Everyone knows that TEFL is a fantastic way to get paid to see the world, but there are also lots of lesser known (but no less fantastic) benefits of teaching abroad – simply read on to find out what some of them are!
1. It’s so easy to get up and go!
Deciding you want to teach abroad for a year or two doesn’t mean studying for years at university or spending thousands of pounds. As there’s such a huge demand for certified English teachers all around the world at the minute, all you need is a TEFL course (which can be done in as little as two weeks), a one-way plane ticket and a spot of enthusiasm. You can learn more about TEFL courses and TEFL job opportunities here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/.
If you want to teach abroad, it doesn't take years to get there!
2. You’ll take weekend trips to a whole new level!
If your average weekend involves a trip to the local shopping centre/mall and watching a spot of TV, teaching abroad will certainly take that up a notch. When you’re living and working in another country, you’ll find it pretty irresistible to explore – depending on where you are based, that could be lazing on the beach, visiting nearby cities, playing some extreme sports or even doing a spot of trekking. What’s more, the cost of travel in most TEFL destinations is super-cheap, so you won’t find yourself blowing all your wages at the weekend.
Travelling by elephant - we'd choose it every time over the bus!
3. TEFL-travellers are a very friendly bunch
Want to know where in Japan is best to teach, or the best site to look for TEFL jobs in Thailand? Ask a TEFLer. You’ll usually find a good network of other teachers ready to share advice in whichever city you’re teaching in, or if you’re in the back and beyond, online TEFL networks such as Chalkboard (www.tefl-chalkboard.com) are full of people willing to help out a fellow teacher. You're not alone!
4. Submerse yourself in a brand new culture
At one point or another you’re going to look around your new surroundings and think ‘what the TEFL is going on here – nothing makes sense!’ This kind of culture shock is totally normal and worth battling head on, don't hide away! Make an effort to talk to people in the aim to becoming open-minded, understanding and willing to try new things.
These guys will teach you more about their culture than any guidebook ever could! You just can't fit them in your bag though...
5. You’ll have an instant support network
Unless you’re a lone teacher giving English lessons to goats in Azerbaijan, odds on there will be local teachers working at your school, many of whom will speak good English. Because they’ll be keen on practising their English with you, you’ll find they’ll be keen to show you around, take you out and help you in the rare event that any problems crop up – better than a guidebook any day!
6. It’s good resume/CV fodder
Even if it’s not your lifetime ambition to become a teacher, you’ll find that there’s plenty to put on your CV about your time as an EFL teacher: leadership, communication and organisational skills, not to mention to ability to successfully work with people who might not speak your language and have totally different cultural values.
7. You’ll be smug off the beaten tourist track
Forget travelling off the beaten track, this is living off the beaten track. If you really want to lift the lid on another culture, teaching abroad is the perfect way to do it. As a teacher, you’ll usually find yourself welcomed into people’s lives and homes – much better than taking snapshots of temples and monuments by a country mile!
Well, that's done it, the secrets are well and truly out now – if you’re interested in teaching abroad make sure you check out www.onlinetefl.com to make it happen!
Anyone else got any secret benefits of teaching abroad? Add them below!