Teaching English overseas has some serious benefits that can completely change your life and it will create memories that you will never forget. There are many reasons why teaching English overseas is worth your time. Perhaps the largest reason people do it is to get rid of large financial debt, like student loans. Not only will you (hopefully) be able to send your loans into oblivion, but you will also be able to see a completely different part of the world and you’ll learn how to live in it like a local.
This isn’t exhaustive of all of the benefits to teaching abroad of course, but here are a few major ones that are hard to overlook.
No matter where you are teaching English, whether it’s in Europe, a region in Asia, or anywhere else, you will be able to hop around and see new places in your free time. If you’re in Europe, you can buy a rail pass and visit a new country every weekend. If you’re in Thailand, you can easily pay for a great vacation on another nearby island for only a few hundred dollars. The possibilities are endless!
Learn a Second Language:
Becoming fully immersed in a language is by far the best way to learn it. I’ve spent my fair share of time looking over French text books with glazed eyes trying to figure out how to pronounce words and memorize things like grammar and vocabulary; it’s much harder than having people speak to you in French all the time. You’ll walk away with a basic understand of their language, if not full fluency. They say that you only need to spend six-months in a country to become fluent.
Earn an Income:
Every teaching job is different, but you can earn anywhere between 500 USD and 1,000 USD per month, if not more along with bonuses like reimbursed airfare, paid vacation, and free housing. It can also help take care of that “gap” in your résumé that long-term traveling can cause, if that’s a concern of yours and give you international working experience, which is very desirable among employers.
Learn Their Culture:
Having lived in another country, you’ll experience a completely new way of life and you will understand another culture extremely well. By the time you leave, you’ll no longer be worried about accidentally offending someone and as I said above, you’ll practically become fluent in their language.
How to Teach English Abroad:
Luckily for those who are interested, there is a huge demand for English teaching jobs across the world.
Step One – Get Certified:
You will need to take a course to get your TESOL certification. There are two ways to get this certification; you can either take it in a class nearby or online. This of course depends on your region and your availability. If you’re like me and live in the middle of nowhere, online may be your only option. You need to make sure you reach a certain number of hours of training time in each class, for one online program, they require 130-hours of work.
Step Two – Where Do You Want To Teach?
Discover what country you feel like you want to teach in and if you’re looking to clear debt, keep in mind how expensive it is to live in that country. Europe may not be the quickest method to clear debt compared to SE Asia. If you don’t have much debt and you only want to experience Europe to the fullest with some extra pocket cash, it’s perfect for that too! Can you say Parisian romance? Holla!
Strep Three – Prepare:
Now that you’re certified and you know your stuff when it comes to teaching overseas, begin preparing your résumé. You’ll want to include an image of yourself (keep it classy), tell them about related work experience as well as your earlier education, along with your training that you have just taken and a cover letter. Remember to not fluff up your résumé with fancy writing, this is going to a country where they need English teachers after all, so it’s probably not their main language.
Step Four – Apply For Jobs:
Research what your dream country has to offer for jobs and begin applying for them. If they like your résumé they will generally call you on a platform like Skype for an interview. If they decide to hire you (How could they not? You’re AWESOME.) they’ll send you an agreement to sign. Make sure that you’re okay with all of their terms they want you to sign and don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Step Five – Get Your Passport/Visa:
Know what paperwork you will need to have to be able to work in their country. It might be a good idea to begin this process as early as possible, because they can take weeks – if not months – to come in the mail.
Step Six – You’re Done!
It’s time to celebrate since all you have to do now is buy your airfare and pack your bags. Be sure to give your family and friends adequate contact information so they can keep in touch with you while you’re away and bring home some souvenirs. 🙂
This is your chance to be a force of change in someone’s life, so take your new-found job and certification and go out there to change the world!
Addressing Your Fears:
It’s completely common to have fears about teaching abroad. You’ll probably ask yourself a million questions like, “How will I be able to teach others my language when I don’t even know theirs?” Don’t worry about things like that, even as hard as it seems. They will learn English the same way that you’ll be learning their language, by being immersed in it during your class period. If you do have any questions, you can always join online communities and forums for advice and to help calm your nerves.
Teaching English abroad generally isn’t something that is done for years at a time, so if you’re beginning to feel burned out from it after a while, know when it’s time to move on and begin your next adventure. Also, make sure to spend a lot of time researching the company or school you plan on working for. If they seem to have more bad reviews from other travelers than good ones, you know it’s one to avoid!