Published 12th November 2015
Taking a TEFL course and becoming certified as a TEFL teacher is the first step towards starting a lifetime of adventure. The great thing about TEFL is that you can do it for as short a time or as long as you would like. Once you have the TEFL certificate, let the world be your oyster and spend hours browsing the many jobs available to you in exotic locations all around the world. Finding the job of your dreams is easy, but sometimes the adventure can be a bit more challenging than we expect. So, here are a few ways to make sure you get the most out of your TEFL experience:
Don’t be shy
Moving into a new community can be difficult, especially if you are new to the country and don’t know anyone. However, you will usually find that as soon as your neighbours find out you are the local TEFL teacher, you will become a local celebrity. Take time to greet your neighbours or people you see on a daily basis. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how people respond to friendliness.
Making friends who live near you is a great way to discover the neighbourhood and find those amazing places only the locals know about. Your school is a good place to start looking for like-minded people. There should be other foreign TEFL teachers who have lived there long enough to know where to go and what to do. Even though you may be working hard, you will have lots of time to explore your new home, and it’s always better to do it with company.
Learn the language
Do yourself a favour and try learn the local language. Even if you have no natural talent for languages, showing that you are at least trying will win you friends and fans alike. Many TEFL teachers don’t get further than hello and thank you, but even those few phrases will go far in building bridges in your new community. You may even find someone who will offer to give you lessons in exchange for English conversation!
Don’t burn yourself out
Finally, remember that your TEFL job is just that: a job. It may be overwhelming and exhausting at times, but you always need to look after yourself. Make sure you are able to maintain a balanced lifestyle and enjoy your time off. If you think about it, the reason you chose to become a TEFL teacher was probably to experience the world, so use your time to do just that!