When you or your friends talk about teaching English as a Foreign Language, usually the timeline is now, the present. However, the whole world was in for a shocker and we saw our travel plans gone in a flash in 2020. While right now may not be the best time to find a job teaching English abroad, what we can say is that it is always a good time to get TEFL-certified and ready to get up and go. Even though it might be tricky to find a job in another country right now, there is a good chance you can teach English wherever you are as you can always teach online. When 2021 comes, you will be ready, and all sorted out for a TEFL adventure abroad. Need more convincing? Here is why you should teach English abroad in 2021.
Travel, travel, travel
Probably the number one reason people want to teach English as a Foreign Language is to travel. As the much-quoted saying goes – the world is your oyster. Other than the fact that you can teach English in practically any country, living in a country, gives you ample opportunity to travel to nearby destinations on weekends or during holidays. Let us look at an example. I can be in 5 countries in 1 day. Yes, you read it right – 5 countries. I can drive from Barcelona, Spain, to France, to Belgium, The Netherlands and finally to Luxembourg in a day. Yes, in a day. I will use up my 24 hours, but this travel plan is doable. This is just one of the many travel feats, adventures we dream of when we think of teaching abroad.
When most of us have had to stay home for the longest time in 2020, the year 2021 will finally give us the chance to travel again. When this time comes, we must be ready to pack up that suitcase, our Trinity College CertTESOL certificate neatly packed away and ready to work and live abroad.
Money, money, money
Many teach abroad for the money. Reasons vary. It could be to pay off your student loan, earn the money you need to sustain the life you want to live or maybe even to send money back home to your family.
Depending on where you teach, as a TEFL teacher you can either earn good money or earn enough for you to travel and live the in the city of your choice. You may work as a freelancer on an hourly rate or as an employee in a school or language centre on a fixed salary with benefits. There are also opportunities to earn as an English teacher giving private lessons or after-school activities. In some school contracts, accommodations may be included in your salary package. If you happen to work for international organisations, you could also spend some time in other countries outside of where you are a permanent resident. How many jobs do you know that basically pay you to travel the world?
Travel broadens your horizons
Travelling and living in a foreign country are good in many ways. Travelling alone or with family or friends, living in a foreign city will boost your confidence, make you enjoy your freedom and thrive on the responsibility of living independently, outside of your home country. Living in a foreign city will expose you to different cultures, ideas, beliefs, customs, traditions, food, which in turn will make you more broad-minded and well-rounded. And guess what? You will be great on any general knowledge trivia quiz team!
Expand your network
It is always best to have good connections and know the right people, right? Many times, it is not what you know but who you know and the connections you have. As a TEFL/TESOL teacher, you meet new people, make connections, expand your network professionally and personally. As you travel the world, you can live the life you have always dreamt of, you will make new friends and connections from all over the world and all of these new friends and professional colleagues could come in handy in the future.
Top 3 Tips to Make Friends While Abroad
As an EFL/ESL teacher, you find yourself upskilled in many ways, some totally unrelated to teaching. Being a teacher will give you a crash learning course on life skills, time management skills, public speaking skills, professionalism, diplomacy, and people management skills. You will polish up and maybe even become an expert on your Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Skype or Zoom skills. The use of interactive technologies will be part of your teaching repertoire and all these skills will be useful in your TEFL career. These skills are also transferrable and useful if you ever change careers and move on to another field.
Learn a language: Bonjour, Hola, Zdravstvuyte, Nǐn hǎo, Salve, Konnichiwa, GutenTag, Olá
A great way to upskill yourself is by learning the language of the country you live in. Other than the obvious fact that being able to speak the local languages helps you fit in and settle faster, being multilingual has been proven to have many benefits for the individual. Being multilingual also helps you with logical thinking, reasoning and problem-solving. In addition to all these, many employers have a clear preference for candidates who can speak more than one language so this will also look great on your CV/resume.
Living abroad, teaching English, working in different cultural environments may seem like lots of fun. However, make no mistake as TEFL/TESOL is also challenging. As a TEFL/TESOL teacher, you will learn how to plan lessons, develop courses, materials, manage classrooms and organise curriculum changes and plans. On top of the professional development you will gain, living and working in a foreign country will teach you flexibility and adaptability. There are not many jobs that will give you the situations and experiences which will require you to be independent and flexible as a TEFL teacher in a foreign country. As 2020 has shown us, our ability to cope with change, to adapt to various circumstances has made sustainability possible.
Make a difference
Many of us go into teaching English to be able to make a difference in this world we live in. We do not want to make a difference just for one but for hundreds, maybe even thousands of lives! We could find ourselves teaching in a Southeast Asian country where our students are young children ever so willing to learn. You come out of these classes feeling so satisfied that your “kids” loved your class. Being able to speak English is a necessity in today’s world; being able to speak English opens doors to opportunities and possibilities that might not be possible otherwise. Being able to teach your students to speak English, means that you can be sure your job is a meaningful one. As you go on with the English classes you give, you will see their English is improving and this tells you that somehow you are making a difference in their lives. To some of us, there is no price to this satisfaction.
If you are thinking of a career change, maybe on your gap year or just about to start your career, then you could be thinking of doing something different with your life. If this sounds like you, then you should consider a TEFL course and teaching English abroad. If you want that TEFL experience and you are investing serious time, effort, and money on a TEFL certificate, go only for the best. If you want an Online or maybe a face to face course, what will count is the TEFL certificate that you get. There are not many jobs in the market that will give you the wonderful experiences and opportunities that you will attain when you teach abroad.
Time flies, soon it is 2021, soon after 2022, and at a blink of an eye, another year will have passed. Do not delay any longer: check out our Online Trinity College CertTESOL course and begin your journey towards your future teaching English abroad.