Teaching can be an extremely rewarding career for any individual brave enough to venture into it. But, teaching a language to those who will truly benefit from what you are teaching them can be the most rewarding career of all.
Oh, and guess what? You can be that English teacher! Teaching English abroad is a growing and highly profitable market at the moment. This career will continue to grow as the economy becomes more globalized.
So while there are many reasons you should teach English abroad, let’s focus on just the top 5.
1. Professional Development
Teaching abroad can be a huge career boost for any individual, whether you want to continue teaching or looking into a different career. The skills that you learn from teaching, transfer to so many other types of jobs.
Some of those skills include people management, time management, long and short term planning, computer skills, leadership, organization, teamwork, communication, adaptability, and so on.
Ever considered completing a graduate program to gain an advanced degree?
By teaching abroad, you gain real-world experience that looks great on any application. Schools are looking to acquire students who are motivated and seek out or create opportunities for themselves to learn and grow. You will prove that you are this type of person by mentioning teaching English abroad on your resume.
Besides graduate programs, teaching English abroad looks great on any resume! Having international work experience on your resume proves to your hopeful employer that you have:
- Good communication skills: If you have ever traveled to a place that doesn’t speak the same language, you know that the biggest struggle can be communication. Reading signs, asking for directions, and ordering food becomes much more challenging when there is a language barrier. When you live for any period abroad, you have to develop communication skills to overcome this.
- Global Networking: So many careers and businesses in today’s market have some global reach. If you can network and make connections while working abroad, you will have a leg up on other applicants.
- Personal Development: When moving or working abroad, you typically leave behind your support network, like family and friends. Because of this, you have to be self-sufficient and learn to be independent. This time spent independently can teach you a lot about yourself. By working through the challenges of living in a foreign country, you learn to be more confident and better overcome challenges.
2. Cultural Immersion
Not that this hasn’t already been mentioned, but we live in a world that is more connected now than it ever has been. Because of this, we as human beings and as good workers need to relate to and communicate with people from a wide variety of cultures.
By living in a culture different from your own, you gain an appreciation for diverse cultures.
This allows you to work and communicate ideas better with people of varying cultures. This respect for others and their beliefs will also help eliminate stereotypes and any racial or ethnic prejudices you may be holding on to.
From a business or employer perspective, this makes for a much better employee. You will be seen as an employee who can communicate effectively and respectfully with all types of people.
3. Personal Development
Living and teaching abroad is also very rewarding on a personal level, not just professionally. As humans, we can get entirely too caught up in everyday life to forget to do new and exciting things. We forget that we need to push ourselves to grow and develop our sense of self.
Travel and working abroad can boost your confidence to try new things and increase your intelligence.
Almost nothing can make a person feel more accomplished and successful than when a plan comes together. Travel and working abroad is no exception. For most, traveling abroad seems daunting because it forces us out of our comfort zones. But, this space is exactly where growth happens.
When you are outside your comfortable bubble, you have to rely on your talents and skills and even discover new skills to thrive while abroad. Discovering that you can do more than you thought will most certainly boost any person’s confidence levels.
Being out of this comfort area will also cause you to have to learn some new things. You will have to learn about the documentation to travel abroad, about geography, culture, and language of where you are going.
You will also need to know about being self-sufficient and taking care of yourself when you are not around a support system. Though these may not always be book things you are learning, you will learn practical life skills when teaching and living abroad.
4. Language Skills
Not only can traveling or teaching abroad improve your communication skills, but it is also a way to improve your language skills. As an English teacher as a foreign language, you will have to understand how the English language works for teaching it.
On the flip side of that, you will also need to learn the basics of another language. First off, it is just respectful to learn some of the countries’ languages that you will be living in either before you get there or soon after arriving.
Second, you will need to be able to communicate with your students. They will be learning English the same as you will be learning their native language. This can also make a great way to connect with your students by teaching one another.
5. It’s fun!
Speaking from having teaching experience, there is no other job out there like it. To be able to invest in someone else’s life and help change them for the better is the ultimate feeling. To know that you are assisting another person better their lives will give you a real sense of happiness and accomplishment; and brainstorming ways to engage learners is fun!
Making lessons memorable and engaging is the faster way for your students to learn something new, especially languages, and it also makes it fun for you to teach.
The other fun part of teaching English abroad has the opportunity to travel.
You get to explore new places and learn about new cultures and people. You get to see places in the world that you have only ever seen in a book or maybe you didn’t even know existed. There are thousands of years of history to see in the world, and you can have the opportunity to see it.
Conclusion: If the thought of moving abroad has ever crossed your mind, consider teaching English abroad. If you have ever felt like you just needed to make a change and do something adventurous, consider teaching English abroad. If you have just graduated and are having trouble finding employment, consider teaching English abroad.
This article was originally published in Dec-2020 and was last updated in Jan-2023.Author: Sarah Williams