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Teaching Abroad – Is it Right for You?

teaching abroadA quick Google search about teaching abroad will give you all kinds of reasons why you should do it. But no need to waste your time Googling – I have a list for you here:

Benefits of Teaching Abroad

  • Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience
  • Quickly and easily explore new countries that are located near your host country
  • Experience a new culture and possibly even learn a new language
  • Make money while you indulge in your adventurous side
  • Add “international work experience” to your resume
  • Many schools pay for your travel and housing expenses
  • Make a difference globally
  • Grow as a person
  • Take advantage of a great job market – You’re in high demand!

Regardless of how wonderful teaching abroad may be, as with everything, there are also difficulties and obstacles that some people may not be willing to face. Now that you know some of the main benefits of teaching abroad, let’s see if it’s really right for you.

Things to Consider Before Teaching Abroad

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you start to pack your bags and say “yes” to teaching abroad:

1. Are you ready and willing to leave your current life behind?

This is probably the hardest part of teaching abroad. You can only take with you what will fit in your suitcase. That means no significant other, no children, no pets, no favorite coffee shop….you get the picture. Are you willing to leave all of your most-loved people, places, and things behind in order to take on this new journey? Think back to some times when you were away from your normal lifestyle for a while. How did it make you feel? Now magnify that feeling by 1,000. Is that something you can handle?

2. Do you adapt well to change?

Pretty much everything will seem different to you when you’re teaching abroad. A different culture brings different people, different customs, and different expectations. Can you adjust your “normal” habits and lifestyle to fit in with a new normal?

3. How picky are your taste buds?

This may seem like a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but if you’re a picky eater you may end up miserable in a teaching abroad position. Sure, you’ll have access to some foods that satisfy your cravings, but after a while you will likely grow very tired of your limited options. If food is important to you, stop and really think about this issue.

4. Are you physically able to teach abroad?

Schools overseas can be much different from what you’re used to. You may be standing for longer periods of time, or you might be literally chasing children around the classroom all day. If structure and organization are not a top priority at your new school, you’ll likely be under a lot more physical stress than you’re used to.

5. Are you a social person?

Now that you’re living in an entirely different country, you’ll have no choice but to make new friends or become a lonely old hermit. If you’re not a social person, you’ll likely struggle with this quite a bit and it won’t take long for homesickness to hit.

To Teach Abroad or not to Teach Abroad?

Expat Focus also provides some common misconceptions about teaching abroad that are worth looking into before making your decision.

If after reading all of this you’re still confident about teaching abroad, then it’s likely a great fit for you. Many teachers love the experience and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Others regret taking the position soon after setting foot in their new homes. All of these people are great resources that can help you with your decision.

Do you have any experience teaching abroad? If so, please share!

P.S. Even if teaching abroad is not a good fit for you, there are still plenty of traveling opportunities for teachers. Schedule a class trip with CE Tours today!

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