What is the most valuable tool I gained from my incredible semester abroad? CONFIDENCE in myself to venture out and experience more incredible things the world has to offer!
After a semester in Auckland, New Zealand and challenging myself to do wild things that I never imagined myself doing (i.e. flipping off a ledge 400 meters over the idyllic backdrop of Queenstown…attached to a bungee, of course), I gained a sense of independence and confidence that opened the door to an experience of a lifetime: teaching English in South Korea.
Two weeks after graduating, I was off to Korea to begin another journey that became just as valuable as my study abroad experience! Summiting my first mountain, sleeping on the floors of a Korean bath house, eating strange new foods like dried squid, teaching kids how to juggle at a local orphanage (without knowing the language), and introducing my students to the greatness of a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner were just a few of the memories I made in the short year that I was immersed in the culture.
So besides just having another country to check off the list of places you’ve explored, why else should you consider teaching abroad? Well I’ve come up with a list that may entice you to a) brush up on your English grammar skills, and b) get that passport out again!
1) Because the demand is so high in some countries (like Korea), all you need is a bachelor’s degree!
2) You have a JOB…which means you’re MAKING MONEY while you travel! *Your parents will love that part*
3) Teaching English helps you understand the importance of language and will most likely increase your skills in a new language as well!
4) It looks great on a resume! In the globalized world we live in today, employers want people who are adaptable, responsible, and sensitive to other cultures. What better way to prove that than holding down a job in a different country?!
5) Being abroad an for an entire year (which is the normal contract length) really allows you to feel like part of the community you’re living in. By the end of your term, you’ll feel like one of the locals dishing out advice on the coolest places in town.
I learned that being a native English speaker is a luxury not everyone has…so why not take advantage of it?! Studying abroad was truly a catalyst to teaching abroad, and it can prepare you for all the fun and unexpected adventures that only lead to more lifelong memories!