By: Olivia Flores
I think a lot of U.S. Americans see teaching abroad as a young-adult, one-year phase. You go, take pictures, relax, and reluctantly post about coming back to the “real world.” And although teaching abroad may very well include a lot of those things (especially way too many pictures), it shouldn’t be something we discredit as frivolous or irrelevant. Teaching abroad is an investment in yourself and your community--a valuable experience not to be taken lightly. However, with most of my friends graduating from medical school and getting accepted to PhD programs, it was difficult even for me to feel like I was moving forward, taking real steps towards a worthwhile future, while abroad and away from my community in Chicago. Without the security of a new degree title and even a steady American income, I admit I was worried to continue living abroad. But I had more compelling reasons to stay.