Should I teach abroad?


So you’ve stumbled across this post because you’re thinking about teaching abroad. As it happens, this is exactly how we met – teaching abroad in China. We’ve listed our top 5 reasons for why we decided to teach abroad.

#1 Travel Opportunites

If travelling is something that is important to you at the moment, then TEFL facilitates it. Whatever country you choose, you’ll be a stone’s throw away from other countries that were once considerably further. And it doesn’t stop there. You’ll also have the chance to travel around the country you’re temporarily residing in when you teach abroad.

We love to travel. Doesn’t matter what country. We’ll find something that we want to see. Teaching abroad gave us the chance to travel the world in a way that staying in our respective home countries never could. We moved to China and suddenly the whole of Asia was open to us.

No 12+ hour flight for a 2-week vacation. We could take several trips a year to different countries in Asia and for a quarter of the journey time. We never felt rushed to cram as much as we could into the time we had. After all, these countries were on our doorstep. And that’s not even including China itself. The third biggest country in the world made for lots of travel opportunities.

#2 Saving Opportunites

If you’re looking for a quick way to save money then choosing to teach abroad could be a great option for you.

We saved more money during our time teaching in China than we could’ve ever hoped to save if we worked and lived in our home country. As is the case with most teaching jobs, our accommodation was paid for, our flights were covered and we received a healthy bonus for completing our contract. We didn’t have to scrimp and save. We lived comfortably and could afford to treat ourselves to trips away. When we left after a few years, our bank accounts were looking far less malnourished. True, the amount you can save will vary from country to country. For instance, saving opportunities in China and Korea are far better than somewhere like Spain or Poland.

#3 Teaching

We can’t talk about TEFL without talking about teaching. Do you like teaching or working with kids? Is the monotony of an office environment not for you? Well, then teaching abroad could be the right temporary career move for you. For those who are serious about teaching as long-term career, then a year or two teaching abroad will do wonders for your resume. And if you’re testing the waters, then TEFL is a great place to start. Becoming a qualified TEFL teacher will cost you around 99 euro to just under 3000, depending on which course you decide to do. In most cases, it’s far cheaper than committing to a masters in Education. Spend less money on a TEFL certificate and potentially reap some great rewards. We took our course with International TEFL Academy which we’d highly recommend.

#4 Meeting New People

It’s a big wide world with so many different personalities to meet. Living abroad and working in a cultural melting pot truly does broaden your horizons – yes, it’s a cliche, but it’s an accurate one.

We’ll be honest. Choosing to teach abroad was never a long term plan for us (particularly Sara) but for a few years in our lives, it suited us perfectly. We liked the students, we enjoyed teaching, and it was a great temporary career move for both of us. When we left, we had a bunch of useful transferable skills which we could use when applying for other jobs.

#5 Transferable Skills

We touched on this already for number 3.

Whether or not teaching is the career for you, you will undoubtedly pick up a lot of skills which can be applied to pretty much any job. For example, management skills – keeping charge of a class that’s 30 students strong, ensuring that they’re engaged and behaving themselves. That’s no easy feat. Any job will be impressed by this type of management display.

Organisation skills, interpersonal skills, prioritising workloads, working with different ages from different cultures with varying ability levels – see what we mean? You will learn have the chance to learn and develop lots of different career skills, so even if teaching isn’t for you then it’s no loss in the long run.

Wrap Up

Interested? Then let’s get the ball rolling. You can read our simplified TEFL guide post, or reach out to the experts who have been in this field for years.

As two people who have done the whole TEFL stint – these were truly our best times, and we sincerely hope the same for you too.

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