Teaching English Abroad: 5 Things to Consider First

teaching_abroadWhether you’re a recent college graduate or you’re simply someone who is looking for a bit of a change from your current way of life, have you ever considered teaching English in another country? Although initially, it might seem like a bit of an extreme answer to a career transition, the reality is that there are a lot of benefits that come with doing it. For one thing, it can introduce you to a new culture. It’s a great way to network. And, it can oftentimes presents you with opportunities that you wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise.

If this sounds like something that you would be interested in seriously considering, there are a few things that you should think about first. Therefore, we’ve enclosed five questions that can help you to decide if teaching abroad is truly something that would be a good fit for you.

Are you qualified? Before anything else, the first thing that you need to think about is if you have the qualifications to teach abroad. Although it depends on which country that you desire to go to, it’s best if you first start by having a college degree. From there, you also need to become TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certified. You can learn more about what is required in order to earn these various certifications by going to TEFL Online and putting “get certified online” in the search field.

Where do you want to go? After getting the education and certifications that you need, it’s then time to put some serious thought into where you want to go. Aside from your interest in a particular culture, there are other factors to consider. For instance, if you want to earn a decent amount of money while teaching, Asia is a good place to go. On the other hand, if you desire a lot of adventure, consider the Middle East. Just remember that you’ll be spending a significant amount of time wherever you’re headed and so it’s important to do a lot of research beforehand. This brings us to our next point.

Can you commit for at least a year? Most teaching programs are going to look for you to commit for at least a year, so that’s something else that you should strongly consider before signing up to teach abroad. If you’re not totally sure this is something that you’re ready for, one thing that you might want to do is go on vacation to a place that you are thinking about for a couple of weeks. If you really enjoy yourself, that can help you to decide to take the next step.

Do you want to learn about another culture? Say that you’re seriously considering teach English in Brazil. Being that it’s a different culture, this means that you need to also think about the fact that you’ll be around individuals who not only speak a different language but who also embrace life in a way that in some ways is quite different from yours. Remember, teaching abroad is about teaching others English but it’s also about adapting to their culture too.

Is it worth the lifestyle change? Although teaching abroad can truly be a life-changing experience that you will value for years to come, you do need to keep in mind that it’s also a big lifestyle shift. You will be away from family and friends for several months and you’ll have to adjust to things being different from what you’re accustomed to. But if you’re up for the challenge, it truly can be one of the best decisions that you’ll ever make. Just ask the hundreds of people who do it!

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