For some, the question is not why but why not. Indeed, for those with a desire to travel and explore new cultures, the question “why teach abroad?” isn’t really a question at all. After all, the decision to teach English abroad can lead to the experience of a lifetime – and travel isn’t even the half of it. While many international educators are in fact the jetsetting adventurers seen in popular culture, every teacher is different and their reasons to teach abroad are as unique as they are. If you are wondering why teach English abroad, however, here are some of the most common reasons:
1. Living Abroad > Traveling Abroad
Some people pay thousands of dollars for a six-day visit to the same countries you can live and work in. So if you love to travel, why not stay awhile? After all, a six month or full-year assignment to teach English abroad will allow you to really stretch your legs. In fact, teaching abroad is one of the few jobs that will allow you to travel that while maintaining a stable, fulfilling job.
2. Teaching Abroad = Immersion
In much the same way the traditional vacationers get only a short amount of time in exotic destinations, they also only get a brief opportunity to understand what makes those cultures truly unique. By contrast, working and living in a new place will allow you to become a part of the society you are living in, enabling you to better explore new cultures and make new friends at your own pace.
3. Professional Development in an International Setting
Teaching abroad will allow you to become a citizen of the world in more ways than one. Indeed, in addition to discovering the new lands and cultures at your doorstep, teaching abroad will also all you to better understand your own potential. On a personal level, living and working overseas can improve your communication and cross-cultural skills while giving you the opportunity to learn a new language. On a professional level it can beef up your resume with the kind international experience that offers tangible proof to future employers that you have what it takes to succeed.
4. Pay and Benefits
In addition to the experiential rewards, teaching English abroad also has tangible rewards. Although pay and benefits can vary from country to country, many teachers earn more than what they would make teaching in the United States. At the same time, when considering why teach abroad, you should also consider non-monetary benefits. Because some programs cover airfare, accommodations, and medical insurance, many English teachers living abroad often find that they have considerably more disposable income (and a considerably higher quality of living) than they did before they set out. In fact, most teachers earn enough money to enjoy their free time and indulge themselves during winter and summer breaks.
5. You’re already qualified to do it!
The demand for those interested in teaching English abroad is at an all-time high and, best of all, as a native English speaker you may be already qualified to do it. While the best jobs do, of course, go to those with formal certifications, training schools can train you in as little as one or two months to be a professional English teacher. Moreover, because few schools require previous teaching experience, teaching English abroad can be the perfect way to start a new career.
So, as you can see, there are many reasons to consider this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Don’t miss your chance – it is a big beautiful world and there is so much out there waiting to be discovered!