Work & Travel – How Teaching ESL Abroad Allows You To See The World
It is never too late to begin planning for your next adventure overseas. If you are an individual seeking to experience new cultures, make real connections with new people, and perhaps earn and save a little cash along the way, then teaching ESL abroad is the way to go! Teaching ESL abroad is an opportunity that most instructors fail to explore during their educational careers, but it can be a gratifying and unique experience. Education is not only a noble career for those teaching, but can be equally beneficial for your students’ chances of success later on in life. English has proven to be the primary medium of international media, business, and culture and perhaps this is why English instructors are in high demand around the world.
Teaching abroad usually is accompanied with countless unique non-monetary benefits. Medical, as well as other insurance, is frequently provided by either the host nation or the school itself. Equally, airfare is often wholly or partially reimbursed by the host school and accommodation is usually offered by the school (or a stipend that equals the cost of comparable housing). English teachers working abroad often find that they have reasonably more disposable income and savings.
All this said, how does teaching ESL abroad allow you to explore and travel the world beyond just your host city or country? There are several ways in which teaching ESL will enable you to see more parts of the world. Check out our list below.
You can teach anywhere around the world
Many people, including me, would want to travel beyond the routine of their ordinary lives to get out and explore the world. Teaching ESL abroad is arguably one of the few professions out there that give you the opportunity to explore the world while still maintaining a fulfilling and stable job. On most occasions, ESL teachers working abroad stay overseas for at least six months, an arrangement that enables him or her to explore their host-nation as well as the neighboring countries.
From countries in South America to those in Asia to Eastern Europe, you have a whole host of possible destinations to explore while teaching ESL. Chile, in particular, is a popular outdoor-lovers’ paradise and has become one of South America’s leading destinations for teaching ESL abroad. Chile is the ultimate traveler’s dream; not only does it offers you the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of your host nation, but you will also equally have easy access to the neighboring South American nations such as Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. Similarly, Asia is full of neighboring countries, a factor that has made it a hub for travel. While here, you’ll have the chance to visit China, South Korea, Japan, and the Southeast Asia loop!
You can travel during holidays
Apart from learning more about yourself through your travels and cross-cultural exchanges, teaching overseas also improves your social as well as communication skills. Oftentimes, the peculiarities of your immediate culture are better put into perspective in the context of a completely foreign culture, allowing you to better understand who you are and why you do a lot of the things that you do. This type of experience will also improve your resume, demonstrating that you are not afraid of taking risks and you are highly adaptable as well as a self-sufficient individual.
When you teach English abroad, there are lots of holidays to hoist the anchor and set sail. From teaching at training centers, public schools, or international schools, you are sure to find that there are plenty of holidays (the majority paid) that allow you to take off from the daily grind and ease into weeks of exciting travel. Chinese New Year in China or the Tet holiday in Vietnam often means teachers have at least 3-4 weeks of paid vacation at once. Take advantage of the holiday season in your foreign country to travel, explore the world and learn new things!
You can travel on money you saved during the school season
ESL teachers abroad enjoy a relatively low cost of living. For instance, if you want to teach ESL in China, schools usually cater entirely for your accommodation and outdoor vendors are known to sell food at relatively lower prices. Simply put, food and housing are very affordable for the teacher abroad. Depending on where you are teaching, ESL teachers often can save up to half of their salary (albeit not a 6-figure salary), but money that can be put towards budget travel nonetheless. You can use this saved money to fund your travels across the neighboring countries and explore the world that you otherwise would not have had the opportunity amidst your 9-to-5.
You have access to new cities and states that may only be a short flight or train ride away
If you are working in an office in a large country such as America, the chances are high that you are not getting enough time to travel overseas. However, by teaching English in some parts of Asia, you’ll get your fair share of travel opportunities. The fact is that, due to the simple geography, international travel within the Asian continent is practically effortless. In fact, in most locations in the Latin America, Asia and some parts of Europe, you are less than a 2-hour flight away from being in another country! It’s simply far cheaper and easier to visit foreign nations while teaching English abroad.
What’s more, many foreign English teachers have extremely flexible schedules with an excellent bit of vacation period, and this allows them to visit their surrounding countries with much ease. If you have ever dreamed of traveling, but excuses always get in your way, now is the perfect time to travel by teaching ESL abroad!
The Bottom Line
The potential benefits of teaching ESL in a foreign land are seemingly endless. Not only does it give you an opportunity to experience new cultural perspectives, but it also allows you to make a somewhat significant amount of extra cash, make new friends and, most importantly, it allows you to see and explore the world.
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