Top 10 Reasons to Teach English Abroad

Everybody has one. You know, that list of things you want to do before you die? Some people might call it a “bucket list.” Whether your list includes skydiving, a cross-country road trip, or swimming with sharks, there’s one more thing you need to add: teaching overseas. Read on for the top 10 reasons to teach English abroad.

1. You Get to Experience Other Cultures First Hand

Teaching overseas is so much more than a 9-5 job. When you teach English abroad you are not just a tourist, but you are living in a completely new culture, taking in a whole new world of experiences first-hand. You will spend all of your time with a group of people whose lifestyle is completely different from what you are accustomed to. You will live in a new city, have completely unfamiliar accommodations, and if you have an adventurous palate, you’ll have ample opportunities to try new foods, and sample new tastes. For some this may seem scary, but after years of living in just one place, this can be incredibly refreshing and challenging.

2. You Get Paid to Travel

When teaching abroad you not only get paid, you get to travel too! While salaries may sometimes seem small compared to potential earnings in America or Great Britain, you should earn enough teaching to live comfortably and the opportunities for travel are priceless. Living in another country is the perfect opportunity to explore the region, and many countries are so close together you can visit several hotspots all in one short trip. For a yearlong assignment, most teachers enjoy about 3 weeks of time off, as well as local holidays – ample time to explore your new surroundings!

3. You Get Valuable Work Experience

Whatever industry you work in, experience working in a foreign country enhances any resume, and teaching is no exception. An overseas teaching assignment on your resume lets potential employers know you are open to new challenges, work well with others (even if they have different backgrounds or views), have extensive leadership skills, and you can take on any situation thrown at you. 4. You Can Save Money

While most teach English abroad programs do require you to pay for TESOL or TEFL certification and flights, in the long run you can often save money teaching overseas. Living costs depend on a number of factors including the country you are working in, the region, and personal spending habits. But in general, most teachers are able to earn enough to live comfortably, and in Asia, most teachers recoup the program fee, and still add to their savings. While teach English abroad programs are not for people who are strictly interested in “making money,” teaching overseas will allow you to live and travel in another country for a lot less than you would be able to otherwise.

5. You Meet New People

While teaching overseas you will come into contact with individuals who, like yourself, love traveling and helping others. These people come from all over the world and who knows – they could end up being travel buddies, best friends, or even the love of your life!

6. You Get Experiences and Stories to Last a Lifetime

You can make even more friends everywhere you go with the great stories you gain from your international living and teaching experiences. You may not be living in five-star accommodations, and you may encounter some truly strange things, but the experiences will stay with you much longer than those grasshoppers you ate in Thailand.

7. You can Beat the Economy Blues

The economy is rough right now, and you may be struggling to find a job – especially if you’re just out of school and lack work experience. When you teach English abroad you gain valuable experience for your resume while travelling all around the world, which is 1,000 times better than telling future employers you sat at home watching soap operas while the economy recovered.

8. You Get to Give Something Back

It’s not all about what you get out of it – for many people it is about what you can give back. English is, in many locations, the language of international commerce, which makes it an essential skill for non-native speakers to acquire. When you teach English abroad not only do you help your students improve their English, but you widen their horizons with your experiences of life beyond their borders, and actually improve their prospects in life. Through your activities both within and outside of the classroom you will be making real contributions to the success and well being of others.

9. You Get the Chance to Learn a New Language

Schools hiring EFL teachers do not expect you to speak the local language (they are more concerned that their teachers are native or native-level English speakers, and that they have been thoroughly trained in TESOL/TEFL methodology), but immersing yourself in another culture is a great way to learn the local language. As part of training, most programs will offer local acculturation and language training, and many schools offer additional free or low-cost local language training, as well.

10. You Get to Have Fun!

Last but not least, teaching overseas is fun. This life-changing international experience empowers you to create your own personal adventure in spite of current economic conditions. So what are you doing for the next year of your life? Have the adventure of a lifetime when you teach English abroad!