Why Teach Abroad
Why teach abroad you may ask? There are many reasons why you should teach abroad, you know it sounds like an awesome, life-changing adventure. But sometimes we get cold feet. Sometimes we spend a lot of time sitting on the fence weighing the pros and cons of something.
Many of us dream of traveling, not just for a week-long vacation, but for long-term, traveling in a way that allows us to penetrate deep into a culture and let that culture seep into us, change us, make us grow.
But the problem with that often comes down to funding. Who wouldn’t love to do our own “Eat Pray Love” style travel adventure and have a year of time and space to explore ourselves through new and unfamiliar environments?
Unless you’re an heir to a family fortune, an author with a generous book advance, or otherwise independently wealthy, you’ve got to find some way to earn money while abroad. Teaching ESL gives you the means to fund living abroad, and to travel around from your home base.
Money shouldn’t be the primary motivation for you to teach ESL, but it’s a nice perk. It’s no exaggeration to say that if you are smart with your money, you can save up a lot, pay off a significant chunk of your student loans, and/or have disposable income to travel on.
If nothing else, you will make enough to cover the costs of spending a year living in a foreign country.
The Rewards of Teaching
Don’t discount teaching as just a means to an end. Teaching is also a pretty awesome way to grow as a person and gain a lot of valuable life skills. You might even find (like me) that you fall in love with it and look for ways to keep teaching even when you return to your home country (or if you stay abroad).
Even if you teach for one year, you’ll learn so many valuable life skills, and if you are working with children and keep your heart open to them, they will teach you so many intangible things about love, patience, friendship and life.
Both inside and outside of the classroom, your year abroad is going to be filled with more amazing and memorable life experiences than most people have in a lifetime. From seeing your patience finally pay off when a student gets a concept he has been struggling with, to an unexpected friendship with a
From seeing your patience finally pay off when a student gets a concept he has been struggling with, to an unexpected friendship with a street car vendor outside your apartment, to realizing that you just accidentally ordered and ate pig bladder, you’ll come home filled to the brim with stories.
It takes a special sort of person to pick up everything and move to another country for a year. As such, you’ve kind of got a built-in community of awesome, independent-minded, strong, life-embracing people to help you make the most of your time abroad. The friendships and connections that you form with those people, fleeting as they may seem
The friendships and connections that you form with those people, fleeting as they may seem in the moment, will stick with you for a lifetime.
And of course, there are those more intangible and inexplicable reasons to teach abroad. If you feel a longing for new, unexplored places, a tug that you can’t quite explain to step out of your comfort zone, to go somewhere new, to have adventures, then teaching ESL might be the perfect way to fulfill that longing. After all, few things will teach you more about yourself, and give you the chance to embrace the adventure of a lifetime head on than moving by yourself to a new country for a year.
After all, few things will teach you more about yourself, and give you the chance to embrace the adventure of a lifetime head on than moving by yourself to a new country for a year.
Have you taught abroad before? Do you have any wise pearls of wisdom to add to this list? We want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments section below.