Teaching EFL: Why You Should Teach Abroad
If you are here and found this article, chances are that you are looking for definite reasons for why you should teach abroad. As you may be aware, people choose to leave their home country and move abroad to teach English as a foreign language for all kinds of reasons.
You might find that you have finished studying at university or college and want to find a way to travel and earn money. So, why not teach English while doing that? Or, you might find yourself in a rut with your day job stifling you and secretly long for a career change and/or adventure. Other possibilities could be that you want to take a break from your life or a gap year, want to teach under different circumstances than what you experience in your life as a teacher to fifth graders, or perhaps you want to find yourself.
Teaching English abroad can offer you an opportunity to do all of that – travel, earn money, find yourself, and so on – while also providing you with plenty of new experiences – living in a different country, learning a new language and culture, and the joys of seeing a student grasp a concept you are trying to explain or teach.
Nonetheless, if you are looking for solid reasons why you should consider teaching EFL in another country, look no further. Below, we have the top 7 reasons why you should do just that.
Reason #1: A Rewarding Experience
This might sound like a biased reason and also one from someone who has lived and taught EFL in a foreign country, but it isn’t. In living and teaching English abroad, you can find all kinds of rewarding experiences. You can find rewarding experiences in the classroom, in working with your co-teachers, in learning from the other teachers at school, learning about a new culture, sampling new food, or travelling.
Reason #2: Immersion in Another Culture
Unlike briefly visiting places, living in abroad allows you to stay in one place longer, and thus, you can find the best resources in that area – from locals who can become good friends to where to go for the best affordable meal.
Reason #3: Learn Another Language
With living and teaching abroad, it can be easy to immerse yourself in the local culture, and together with this, you can learn another language to add to your repertoire. For example, if you teach in South America, you can learn Spanish or if you already know some Spanish, practice and learn more to speak fluently. On the other hand, if you teach in China or Taiwan, you can take on the more challenging task of learning Mandarin.
Reason #4: Saving Money
Another reason for why you should teach abroad is that no matter where you go to teach English as a foreign language, you should be able to save between ±USD500 – 1 000 on average a month. So, if you have student loans that need paying off, if you want to save to fund your future travel adventures, or if you just want a nest egg, teaching English and saving money can make these things possible.
Reason #5: Travel, Travel, and More Travel
Yes, and I am not kidding. Whether you choose to teach EFL in Asia, South America or Europe, just think of all the travel you can do within that county, within the region, and then even farther away.
Reason #6: Personal Growth
Whether you are super excited to be moving to another country and teaching English or a little scared of what will be a big change in your life, by leaving behind what is familiar, you have an opportunity to redefine who you are and who you want to be. Even should that redefinition not be a motive for this big move, both living abroad and the successes and stress of teaching EFL students will help you grow personally.
Reason #7: Perspective on Life
Travelling, whether for the short term or long term (the latter living in another country for an extended period of time), has the ability to make you see the world (and life) differently and from a wider perspective than if you only live in one city/town or country for your whole life. It enables you to truly realize what you have to be thankful for and what to value.
Bonus Reason: Helping & Teaching Others
By teaching English as a foreign language, you are helping others to learn a new language, and depending on where you go to teach, your school might even have programs or ways in which you can get involved to teach English to those less fortunate, those who are unable to afford English lessons.
No matter why you are thinking of possibly pursuing a career as an EFL teacher abroad, there are many reasons that scream “YES” to make precisely this move in your life – whether you have just graduated or even if you are in your mid-thirties. As explored above for why you should teach abroad, these motives range from saving money and learning a new language and about a new culture to personal growth, an overall rewarding experience, and an opportunity to travel.
Why don’t you share some of the reasons why you are thinking of teaching EFL abroad or why you chose to do so as an established EFL teacher?
About the Author
Denine Walters currently works in the events industry and freelances as an EFL teacher, writer, and proofread/editor. Previously, she taught online English lessons to students from all around the world, and before that, she lived and taught English to young learners in Taiwan. In what free time she has, she likes to travel, watch Netflix, read, and do scrapbooking and grammar quizzes.