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5 Reasons Why You Should Teach English Abroad
Written by: Felicia Braverman
Last Updated: June 2, 2021
No matter what phase of life you’re in, International TEFL Academy certifies people of all ages and backgrounds to teach English as a foreign language around the world and online, and assists in helping our teachers find English teaching jobs all over the world. So, if you are looking for options to expand your horizons both personally and professionally, you make be asking "should I teach English abroad?" Well, here are a few reasons why teaching English overseas might be the right decision for you.
1. TEFL is a growing industry with a lot of opportunities for English teachers
According to the British Council, approximately 2 billion people worldwide are using and learning English. People all over the globe seek to learn English to enhance their professional and educational opportunities. As an English teacher, you can make a difference and help them realize their goals. In most countries, the demand for English language instruction far outstrips the supply of qualified English teachers, especially native speakers. With an accredited TEFL certification, native or fluent teachers can realistically gain employment teaching English in up to 50 countries abroad, even without a college degree or prior teaching experience. In addition there thousands of opportunities for teaching English online, which is one of the fastest-growing sectors of international education, especially in wake of COVID-19, when virtual education because a necessity across the globe. Even during periods of economic uncertainty, demand for English language education is so high that there are always teaching jobs available overseas and online.
2. Teaching English abroad will give you valuable international work experience to build your resume.
Just before I decided to teach English in Argentina, I was debating on taking a job right out of college in fear of not having any other offers come my way – but I’m so happy I didn’t let that fear talk me out of this amazing life adventure. Professional jobs aren’t going anywhere - they will be here when you get back. In fact, I felt much more marketable as an employee once I decided to enter the corporate world because I was able to put my professional experience as a teacher, and more importantly, my international experience on my resume.
Even if you don't go into education as a long-term career, teaching English abroad will enhance your resume and skills in areas like group management, communications and organizational skills. You will prove to future employers your ability to adapt to a new environment, work across cultural & linguistic barriers, and to stretch yourself beyond your "comfort zone." You will also have a great opportunity to learn a foreign language.
In addition, your teaching abroad experience will set you apart from the crowd and provide a great topic of conversation with your future employers once you get back home to enter the workforce!
Bottom line: in the globalized economy of the 21st-century international work experience such as teaching English abroad is like gold on your resume.
3. Teaching English abroad will improve your chances for enrollment in elite graduate school programs
If you're considering entering a graduate school program, bear in mind that most admissions officers at top professional schools say that "real-world experience" outside of the classroom enhances an applicant's chances of being accepted. Again, international experience is especially valued as it proves your ability to adapt, take on new challenges outside of your comfort zone, and prove you have initiative.
From a financial perspective, some of our teachers even teach English abroad - particularly in regions like Asia & the Middle East - so they can save for their Master’s degree. There is even the option to get your Master’s degree online now from many universities, which gives you the chance to achieve your goals of earning an advanced degree, all while seeing the world and getting paid to teach English abroad.
4. Teaching English abroad is a great way to spend a gap year
Taking a "gap year" between academic college years or between degrees to explore new endeavors has become increasingly popular in recent years and teaching English offers a wide variety of opportunities both in volunteering and paid positions.
5. You can earn good money and pay down student loans while teaching English abroad
If you are going to college or have a college degree, chances are that you have some amount of student debt. In countries like South Korea, UAE, or China, teachers can save anywhere from $1,000 - $2,000/month because many of your basic living costs are covered (housing, flights, bills). This gives you the chance to not only save money, but you can chip away at your student debt at the same time. To learn more, read: I Have Student Loans - How Can I Teach English Abroad?
Why is teaching English abroad important?
According to the British Council, approximately 2 billion people worldwide are using and learning English. People all over the globe seek to learn English to enhance their professional and educational opportunities. As an English teacher, you can make a difference and help them realize their goals.
Why teach English abroad?
Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) abroad provides English speakers from all backgrounds with opportunities to get paid to live in a foreign country. You will be able to get paid to make a difference in the lives of your students, travel the world, and gain international work experience that will boost your resume whether or not you make teaching your long-term career.
Why do you want to teach English abroad?
Do you want to learn a new language? Make new friends from other cultures? See great landmarks and stunning natural beauty? What about feeling the satisfaction of making a positive impact on the lives of your students? The reasons to teach English abroad will be different for all of us, so think about to yourself "why do I want to teach English abroad."
ITA alumni share some of their own motivations for taking the plunge and heading overseas to teach English:
"I have always wanted to travel and "see the world" but I was never able to really do it. I have traveled to Europe, but I have never been anywhere else due to time and financial restrictions. So, I decided that teaching abroad would be a great way to see part of the world that I had not seen before." - Michelle Hermes, 57, from Washington, D.C. - teaching English in South Korea.
"I decided to teach abroad because I wanted to be a teacher, but not in a regular public school setting. I majored in English and found that I had a passion for linguistics and the study of languages, and I decided to travel to a foreign country and share that passion with others." - Jamie Bennett, 22, from Detroit, Michigan - teaching English in China.
"I decided to teach abroad because I wanted to learn a new language, to experience a new culture, and to see the world. I have always been a wanderer so this field was perfect for me." - Jacob Poulos, 27, from Frankenmuth, Michigan - teaching English in Mexico.
After graduating from Texas State with a Teacher Certification, Felicia Braverman taught English in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Taipei, Taiwan. Before joining International TEFL Academy in 2013, Felicia ran an international recruiting company for teachers. With more than 10 years of experience in the fields of teaching English abroad & TEFL certification, she is a verified expert who has published many articles on various facets of teaching overseas.
Want to Learn More About Teaching English Abroad?
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