Teaching English as a Foreign Language

6 Reasons to Work Abroad Before You Die

by Honor Baldry

Forget finding true love, climbing Everest and/or saving the world – here’s why are six reasons why working abroad should be number one on your bucket list!

1. You’ll get paid to travel

We’ve all been there – nose pressed up against the window, dreaming of somewhere a little less grey and drizzly, but alas, that pesky bank balance says no. The good news is that working abroad is a great alternative to remortgaging your house, selling your body on the street and/or begging your parents (delete as applicable) to fund your adventures abroad – it might not be a free ride (if you’re planning on teaching abroad, you’ll still need to get a bit of change together for your TEFL course and flights), but because you’ll be earning while you’re overseas, you’ll soon be able to make back that initial outlay – and still have some change left over to explore the country you’re living in.

2. You’ll meet new people

Teach English in a classroom abroadLet’s be honest now – you can never really have enough friends (unless you’re some kind of global superstar with an entourage that would put P Diddy to shame – then you’re probably sorted). And working abroad’s a fantastic way to make friends from all over the world, who you wouldn’t have met had you stayed at home – fellow expats, neighbours, colleagues. Hey, you might even meet the love of your life, like Robert Clarke did.

3. You’ll really experience another culture

A lot of people go travelling to experience another culture, but just end up sightseeing and lounging around in youth hostels with the same kind of people they hang out with back home. Not so when you work abroad – because you’ll be living and working with local people, you won’t be on the outside taking snapshots to post on Facebook, you’ll be part of the picture yourself.

4. You’ll gather a lifetime’s worth of awesome stories

In my time editing i-to-i’s TEFL community Chalkboard, I’ve heard of people who’ve battled students who snack on teaching resources, tackled exploding toilets and even planted a few trees. So, if you feel your life needs a bit of extra spice, living abroad could be just the seasoning you need!

5. You’ll get valuable work experience

Silliness aside, working abroad can be pretty handy in the long-run, especially if you’re teaching. You’ll boost your leadership, organisational and communication skills, plus get loads of lovely work experience to put on your resume. So, when you get home, you won’t just be another bum who’s spent the last year or two loafing around the world.

6. You’ll have the chance to learn a new language

You don’t have to speak another language to work abroad (many jobs just want you for your English skills), but it’s certainly a great opportunity if you do want to brush up on your existing language skills, or even get to grips with a totally new language. Try a language swap, or wangle free language lessons as part of your job contract.

Want to know how to get there? Download a free copy of the eBook, TEFL Uncovered: How to Teach Your Way Abroad with TEFL. It’ll give you the lowdown of where you could be working, how to get there, and what to do once you’re in the classroom. Get your free copy here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/contact-tefl-team/tefl-ebook.html.

About the Author: Honor Baldry is editor of i-to-i’s TEFL community Chalkboard and has taught university students in Beijing, China. Working abroad again is still number one on her bucket list though! Visit her blog at http://www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-chalkboard/honor/

Photos courtesy of Rex Pe and Photomequickbooth

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One comment to 6 Reasons to Work Abroad Before You Die

  • Clem Robin  says:

    Hi Honor, I love this post! I think your third point ‘experience another culture’ is especially relevant for people teaching English overseas, as they get the chance to live and work alongside locals of all ages, getting a true appreciation of all tiers of the community.

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