The benefits of becoming a TEFL Teacher are abundant, and there are actually a lot of parallels with the reasons to study abroad. However, there are three key differences for consideration:
Money. Let’s face it—studying abroad is no small endeavor, and lack of finances is one of the leading deterrents. While it’s always worth it no matter how you go, wouldn’t it be great if you during your program you obtained a certification that could easily lead to your first job after college? Not every TEFL job is lucrative by any means, but teachers in South Korea (with no teaching experience, 100 hours of TEFL certification and a B.A.) will make an average of $1,800 – $2,000 USD per month (housing and airfare are offered on top of this). Teaching jobs in Saudi Arabia can pay as much as $3,000 USD per month for those with a TEFL certification. Latin and South American countries fall at the other end of the pay spectrum, and while they certainly have a high-demand for native-speaking English teachers, you should not expect to save a lot of money while living there. You can, however, expect to break even financially, and the authentic exposure to culture and language are worth plenty. Follow this link for more details about finding English teaching jobs abroad.
Career Development or Advancement. Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a great experience for any degree type. Obviously, education majors will develop and retain important teaching skills through TEFL and will apply them throughout their careers. Exposure to different educational systems and philosophies will give them invaluable professional perspective, and learning how to improvise “on the fly” in the classroom or maximize limited resources are skills that they’ll never forget. However, TEFL teachers come from all different academic disciplines, from Engineering to Psychology to Art and more, and it’s a great experience that can launch you into other careers. Exposure and understanding of a foreign culture is increasingly valuable regardless of industry, especially as companies are more and more globalized. Foreign language skills, an increased level of confidence and a broader perspective on life are a few of the other key benefits of working abroad. And who knows—it could lead to a position as an architect in Spain, a Public Relations job in Russia, or an academic post at a University in Italy.
Change the World! Okay, that’s no small task, but English teachers abroad are given a unique platform and genuinely influence their students. In the majority of schools, students of English are very motivated to learn, so while you will enjoy teaching because they will find you fascinating, you truly are giving them critical skills for their futures. TEFL is the perfect post-graduate job, for those that didn’t go abroad as an undergrad because of time and money constraints, as well as for those that did go abroad, have been “bitten by the travel bug,” and haven’t stopped thinking of how to do it again since they returned.
Top 20 Reasons to Teach English Abroad
- Improve and develop your foreign language abilities.
- Meet great friends.
- Have an adventure!
- Learn about different cultures of the world first hand.
- Observe how Education is approached in other countries.
- Fall in love!
- Could lead to an exciting, international career.
- Gain confidence.
- Learn about yourself.
- Travel! Even teachers get vacation
- Gain a better understanding of other cultures.
- Achieve a better understanding and appreciation of the English language.
- Learn the challenges that face students in the classroom as English learners.
- Help others attain success.
- Have a meaningful impact on your students.
- Learn to go outside of your comfort zone.
- Become a more effective teacher—this is useful in every job!
- Gain more employment options.
- Get out of the “rat race.”
- Have great stories for your next cocktail party.
Have you taught abroad already?? Do you have more reasons to teach abroad that you can add to this list?? We would love to hear your ideas!