Forget finding true love, climbing Everest and/or saving the world – here’s why teaching English abroad should be number one on your bucket list!
1. You’ll get paid to travel
We’ve all been there – nose pressed up against the window, dreaming of somewhere a little less grey and drizzly, but alas, that pesky bank balance says no. The good news is that TEFL is a great alternative to remortgaging your house, selling your body on the street and/or begging your parents (delete as applicable) to fund your adventures abroad – it might not be a free ride (you’ll still need to get a bit of change together for your TEFL course and flights), but because you’ll be earning while you’re teaching abroad, you’ll soon be able to make back that initial outlay – and still have some change left over to explore the country you’re living in.
2. You’ll meet new people
Let’s be honest now – you can never really have enough friends (unless you’re some kind of global superstar with an entourage that would put P Diddy to shame – then you’re probably sorted). And TEFL’s a fantastic way to make friends from all over the world who you wouldn’t have met had you stayed at home – fellow teachers, students, other expats, neighbours. Hey, you might even meet the love of your life, like Robert Clarke did.
Robert with his now fiancée Astrid
3. You’ll really experience another culture
A lot of people go travelling to experience another culture, but just end up sightseeing and lounging around in youth hostels with the same kind of people they hang out with back home. Not so with TEFL– because you’ll be living and working with local people, you won’t be on the outside taking snapshots to post on Facebook, you’ll be part of the picture yourself.
4. You’ll gather a lifetime’s worth of awesome stories
i-to-i’s China interns have been teaching for just two months now. Between them they’ve encountered students who snack on teaching resources, tackled exploding toilets. So, if you feel your life needs a bit of extra spice, TEFL could be just the seasoning you need!
5. You’ll get valuable work experience
Silliness aside, teaching English abroad can be pretty handy in the long-run. You’ll boost your leadership, organisational and communication skills, plus get loads of lovely work experience to put on your CV. So, when you get home, you won’t just be another bum who’s spent the last year or two loafing around the world.
6. You’ll give something back
Because employers across the world put such a premium on good spoken English, you’ll really be giving your students a boost in life by helping them improve their English. Plus, as most TEFL jobs last from 6 months to a year, you’ll (hopefully!) be able to see your students flourish under your tuition, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be helping their chances in life.
7. You’ll have the chance to learn a new language
You don’t have to speak another language to teach English abroad, but it’s certainly a great opportunity if you do want to brush up on your existing language skills, or even get to grips with a totally new language. Try a language swap, or wangle free language lessons as part of your contract.
What’s your reason for teaching English abroad? Share it below!