You’ve been eyeing an opportunity to jet overseas for a teaching stint and wonder if it’s a good move at this point in your life and career. Packing up and moving to China or the Middle East can be daunting, but you’ll likely find that the experience will be incredibly rewarding and propel your personal growth. Why teach abroad? Here are five reasons to add to your list.
Why You Should Teach English Abroad
1. You become immersed in a new culture
If you’ve always been the curious type, love to learn foreign languages, and find chatting with new people comes easily, you’ll love the opportunities that teaching abroad provides. Unlike a quick trip to a foreign country, living and teaching abroad means you can fully immerse yourself in the local culture, participate in unique traditions, and make local friends. You’ll find that your experiences teaching abroad will give you a depth of cultural knowledge and understanding you may not have received otherwise.
2. You gain a global work perspective
If your future plans include working for a company with a presence beyond the United States, a teaching abroad experience gives you an advantage over others in your industry. Your future employers know that you are comfortable adapting to cultural norms to make clients feel appreciated, understood, and part of your team.
3. You can pause and reflect
We all have moments in our lives that feel transitional. After graduating from college, leaving an entry-level job, or accepting an early retirement package, try a contract as an English as a second language (ESL) teacher. While engaging in a rewarding experience, you can think about your greater purpose and decide where your path will lead next. You may find that teaching English abroad is your true passion!
4. You can polish your skills
Of course, heading to a country that speaks a language you’re trying to perfect makes sense, but you can also fine-tune other hobbies and goals. Spend time in India to deepen your yoga practice. Venture to China to finish your graduate school research project about Asian tech and industry. Teach in Saudi Arabia to broaden your knowledge base before applying for that Middle Eastern foreign correspondent position.
5. You can give back to an area in need
Many communities have a shortage of high-quality teaching professionals. When you take the jump and move abroad to teach, you get to work with students that come from very diverse backgrounds. Your native English speaking skills and experiences will inspire and fuel the learning experiences of students in low-income regions that desperately want to learn more about the world beyond their local areas. For many of these students, learning English can be all they need to make a positive impact on an international scale.
Teach abroad experiences benefit both you and those you serve through growth and enrichment. If you’d like to learn more about teaching English abroad, browse our list of current job openings to explore your love of travel and education.