Teaching abroad can be a life changing experience. So why aren’t you doing it yet? Were you thinking to yourself, “Hmm, if only someone could tell me nine reasons I should teach abroad…” Well then it’s your lucky day!
1. Travel Freely and Often
Aside from the actual act of picking up and moving somewhere brand new, teaching english at a foreign school has many, many perks. Depending on where you decide to teach, you may find yourself in a region whose countries are within very close proximity to one another, allowing for frequent and inexpensive holidays. Many schools will even offer you travel stipends and significantly more vacation days then you’ll find yourself with at your North American 9 to 5.
2. Learn New Languages
Speaking from personal experience, there’s no easier way to learn a language than actually immersing yourself in it 100%. In Canada, learning French is a mandatory requirement up until the ninth grade. That means I learnt and spoke French for one hour a day for approximately 9 years and guess what? I am not fluent (or even partially fluent) in any sense of the word. But learning a language like Korean becomes a lot easier when it’s the only thing you read and hear every day for a year. There’s no practice like practical immersion!
3. Make a Difference
There’s no debating that English is becoming more and more of a necessity to people all around as it has quickly become the international language. Those who are able to speak English confidently and fluently will have countless more opportunities to improve both their own lives and the lives of those in their communities. You’ll find that being able to directly contribute to this process can also make a difference in your own life as well.
4. Low Cost of Living
Those looking to make more money and receive benefits like free airfare and housing typically take jobs in Asia and the Middle East. In these regions most English teachers make enough to save 30%-50% of their income each month after expenses, which can range from the equivalent of $200 – $400 in countries like Thailand and China, to $1,000 a month or more in nations such as South Korea and The United Arab Emirates. Schools often provide accommodation, flight reimbursement, and even an additional transportation stipend on top of the salary, meaning all income goes into your pocket.
5. High Demand
Because nearly half of all English teachers abroad will leave their position and return to their home country each year, more than 100,000 positions for English teachers abroad open each year. In both South Korea and China, roughly 1,000 new English teachers are hired every single month month. In China, this number is expected to double in the coming years.
6. Become Independent
Moving somewhere brand new is scary even if you’re staying in your own country so imagine the surge of bravery you’ll feel while unpacking your stuff in a place that’s completely unrecognizable. Everything will become a major win for your self-esteem, from working the funky washing machine to successfully ordering the food you actually want in a restaurant. Once you have to do it all on your own, you’ll realize that you actually can!
7. Experience Local Life
As a teacher, you’ll be able to meet, work and live alongside locals for a long period of time. Although culture shock will be a very real symptom of living in a new place, there’s truly no better way to experience a destination then to insert yourself into its centre. Instead of hiding out in tourist hot spots and rushing through jam-packed itineraries, you’ll be able to breathe and take the time to discover the secrets that only the locals know. There’s few feelings more satisfying then finding a new pub or coffee shop to become a regular at then when you’re doing it in a foreign country.
8. Your Resume
There’s nothing like some international work experience to make your resume stand out in an inbox. Not to mention that an international network of contacts can prove priceless to your future career prospects. Maybe someday you will be making a career change, looking for an internship, starting a blog, or helping a friend move overseas. Imagine having scores of people from everywhere to help you on your way.
9. It’s Easy to Do!
You don’t even need a teaching degree to teach abroad! In most cases you’ll be required to complete some fairly basic certification which is both easily accessible and affordable. As the demand for teachers is so high, you also won’t be waiting long to hear back from schools once you apply. In many cases, it’s not a question of whether you can get a job, but rather which job in which country is a good fit for you.