Looking for your next big adventure? Fancy travelling the world and making a living while you’re at it?
MARK JOHNSON, TEFL teacher and contributor over at icaltefl.com, speaks from the experience of teaching in Asia but his points are spot on for most TEFL opportunities worldwide. I am honoured to share Mark’s TEFL rundown as my very first guest post on MOOMADs, which comes at the perfect time to express why I love what I’m doing right now.
There are more than a few reasons why thousands of people choose to teach English abroad every year. Here are some of them:
1: You get paid to travel
If you dream of seeing the world but are unable to save up the serious funds required to make that happen, working abroad is the next best thing.
How much you earn depends on where you work but the majority of English language teachers earn a comfortable wage. Enough to pay rent and bills, buy food, and have an active social life at the very least.
OK, so you won’t be seeing a new country every couple of weeks like you would if you were backpacking, but you’ll get to know your new country really well. Plus you can travel locally at weekends and further afield during holidays.
2: It’s a massive – and ever-growing – job market
There is huge demand for English teachers. With millions of people enrolling in English language classes every year, you’ll have your pick of jobs.
If you’ve got a degree, you can get a job. Training and experience is not often required. However, you’ll feel better prepared and may find more opportunities (with potentially higher wages and better benefits) if you take and pass a TEFL course.
That brings us to our next point…
3: You can train in a matter of weeks
And be off before you know it!
TEFL courses generally take between 120 and 150 hours, which if you really crack on means you can gain your qualification in as little as 2 weeks.
These courses can be completed online, and there’s no time limit. So whether you’re on a tight schedule or prefer to spread the studying out over a few months, you can work at your own pace.
4: You learn a lot about yourself
You may learn more about yourself in 12 months of living abroad than you would in a whole lifetime of staying at home.
There’s nothing like a challenge to force you to become a stronger, more capable and confident person. You’ll learn about your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. You’ll develop skills you never thought possible.
You will become self-sufficient and comfortable in your own company whilst simultaneously becoming the most sociable, spontaneous and fun version of yourself.
You will grow as a person and, as clichéd as it sounds; truly find out who you are and what you want from life.
5: The experience is unlike anything else
The beauty of travel is that it opens you up to experiences you simply can’t have anywhere else. Husky sledding in Lapland, walking the Great Wall of China, cenote diving in Mexico – you certainly can’t do these from the comfort of your sofa.
And then of course there’s the utterly unique experience of living and working abroad, absorbing a new culture and making new friends. You’ll return home with a lifetime of anecdotes and stories to tell.
6: You’ll pick up a new language
The best way to learn a second (or third) language is through exposure.
You’ll become close to fluent in no time if you immerse yourself in the language and use it as often as possible. What’s great about this approach is you’ll learn colloquialisms and slang too – so you’ll be speaking like a true local!
7: It looks great on your CV
Teaching English abroad is a great boost to your CV, regardless of your future career path.
Because it shows you to be adaptable, willing and confident. It suggests you’re up for a challenge, not afraid of hard work and good with people. It implies you have more grit and determination than the average employee.
And as a general rule teaching requires many different skills and qualities that translate well to any other workplace.
8: You’ll make a difference to the lives of others
For many people around the world, learning the English language is a way out of poverty. It is an open door to further education, better jobs and higher wages.
By teaching English abroad you are helping people create a brighter future for themselves and their families. Quite simply, you are changing lives.
Could teaching abroad be your next adventure? If it’s something you’ve always considered make 2016 the year you get out there and do it!