By Dorothee Rembold
1. Travel the world
This world is just waiting for you to explore it. You may have dreamt of walking along the Great Wall of China, swimming in crystal clear water, getting used to incredibly spicy food, riding a camel, or of some other adventure. As a TEFL certified ESL teacher, you have the chance to cross all of those experiences off your bucket list.
2. Gain international experience
Employers look for people who have experienced the world, not just read about it in a textbook. So set yourself apart from other candidates. Teaching ESL abroad places you outside your comfort zone and demonstrates that you have what it takes to master these challenges.
3. Fund your adventures
ESL teachers with TEFL certification can receive generous salaries. Many jobs even include accommodation, airfare, and health insurance as part of their benefits packages. With amazing destinations in close proximity, every weekend and national holiday becomes an opportunity that others pay to experience.
4. Experience a foreign culture
As a traveler you can observe the people, enjoy the food, and visit the sights, but will you truly understand the culture? Teaching abroad gives you the chance to become part of a community. As an ESL teacher, you will interact with locals, attend ceremonies and festivals, learn about traditions and get the chance to truly experience – rather than only visit – a foreign culture.
5. Broaden your horizons
Teaching abroad will change your point of view. By immersing yourself in a foreign culture, you discover that ways of demonstrating respect, appreciation or rudeness are not universal. As Mark Twain said, “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
6. Share your language and culture
If you have ever wondered what life is like abroad, you already share something with your students: curiosity. They will want to know all about the music you listen to, the traditions you celebrate, and the language you dream in. You know more than you think, so share your language and culture to give others a glimpse of life on the other side of the world.
7. Collect stories for a lifetime
Teaching abroad will leave you with plenty of stories to share with your family and friends. Cultural differences and unexpected similarities make for enjoyable tales that will stay with you for a lifetime. It’s an unforgettable experience.
8. Learn a new language
Immersion will teach you a language faster than any language learning program. Teaching English as a foreign language gives you the unique opportunity to closely compare a foreign language to your own. As a teacher, you may be able to learn the local language from your students and colleagues.
9. Make a difference
You won’t just broaden your own horizons. Speaking English can increase a child’s chance of success, both academically and professionally, and meeting you may motivate them to explore the world themselves one day.
10. Meet new people
As a TEFL teacher, you interact with students and colleagues on a daily basis. By joining the international community of TEFL teachers, you’ll be able to meet other likeminded people and to make some amazing friends.