Top 10 Reasons Why People Teach English Abroad

Taiwan's super fast and modern High Speed Rail train connects Taoyuan and Taiwan's major cities.

Taiwan’s super fast and modern High Speed Rail train connects Taiwan’s major cities.

Thousands of teachers leave their home countries each and every year to teach English abroad. Have you ever wondered why they’ve decided to do so? Here are the top ten reasons why people move abroad to teach English.

1. Travel – The biggest reason for teaching abroad that we hear from our teachers is that they want to get out and explore the world. Now most people can’t just take off for six months or a year just to travel. The unique thing about teaching in Asia is that travel in Asia is cheap and convenient. You can easily knock two or three countries off your travel list during your year abroad or after your contract is finished.

2. Save Money – One of the biggest reasons people move overseas is to save money. Whether you’re trying to pay off your student loans or trying to save up for a big trip, most people teaching in Taiwan, South Korea and China can save $1000 USD a month on average. That is, if you’re not spending it on things like travel, entertainment and a terrific social life. Other things to consider when you’re looking at saving money through teaching abroad is that you can take advantage of a lower cost of living and generally, a much lower tax rate. Most teachers pay 5-6% tax on their total income, and with some programs you can enjoy being completely tax exempt! Here’s a handy link to our US Taxes for English Teachers.

3. Enhance Your Resume – Some people that go overseas to teach English are interested in adding international job experience on their resume. Whether it’s for going back home and having a leg up on the competition or having that experience that sets you apart if you’re applying to a Masters program, teaching overseas for a year is a great way to gain that experience.

4. Make a Difference – I know it sounds cliché but there are quite a few people out there who want to make a difference, so they volunteer to teach English for six months to a year. Most of these programs have small stipends, but they’re not positions where you will save a lot money. It’s really about the adventure you’ll have and about giving back.

Gwangalli Beach in Busan

Gwangalli Beach in Busan, South Korea

5. Weather – Tired of living in sub zero temperatures for three months a year? Say no more! Come to Asia, the land of beautiful beaches, sunny weather and cheap living.

6. Experience Different Cultures – Ever tried stinky tofu or kimchi? Well if you’re moving to Asia, I’m sure you will. These are only a couple of the different foods you will encounter here, not to mention the differences in lifestyles, history, and customs that you’ll encounter in your new country.

7. Gain New Language Skills – A lot of people applying to teach overseas are a bit hesitant to do so because they think they need to have some language skills in place before they arrive. While this is very helpful, it’s not necessary. Many teachers take part-time language classes or language exchanges once they’ve arrived in country. Some teachers don’t learn much more than the basics during the year abroad, and that’s ok too.

Stressed out by Brittney Bush on Flickr

8. Time to Figure Out Your Future – So you have just graduated from university and you have no idea what you’re going to do. There are quite a lot of new graduates out there just like you. These days, it’s cool to take a gap year and take a year to teach overseas while you’re figuring out the next step.

9. Budget-cuts and Layoffs – Given today’s tough job market in your home country you might be looking for a new career or a way to extend your current one. Lots of school districts are being forced to close schools or make budget-cuts. For the certified teachers out there that are affected by this, There are a wide variety of teaching positions to choose from if you’re a certified teacher from your home country. There are also loads of options for TEFL qualified teachers, and there are opportunities for teachers with little to no experience. We personally recommend that you read up on TEFL courses and invest in a 120-hour certificate, which will qualify you for most positions in Asia.

10. Fairly Easy Job Market – Relatively speaking teaching English abroad isn’t a hard job market to get into. Most native English speakers who are willing to take a TEFL course can typically find a job teaching English overseas. While there are different requirements for all countries, Asia is typically the area where most overseas teachers end up teaching first.

Whatever your reasons for making the decision to teach abroad, we promise you won’t regret it. And we hope you’ll put your trust in our staff here at Reach To Teach. We look forward to receiving your application!

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C. Venter - 2017 - Teaching in China

Thanks to the help and hard work of my recruiter at Reach To Teach, my journey to China was such a smooth and nearly stress free process. I have now been happily living in China for 6 months. Thanks, guys.


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