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Is Teaching Abroad a Trap?

Is Teaching Abroad a Trap

The Cons of Teaching English Abroad

Working as an English teacher abroad is a challenging and rewarding career. Not only does it provide you with the opportunity to live in an exotic new country and save up money as you travel, but your pay can be quite high.

Working as an English teacher also offers plenty of opportunities for growth. Depending on where you teach and your future goals, there’s potential to gain teaching experience. But for many people, teaching abroad becomes more routine than they expected, which can lead to getting stuck in a rut.

This article is more for anyone who is starting to question their experience of teaching abroad… You might feel like you’re hitting a wall and want to know if your job is meaningful enough to stay another year. If this sounds like you, then read more to know if you should stay for just another year. And if you want to get a sense of what “teaching abroad is a trap” means, then this video can help you understand.

Can You Get Stuck in a Rut Teaching Abroad?

When people take the dive to teach abroad, a lot of people think they’re going to stay for one year… But the comfort in their lifestyle and friends makes them stay another.

Everyone says they’ll be there for just another year… Right!?!

Whatever your reason is.  Is it the laid-back environment of teaching abroad? Is it the feeling like you’re not stuck in the daily grind back home?  You either enjoy your job enough to continue or the travel opportunities, so you stick around for another year.

You’re beginning to sound like an addict?  This is how people can get stuck doing the same thing abroad. This is how teaching abroad is a trap.  Here are some of the signs you should start heading home.

Signs That You Should Start Heading Home

There are plenty of reasons to stay in the teaching position you’re in and not leave it for a change. Some people are so comfortable in their routine that they don’t want to disrupt it and that’s okay.

But as soon as you start to question if it’s time to move on to the next chapter, this might be when you should start thinking about heading home. After all, a self-realization moment of returning home can be just as hard as setting sail and teaching in another country.

It’s becoming monotonous

Even though your situation can be better mentally and financially, the monotony of your situation is something that can stray you away from teaching abroad. Whether it’s in your classroom or even in your lifestyle, this is a tell-tale sign that it might be time to head home.

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While teaching abroad can be exciting and rewarding, it can also be very monotonous. It’s hard to stay engaged in the same routine day after day in the classroom. You can try to rethink your approach or you can try to switch up your location or job title.

But if it’s the lifestyle that’s feeling monotonous, it’s mostly out of your control. I can remember after the first year, I lost some of my closest friends. Then, the year after that, I lost my even better friends. It’s moments like that when you need to rethink your situation.

There are no opportunities for career growth

Unless you want to be a teacher back home, some expats feel like their teaching experience is more of a gap in their resume.  Sure, there are some transferable skills that can help you get back into the workforce back home.

In some cases, teaching positions in other countries can provide invaluable experience that can help you stand out from the crowd, especially for teaching positions. It can also give you the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. 

But it’s the lack of opportunities for career growth with few opportunities for professional development in teaching abroad.  That’s why there are a lot of teachers who return home and feel like they are essentially starting all over in the workforce. It’s why you have to start weighing all the pros and cons of teaching abroad.

Things you can do to get out of your current rut

If you feel as though you’re stuck in a rut and you’re teaching abroad, here are some suggestions to move ahead.

  • Find a new challenge – If you’re bored with your job, look for new challenges within your same position. Find ways to grow your current role so that it’s more exciting.
  • Join a club – If you’re bored with your job, join a club outside of work that challenges you in a different way. This is also a great way to make new friends and improve your current lifestyle.
  • Volunteer – Another way to get out of your current rut is to volunteer your time. You can find many different causes that interest you and that are meaningful.
  • Get a change of scenery – If you’re in a rut and feel like you’re stagnating, you may need a change of scenery. If you’ve been working in the same job in the same place for over a year, you may never break out of the rut and it might be time to look for a new job.

Is Teaching English Abroad a Trap?

Teaching abroad is an incredible opportunity to gain new skills and experience in a new part of the world. But it can also be a trap – staying in your current job for years without growth or making a move back home.

Everybody goes to teach abroad with a purpose.  Do you want to travel?  Do you want to experience a new culture?  Do you want to gain teaching experience?  Or is it all of the above?

For most of us teaching abroad, it’s just temporary. Remember that. Once you’ve fulfilled your purpose, you should ask yourself if you’re stuck in a rut and what should be your next step forward to get out of it.

In this article, I don’t want to deter you from teaching abroad. If anything, it just goes to show how it might be one of the best life choices I’ve ever made. If you’re interested in teaching abroad, make sure to check out some of the online TEFL certification courses that are available that can help you get started.

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