6 Reasons You Should Think About Teaching Abroad
For many, scratching the ever-present itch of wanderlust (an intense desire to travel and explore new cultures and see new sights) seems like an unattainable pipe dream. The need for gainful employment almost always trumps world travel because, well, traveling costs money.
But for those with a desire to shape and mold the minds of our youth and a burgeoning need to travel across the globe, teaching abroad is the answer to both problems. If you want to become a teacher abroad, then the opportunities are endless — there are countless countries that require their English classes to be taught by a native speaker of English. You could teach in Thailand or Monaco or Italy or all three at different times in your life.
Those who have taught abroad speak highly of it — it is both a fantastic opportunity to travel across the globe and an invaluable chance to work closely with children, helping to shape their linguistic skills and foster their growth.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, here are six reasons to teach abroad:
1. Personal Growth
Foreign countries are exactly what the name suggests — foreign. The food, the language, the customs are all new and taking in new cultures will inevitably expand your worldview and shape you into a more cultured person.
Leaving behind the comforts of your family home and the companionship of your loved ones presents an incomparable opportunity for personal growth. It forces you to face things entirely on your own, to adapt to a new environment, embrace a new culture and step out of your comfort zone.
At a time when personal growth is crucial (and, unfortunately, often handcuffed by economic issues), teaching abroad can open your eyes to entirely new possibilities. Perhaps you’ll gain a newfound and unrivaled passion for teaching, or discover that you’d like to spend a good portion of your life living abroad. The opportunities are endless.
2. Travel Experience
For many, the state of our economy and the nation’s job situation has resulted in wallets feeling disturbingly empty. Traveling is expensive, and it requires losing valuable work hours; It’s often a far-flung pipe dream for the young professional. But teaching abroad presents to you an unparalleled opportunity to travel and work.
Many European countries are easily accessible via trains or short planes rides — you could teach English in Germany and spend a weekend in Prague!
3. Learn a new culture
Teaching abroad presents an entirely different travel experience than your basic tourism. Quite often schools will place its foreign language teachers in housing in middle-class neighborhoods, allowing you to visit marketplaces and immerse yourself in the culture. You can sip a cappuccino at a local cafeteria in Italy or go to a colleague’s family dinner.
You’ll also be given the opportunity to learn a foreign language thanks, in large part, to the crash course you’ll get simply from being amongst native language speakers on a daily basis.Programs require you to teach in English, but you’ll find yourself picking up words via local chatter.
Working with youth in any culture is immensely rewarding. You hold within your hands the opportunity to forge relationships with your students, allowing you to build lasting bonds, mediate issues, or just be a person to whom they can turn. For many children in foreign countries like China or Costa Rica, learning English is a crucial step toward giving them access to quality professional and educational opportunities. Indeed, teachers abroad are working for a cause and are helping to address and relieve social and economic issues.
Teaching abroad also opens the door to new philanthropic opportunities: You can participate in local charity events, or volunteer to help clean up the area in which you live.
5. Professional Growth
In today’s globalized economy, employers are searching for well-rounded, cultured individuals (often with the ability to speak a second language or experience abroad). Teaching abroad is an impressive addition to any resume because it implies that you are a risk-taker, a dedicated individual and someone who isn’t afraid to step outside of the box.