Should Teaching English Be Your New Expat Career?

Posted on 03/13/2014 ~ Categorized as Work
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Blake is Chief Content Officer for EscapeArtist. He lives with his wife and three sons in the Deep South of the United States.

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Should Teaching English Be Your New Expat Career?

Whether you’ve been a teacher all your life or are still an aspiring educator, taking a teaching position overseas is a life and career changing opportunity.  Plus, if you like to travel and have considered living abroad, then you might be a perfect candidate.

Teaching Options Abroad

As more and more developing countries are entering the international market, they need to sharpen the skills that will prepare them and their children for the world.  This means that there is an ever-increasing demand for teachers, both for adults and kids.

These English-speaking instructors are needed all over the globe for every subject possible from math to sociology.   However, one of the easiest positions to get due to demand and the simplicity of its requirements is teaching English abroad, also known as Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) or Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

For most countries, the only requirements to become a TESL instructor are a bachelor’s degree (in virtually any major) and for English to be your native language.  However, for some locations in Southeast Asia and South America, the only prerequisite is being able to fluently read and write in English.

While no actual teaching experience is needed for many beginners’ positions, getting a TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door.  These courses are offered online, in local colleges, and often as independent trade schools.  Quite often, these schools will have job placement assistance in addition to their classes.  Of course, before enrolling in any of program, ensure that their certifications are well-received in the TEFL community and that their graduates are satisfied with the resulting employment opportunities.

Reasons to Teach Overseas

Becoming an instructor abroad has many benefits, from both personal and professional perspectives.  On the personal front, there is the excitement and challenge of living in a new country.  You’ll have the opportunity to learn a foreign language and be immersed into a completely different culture from your own.  The best part is that while experiencing this, it’s very likely that you’ll be making decent money and have your housing expenses paid for.

Professionally, working and teaching in a new culture will help you develop priceless insight – that can only be learned under such circumstances – which you can carry throughout any career path.  Plus, international experience on your resume is typically a big advantage in any job market.

Finally, one of the greatest reasons to get a teaching job abroad is that it will allow you to make a genuine difference and connection in the lives of your students.  If you’ve been looking for a positive transformation in your career, then teaching overseas could be your next big move.


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