4 reasons why you should consider teaching abroad

by Lexa Pennington / Feb 09, 2013 /
Lexa Pennington's picture

For travellers, gappers, adventure-seekers or simply those looking for a change of scene, teaching abroad is an immensely fulfilling and rewarding experience, full of challenges you might not normally find in a bog-standard teaching job at home. Here are a few things to consider, if you're thinking of making the leap.

 

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/26126239@N02/7454387648/   

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/26126239@N02/7454387648/

 

1. A chance to see the world

Teaching opens up doors that might otherwise have been closed to you. It's an in-demand skill and many countries value foreign teachers. One of the most popular methods is teaching English using a TEFL or similar accreditation, which does not require multiple languages – just the right attitude. And the generous holidays, which most teachers enjoy, mean you have time to soak up the culture of your chosen country.

If you want to volunteer and make a huge difference to a community, it's best to do it through a reputable organisation like Projects Abroad. They offer a huge range of teaching programmes if you want to volunteer in Thailand or beyond.

 

2. Learn valuable skills

Teaching is an art form, and to learn it in a new and unusual environment is a challenging and rewarding approach. A baptism of fire, you will leave with the attitude: if I can do it on the side of a mountain/in a jungle/halfway around the world, I can do it anywhere!

You might find from your experience that teaching is your vocation and the skills you pick up will stay with you for life. But even if you choose not to pursue teaching as a career, it can leave you with some hugely valuable transferable skills, such as leadership, planning and organisation, time management, and interpersonal and communication skills.

 

3. A new perspective     

Spending time abroad, in whatever capacity, has the power to broaden the mind and open your eyes to a new reality you were not previously aware of.  When teaching abroad, this is amplified further.

As a teacher, you’ll grow to know your students and share in their experiences and, in the process, learn a lot about their lives, their lifestyles, their goals and desires. It might be an experience way outside of your comfort zone, but sometimes that can be a good thing. You might find yourself returning from a teaching stint abroad a different person.

 

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/puuikibeach/95692917/

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/puuikibeach/95692917/

 

4. Changing lives    

Whether you teach in a mud hut in sub-Saharan Africa or an inner-city high school in downtown Tokyo, the impact you have on your student's lives will be immeasurable. Teachers are some of the most important people in a person's development, particularly young children, and a great teacher is never forgotten. You may not be able to change the world, but if you make a positive impact on just one person's life, you're improving the world that little bit more.