further teaching TEFL abroad takes you from your past, the more interesting and fulfilling your place in the world will seem; the bigger and better contribution you will be able to make. 'Home' will never seem the same again.
Chris Soames - Online TEFL courses with over 20,000 course graduates each year, international accreditation and certification recognised by schools worldwide.
To Teach English abroad is the perfect opportunity for any English speaker to explore the world and immerse themselves in new cultures. Whether you're a trained teacher or a complete beginner, a TEFL qualification is your ticket for the journey of your life.