Looking for the "Perfect" TEFL Escape?
Then Perhaps Teaching Abroad is Not for You
By Michael Kunik
I’m writing this article during a hotly contested US Presidential election cycle. At this moment, it seems like I hear a variation of this phrase, almost daily: “If (X-Candidate - Trump, Hillary or whoever) becomes the President, I’m totally leaving the country!”
I get it. Presidential elections here can be an emotional experience, and one way people vent their feelings around the idea of their candidate losing is by threatening leave for a place that will strongly align with their moral or political principles. Well, how many people actually end up following through on those threats? Essentially, no one. You know why?
Well, most of them probably never meant it in the first place, but the truth is that if you looking for the “perfect” escape - a paradise of milk and honey (but no bureaucracy!) - you’ll never find it! It doesn't matter whether you are escaping an unfortunate political result or seeking an international adventure teaching English abroad. Nearly any country that you may consider moving to will force you to confront certain challenges and even unpleasant realities that can be a downright pain in the rear end. It's just the reality of moving abroad, or life in general, but that doesn't mean the endeavor is not worth undertaking - not at all.
If you are holding off on getting started with your TEFL Certification until you’ve found the perfect teaching market, you’ll never go. If perfect is your goal, you probably won't find it.
However, if your goal is to have a genuinely authentic experience, living comfortably in a foreign culture that will broaden your horizons personally and professionally, then teaching abroad just might be “perfect” for you.