10 Signs It’s Time for You to Move Overseas & Teach English Abroad

  • Do you hate your job?  (Do you have a job?)
  • Did you spend tens of thousands of dollars on a college education just so that you can spend the prime of your life in a prefabricated cubicle or standing behind a cash register?
  • Are you wondering how and if you can ever actually use (or improve upon) those 8 years of Spanish you took in high school and college?
  • Have you ever wanted to live, work and travel in a country like Italy, Thailand, or Argentina?

If any of following statements apply to you, it’s probably time to accept that you should be leading a more adventurous life. That means teaching english abroad in Rio De Janeiro, Bangkok, Tokyo, Dubai, or one of 100’s of other destinations around the globe!

Here are 10 signs it's time for you to get TEFL certified and head overseas to live the international adventure of a lifetime teaching English abroad:

Teach English Abroad TEFL

10. You’re starting to lose the language you spent years studying in high school & college because you haven’t had a chance to actually use it yet.

Whether it be Spanish, German, Arabic, Mandarin or Portuguese, you’ve dedicated years of your life to becoming conversational in a language that you love (or secretly hate) but have never had the chance to use or master. Sure, you impress your grandparents every Thanksgiving by showing them your “Hola, como estas?” or “NiHao!”, but you’ve never used it in "real life."  And as a result, you’re slowly losing it. It’s probably time you get yourself to Colombia, Spain, China, or wherever they speak your chosen language and finally reach fluency.

To learn more about how teaching English abroad provides a perfect opportunity to learn a foreign language, read Can I Learn a Foreign Language While Teaching English Abroad?

9. You spend your money on the same thing every weekend with nothing to show for it.

Every Friday you find yourself at the same happy hour, with the same coworkers, in the same casual-Friday hooded sweatshirt. Every Saturday you’re at the same old bar, drinking flavorless light beer, rehashing the same uninspired gossip. Weekends come and go too quickly; nothing happens, nothing changes. Then it’s Monday again and you’re back on the grind, but with a lighter wallet and nothing to show for it. You could just as easily be spending your money on exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, wandering through night markets in Thailand, or sampling authentic sushi in Japan. But you’re not. And why is that again?


8. You're graduating from college soon and are horrified of the idea of becoming just another cubical jockey.

Does the idea of ill-fitting slacks, conference meetings, and florescent lights glaring down on you make your skin crawl? Are you plagued by fears of wasting your life holed up in a prefabricated box with no windows? Forbes magazine recently reported on a study that declared unhappy corporate employees outnumber happy ones 2-to-1. That’s double the misery! But that doesn’t have to be you! You don’t have to be pale and suffering from chronic carpel tunnel! Get out and see what the world has to offer!

7. You feel trapped and uninspired in your day-to-day routine.

Or maybe you’re someone who was actually thrilled by the idea of desk job and the prospect of steady income, health benefits, potential for growth (or so they told you). But since then, your boss has promised 3 promotions that have never happened and your eagerness to take on each new challenge has faded to a dull hatred for every new project that will never get finished. If you’re nodding your head right now, it’s probably time for a reawakening. Take all those teamwork and organizational skills you’ve learned and use them towards an English teaching job on the coasts of Cambodia or in the Chilean Andes. It’s time you learned that work doesn’t have to be a chore!

tefl teach English Abroad

6. You frequently find yourself enviously browsing the social media profiles of your friends that are living abroad.

Your college roommate is teaching English in Italy or your ex’s best friend is tutoring business professionals in Turkey. And their lives look exponentially cooler than yours. Have you ever asked yourself “If they can do it, why can’t I?” You can but you have to pull the trigger and make it happen.

5. Major life responsibilities haven’t attached themselves to you yet. You have no car payments, mortgage, spouse, or children, so if you're going to ever move abroad, it might as well be now.

If it hasn't already, life will undoubtedly start throwing unexpected bills and duties at you very soon, that’s what it’s known for. But for the time being, if you’re in the eye of the storm, why not take advantage of that while you can? You’ll never regret taking a year to see how people in Indonesia or Brazil spend their days, but chances are you'll regret it if you don’t. And let's face it, once you have a spouse, a career you can't afford to leave, children, PTA meetings and a mortgage, sadly it's pretty much a sure thing that you won't be taking a year or two out of your life to live and teach English in Japan, Spain, or Costa Rica.

4. You're considering getting your Master's Degree but don’t have much real-world experience for the application.

Whether you looking to get into law school, business school, get your MA in education, or if you're looking to just get a job, international work experience (like teaching English abroad!) is like gold on your resume. In the globalized world of the 21st century, recruiters and admissions officers love those who offer an international background and a proven ability to work and succeed in a multicultural environment.  They also love those applicants who take on major challenges and break out of their comfort zone in life and teaching English abroad embodies that.

Besides, if you've spent every year of your life since your 5th birthday in a classroom and you’re considering spending tens of thousands of dollars to spend 2,4 or 6 more years getting an advanced degree, wouldn't a change of scenery and a little adventure refresh you before you return to a life of endless hours spent in libraries, labs and lecture halls?

To learn more teaching English abroad can provide a major boost to your resume, read 7 Ways Teaching English Abroad Enhances Your Career Prospects.

3. You've run out of interesting things to talk about at parties (and job interviews!).

Let's face it, your stories about kegstands gone wrong during spring break in Florida were funny (sort of) the first 100 times you told them, but now that adolescence is behind you those once-hilarious tales of wild antics are way past their expiration date! At this point, when your go-to line for starting conversation begins with “one time in Daytona Beach...” people start rolling their eyes and it's time to come up new material. Whether it be in Czech Republic, Argentina or South Korea, living and teaching English abroad will provide you with a lifetime's worth of interesting stories and memorable, interesting experiences that will make you the life of any party and provide you with great material for chatting up recruiters for jobs and graduate school. Teaching English abroad provides a perfect opportunity to make new friends and have a great time!

2. You’re starting to realize the real meaning behind “YOLO!”

Yes, it’s an obnoxious overused acronym coined by a rapper with questionable talent that became permanent ink on the lower back of 16-year-olds everywhere, but maybe the idea behind it actually holds some clout. You only live once. Life it short. Seize the day. Carpe Diem. What will you have to show for your time here? There is a whole world out there waiting to be seen and explored!

Adrienne Glenn - Buenos Aires, Argentina 14-1

1. You've never been abroad and you know you're missing out!

Anyone and everyone that has ever traveled and lived abroad has told you how incredible of an experience it is. Whether it's visiting the Pyramids of Giza, the Sistine Chapel in Rome or the Great Wall of China, they tell exciting tales of exploration, discovery and travel and you know how it will change your life, make you a better person, expand your world view, and who knows, maybe you’ll get a tan, learn a language or even fall in love in the process. Isn’t it time to finally see what everyone is freaking-out about??


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