10 Reasons To Teach English Abroad as an English Teacher

Teach English Abroad, Travel the World and Get Paid

10 reasons teach english abroad
Are you considering teaching abroad? From traveling to gaining teaching experience, here are 10 reasons to teach English abroad

Last Updated: Jun 25, 2017

10 Reasons To Teach English Abroad as an English Teacher

Traveling is great.

Making money is great.

But when you can do BOTH?!?

All you have to do is become an ESL teacher. When you teach English abroad, you can travel the world and earn a decent ESL teacher salary while you’re doing it. How great is that?!

But it’s not just about the money and travel. Here are more reasons why you should teach English abroad.

1 Enrich your life

esl teacher

What is your biggest motivation to teach English abroad?

Like I said before, it’s not about the money.  Or it’s not about the travel. It’s about the positive, life-enriching experience you gain from it.

When you teach English abroad, it not only opens a new life chapter, but it has the power to transform your perspective on people, culture and way of life. For most people, it’s in a positive way.

It’s like a real choose your own adventure novel. You’re the main character. And there’s so many routes you can take.

2 Travel anywhere easily

ESL Job Postings by Country

Oh, that wonderful longing when you’re setting off on a well-deserved vacation.

If you’re from North America in Asia, you’ll learn quickly that it’s about 10 times easier to travel.  The transportation system is fluid in that you can go from A to B with ease.

Asia is all relatively close together making it a hub for travel. You can maximize the number of visits collecting passport stamps like it’s going out of style.  That’s just how countries are dispersed geographically in Asia.

And if you’re asking… When you teach English abroad, there are a ton of holidays to hoist the anchor and set sail. But it’s good to ask your school just how many you get before you go.

3 Earn teaching experience

esl students

When you teach English abroad, you gain teaching experience to thrive back in your home country.

Further to this, you can master time management, create amazing ESL lesson plans and hopefully obtain a passion for teaching. Teaching is a bit of a struggle to achieve complete success, but it’s all worth it in the end.

Not all things are created equal when you teach in two separate countries. For example, disciplining students is often completely different.  The curriculum sometimes is nonexistent. These two facts combined makes it challenging to gauge your success as a ESL teacher. But these ESL worksheets and ESL games can help give you quick start.

Although some countries won’t acknowledge teaching English abroad as teaching experience (such as offering a higher starting salary), it still helps get your foot in the door.  And teachers always need a bit of experience under their belt to add to their resume/CV.

4 Save a lot of money

ESL Teacher Salary

Someone, somewhere told you to teach English abroad because you can save a lot of money.

This is true.

But if your sole purpose to teach English abroad is to earn money… you’re in for a rough time

Don’t get me wrong. ESL teachers salaries are quite high, but your whole driver shouldn’t be about the money.

If you’re lucky, you can land some high paying jobs and save serious money.

5 Get culture shocked

esl class students

Instead of being terrified of cultural differences, think of culture shock as something you can embrace.

Break the mould. Open doors to new places, people and culture.  Survive unfamiliarity and feel uncomfortable.

When you get out of your happy place, you suddenly open up yourself to try new things that you wouldn’t have before.

You build real life experience.  You’re no longer a weak-willed traveler.  It’s you who sits in the driver’s seat. And it’s you who has control.

6 Spend little with a low cost of living

ESL Teacher Salary Cost of Living China

In general, ESL teachers enjoy a low cost of living when they teach English abroad.

If you want to teach English in China, schools often pay entirely for your accommodation.   With this said, don’t imagine you’ll live in luxury.  You may even have a cockroach or two in your apartment, and that’s fine.

While Thailand’s transportation costs are ridiculous cheap, living and teaching in Japan can be expensive. But you have the bigger base salary to compensate you.

Outdoor vendors sell food for cheap.  All in all, food is cheaper abroad. But be careful where you eat for your health.

All things considered, you’re living quite reasonably when you teach English abroad. It’s like you have it made in the shade.

7 Make friends all over the world

local pub asia

How awesome would it be that no matter where you went in the world, you knew someone there?  On top of that, you have a place to stay.

Meeting someone when you teach English abroad is 10 times different from travelers you meet on a trip. This is because you are sharing the same life experience as them.  You’re in the same shoes with all the same life challenges.

Every city, town and village has a local bar where ESL teachers hang out.  This is where you’re likely to meet your global friends.

With similar emotions and even a feeling of loneliness, this bonds your friendship even stronger.  And a friend in need is a friend indeed.

8 Enjoy the finest cuisine

japanese sushi

Travel across the world for the finest sushi on the planet? People will tell you that you are out of your mind!

A surefire way to enjoy the cuisine you love most is to live to the country that cooks it.

If you love the taste of sushi, imagine living in the land of the rising sun. Japan’s fish markets have the best sushi on the planet.

If you are craving spice, teaching in Korea is your ESL location. Not only are their jalapeno peppers fiery hot, but they’ll give you tens of these dishes each meal. When you’re there, taste their BBQ pork with a side of kimchi.

Eat your favorite drool-worthy cuisine everyday. There’s something that sounds satisfying about that, doesn’t it?

9 Master Another Language

esl teacher salary

That warm fuzzy feeling you get from learning another language…

With your handy phrasebook, it’s time to break out a couple of one-liners with the locals.  After a bit of practice, you’ll shed the phrasebook entirely and you’re ready to spark up a conversation. Challenge yourself and always upgrade your language skills to the next level.

Because there’s really nothing more powerful than being able to tell people exactly what you need in any ESL country you choose. Also, carving out a new set of foreign characters for your repertoire is pretty neat too.

If there’s one thing you could take home with you, it should be a whole language.

10 You have interesting stories to tell your kids

Teach English Abroad

All of a sudden, you’ve become the most interesting person at the dinner table.

You’ve got a whole list of stories to tell. It’s all about the new people you’ve met.  Exciting places you’ve been. And things you’ve seen.

But some people might tell you, “Now, what are you going to do when you’re back home?” as if it’s non-productive time spent teaching English abroad.

These are the type of people to avoid who always have something negative to say… about poltics, the weather, possible new cultures.

Of course, don’t give any type of meaningful response. But you can think this way:

Do employers not consider experience in a foreign country valuable? Of course, they do. In this situation, actions are stronger than words. When I came back from teaching English abroad, it took some time but I now work at one of the top employers in my country.

When you teach English abroad, it’s time well-spent because of the life enrichness you gain (read #1). And if you really wanted to, you can upgrade some of your skills through online courses.

Life couldn’t be any better.

Except for deciding where to go next?

What Did We Miss?

The reality is teaching English abroad is a major life change. Your classes will be challenging to keep students engaged. That’s why TEFL certification can help overcome these challenges. For example, TESOL certification and CELTA certification will make you most prepared for your first day of class.

Your decision to teach English abroad shouldn’t be made lightly. Don’t make it in a day or certainly after reading this list.

What are your priorities in life? Write a list of pros and cons.  Weigh them all in and decide.

Personally, teaching English abroad was the best decision of my life.

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