Reasons You’re Still Not Teaching Abroad
Packing up your bags and moving to an entirely new country half-way across the world can be terrifying – trust me, I know. It’s difficult to fathom what kind of life awaits you in a distant place which you are hardly familiar with, but that’s what is most exciting about making the leap.
It is often the things that we fear the most that are the most worthy of doing. Fear can immobilize you and prevent you from accomplishing your goals and becoming the person whom you are meant to be. The only way to overcome that fear is to take action. In the end we will always regret the chances we didn’t take.
I have come up with three of the biggest reasons that may be holding you back from teaching abroad.
Family and friends
You are going to miss your family, no doubt about it. It’s difficult to be away from home and from what feels familiar, but family is forever. Your family at home will always be there for you; plus, you will create a new family in the country where you will be teaching.
It is natural for people to attract others similar to them and make deep meaningful connections. These connections will stay with you the entire time you’re abroad.
Similar things can be said about your friends back home. Chances are you have a really great community and network of friends back home. You feel really comfortable with them and don’t think you’ll make new meaningful connections in your new country. You will. Bottom line.
Does that mean you dump your friends back home? Of course not! In this day and age, it is easier than ever to stay in touch with the people you care about. Facebook, Line, WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime, Snapchat (my personal favorite), E-mail, the list goes on and on.
Using these technologies, you will never feel too distant from those important to you.
Also, you’re in a new and exciting country! Your friends and family are going to want to visit you! You are going to be their personal liaison to a place they have likely never been – or maybe even knew about – before.
Maybe you’ve never taught before and the idea of going abroad to teach children frightens you. That is perfectly normal – teaching can be an intimidating profession. Trying to manage a class of students whose first language is English is hard enough.
Like with any other job you will go through a learning curve and it will take some time. Once you get the hang of the ins-and-outs of the job it will get much easier.
Teaching is possibly one of the most rewarding professions out there. Click To Tweet As a teacher, you get to see a class of students grow throughout the course of a semester or academic year.
You will go through ups and downs, quite possibly some tears, some good laughs, really great lessons, and some really bad ones. It’s all part of the job. Not to mention your students are learning a new language and they’re going to say some wickedly funny stuff.
I had a 5-year-old student come back to class on Monday with a new phrase he picked up from videos on his iPad. I say something surprising in the middle of my lesson and he yells, “What the f#%k!” I mean the kid is five-years-old, he doesn’t know any better – so I had a nice little chat about finding other words to use.
Additionally, if money is a concern, language teaching is held in a high regard throughout the world. Teachers are paid well enough to live comfortable in any country you end up teaching.
Maybe you’re concerned that not speaking the language in your new country will cause problems. Chances are it will not hinder your lifestyle in any drastic way. Should you make a concerted effort to learn the language? Absolutely. Is it necessary for the job? Probably not.
English is truly a global language. I’m not saying everyone you meet will speak English, but you will find that a portion of people will speak at least a little English and others who speak like natives.
No matter where you go in the world there will always be an expat community. Expats, or expatriates, are people living outside their native country, just like you! Although, I highly recommend mingling with locals as maybe you feel more comfortable with people that express similar ideas, interests, and, most importantly, language.
So why aren’t you teaching abroad?
You can sit at home and make excuses for why teaching abroad is not for you, but at the end of the day that’s just a waste of time. Teaching may not be the profession you see for yourself in the future. No problem! Use your native English as an opportunity to visit another part of the world.
Teaching and living abroad really gives you a different perspective about the world and your place within it. You will learn things about yourself you never knew. You will meet some really amazing people. You will eat some really amazing food. You will discover so many natural wonders. You will become a better person.
So, what are you waiting for? Stop living vicariously through travel magazines and your friends’ Facebook accounts and TEACH ABROAD!
Do you have anything you want to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.
Vadim Rubin is an ethnic Belarussian learning to speak Mandarin Chinese. He is a coach, teacher, linguist, athlete, and an aspiring world traveler. As an avid volleyball player and coach, he spends a majority of his time on the court with sweaty volleyball junkies. Off the court he enjoys to travel, write, and teach world languages. In the summer of 2012 he traveled to Taiwan to study Chinese and wrote about his adventures in his blog: 三個月在臺灣 My Three months in Taiwan . He documented his adventures in Taiwan and China on his blog Where’s Your Inner Child? He is now back in Taiwan teaching English, traveling, and discovering what life has to offer. – See more at: Vadim Rubin, Author at Baltimore Post-Examiner