For many people, traveling the world is at the top of the list of their life’s goals. So many of us are eager to experience all that the world has to offer and are forever hungry for adventure and the excitement of experiencing unfamiliar territory, longing to become immersed in a different way of life. However, traveling often comes with a hefty price tag, whether it be an expensive airfare or paying for the cost of hotels and hostels, it’s difficult to imagine a great trip somewhere far away without spending a significant amount of money.
That’s where teaching English overseas can become a great option to travel the world whilst earning a salary simultaneously. TEFL allows the individual to become totally immersed in whichever culture they prefer to experience, working alongside and getting to know local people and like-minded travelers whilst earning funds. TEFL provides teachers with the luxury of spending their free time exploring the beauty, culture and exciting thrills each country has to offer whilst gaining invaluable teaching experience to carry forward in their career.
Organizing the adventure
Travelling and planning holidays require a great deal of organization. Flights, accommodation, budgeting, choice of location, planning activities to make the most of every second of a trip before its inevitably time to return home.
TEFL is not like that. It allows travel-hungry individuals much more time to experience life in another country. For example, teachers working in warm, beautiful countries such as Thailand can work during the week and spend every weekend for 6 months, a year or even more enjoying tropical beaches and exploring Thai culture. TEFL teachers in Japan and South Korea can spend their free time experiencing far eastern sights, which most people only dream about experiencing. Teaching and working in a country provide a person with so much more time to become immersed in a country’s way of life and broaden their horizons as an individual. Consider having a look at TEFL Org in Ireland or the UK to see the full range of positions available before making your decision on which destination to go to first.
As well as this, being based in a country for work allows travel-hungry TEFL teachers the opportunity to hop between nearby countries, which could be difficult to do from their home country. Some schools will provide paid holidays throughout the year, which allows teachers time to make the most of their time in different parts of the world. For example, for people eager to experience the countries and way of life of Southeast Asia, many schools in Vietnam and Thailand provide paid holidays for all of their foreign teachers. These countries often have options for cheap travel and easy routes into nearby countries such as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia, either by air or other cheaper forms of transport.
How can I ‘settle in?’
Some employers and recruiters offer free advice and help teachers find accommodation or provide a complimentary apartment for teachers to live in for the duration of their contract, which can make travel plans less stressful for prospective teachers. They might also arrange airport pick-ups for teachers and people often find meeting a friendly face who will navigate the way when they arrive reassuring after a long-haul flight to an unfamiliar country. Thus, some organizational worries are taken away for the individual when first begin their ESL journey in a new country to teach which can take some of the worries and stress away for people traveling to a totally different and unknown culture.
Which package to choose?
Lots of countries provide generous salary packages and offer employees great opportunities to save money whilst working abroad. For example, in countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, teachers are often provided with accommodation and a free flight whilst enjoying generous pay packages which can be much higher than those in their home country. This provides an opportunity to save a great deal of money, allowing an individual to experience life in another country whilst knowing that money is building up in the bank for the future. Of course, saving great amounts of money whilst working abroad is a great way of funding further travel to countries which may have previously been inaccessible. In addition to this, some TEFL teachers working in developing countries may find that their salary is generous in comparison to the cost of living which can allow opportunities to live well and save money.
In addition to this, TEFL teaching can be a great start or addition to a person’s career. This type of teaching does not require a lengthy 2-year teacher training course. There is often no experience required to teach TEFL. Lots of employers only expect teachers to have a bachelors’ degree, which makes teaching TEFL a perfect opportunity for people looking for adventure after graduation or later in life. When it’s time to move on and teachers have completed their contract, TEFL teaching provides teachers with a wealth of teaching experience to add to their CV which many employers value highly, alongside a wealth of interesting experiences to talk about which others may have never had.
As well as this, a great part of traveling is meeting new people and it’s great to work alongside local people as a TEFL teacher. Teachers are able to find out a great deal more about a country and culture by talking to those who are native to a country and are able to get to know people from a different perspective other than only as a tourist. As well as this, a great benefit of teaching TEFL is working alongside other TEFL teachers who share the same passion for traveling the world and often have the best advice to share about traveling a country as they’ve more than likely lived there for a while. Often the best travel advice comes from local people or those who have lived and worked in a country, as they have knowledge that tourists will unlikely be able to attain.
Making new friends for life…
Alongside working together, TEFL teachers often travel together and teaching can be a great way to make friends in a foreign country. Understandably, relocating across the world to a totally different culture and environment can be a little daunting. Working in schools and language centers often comes with a whole new group of people to get to know who often share common values, share advice and are also eager to travel. Fellow TEFL teachers who like to travel can provide a great source of inspiration for destinations unknown and like to share their experiences with people who have the same passions as they do.
Of course, teaching young children, teenagers and adults is a great way of learning about new cultures as we are able to experience our similarities and differences and knowledge as people of different nationalities. Teaching English can be life-changing as it has the ability to make a positive difference in a person’s life by expanding their knowledge. When progress is made, this can be massively rewarding and can provide an individual with an immense sense of gratification as well as memories that will be cherished for the rest of a person’s life. Former TEFL teachers often talk of their years abroad as being their most worthwhile experiences and almost always highly recommend teaching as the best way to travel the world.