Random Things Teaching English Abroad Teaches You

This guest article comes from the good folks at I to I TEFL, an official partner of Reach To Teach. 

Taking a TEFL course teaches you lots of useful things you never thought you’d need to know: the exact difference between the present simple and present perfect verb tense, how to use bingo to teach English and (perhaps most importantly) how to stop your classes descending into utter chaos!

What it won’t teach you is all the crazy stuff you pick up once you land a job overseas as a TEFL teacher.

Here are a few of our favourites…

One for the ladies: Don’t smoke cigarettes in the street in China; apparently it makes you look like you’re from the wrong side of the tracks…

In Japan a woman shouldn’t wipe her head with a towel after dinner like the men do.

When driving in Egypt, if your bumper is in front, you’ve got the right of way. Seriously! That’s pretty much the only traffic rule.

In China, never leave the house without toilet paper, you’ll regret it otherwise.

In many parts of Asia (especially Korea), it’s best not to empty your glass if you don’t want it to be refilled – we can get on board with this…

Zebra crossings in Vietnam mean absolutely nothing. If you want to cross the road then slow and steady is the best way, the traffic will weave around you.

In Japan, don’t play hangman as a time filler. Anything to do with death, violence etc. is a big no-no due to the level of suicide rates in Japan… gulp.

Never get involved in drinking games that involve rice wine. You will regret it the next day, and maybe the day after that too!

In Japanese, the word for “house” can also mean “person.”

Failure to flush a public toilet in Singapore could land you a hefty fine.

No matter how lovely the students are in your Thai classroom; don’t give them a loving pat on the head. It’s just about the rudest thing you can do to a Thai person because the head is regarded as the holiest part of the body.

In certain parts of India public bus services are segregated. Women sit at the front, men stand at the back.

Are you thinking about heading off to teach English overseas? You’ll love this free e-book for help with every step of your exciting journey! It’ll be your new best friend in no time… from which destination suits you best, to help with writing a CV, there’s everything you need in here. Download your free copy today!

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