HOW TO HAVE FUN WHEN YOU ARE NOT TEACHING

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Being an English as a Foreign Language teacher is appealing to so many people because it is such a flexible career. Of course, it involves a bit of teaching (ok, maybe a lot of teaching) but becoming a TEFL teacher is a lifestyle choice and includes so much more than being in the classroom.

Think about it. If you’re a TEFL teacher, you’re probably in a foreign country. You are going to be working hard, but teaching is never your usual 9 to 5, so you’ll find that you’ll have free time even during the week when you are not teaching, preparing or marking – not forgetting the weekends and the holidays!

What to do in your time off?

Travel

Travel is definitely one of the major benefits of being a TEFL teacher. You’ll be living in a new city in a new country and your weekends and holidays are the perfect time to explore your new surroundings. Regardless of where you decide to have your TEFL adventure, there are bound to be new destinations close by for you to discover.

What’s more, the great thing about living in a new location is that even if you don’t have time to do a whole long trip to a faraway destination, even wandering around your local community can be an adventure.

Learn the language

If you are living in a place where you don’t speak the language, this is something that should happen naturally anyway in order for you to survive. If you find it difficult to learn a new language (because it is!) take some time to have lessons or do self-study, at least to pick up the basics.

Your local community will appreciate your efforts and when you travel there is less chance of you being ripped off because people will realise you’re not a tourist!

Make friends

Being in a new job in a new city in a new country can be a very daunting experience and there’s no reason for you to have to go through it alone. The first place to look for like-minded people you wouldn’t mind going for a beer with is wherever you are working. The teachers at your school know pretty much exactly what you are going through and they understand when you want to complain about your DoS!

You can also look further afield and try to make friends within your community. You might find there is a big expat community where you are living or you may find you’d rather make a few local friends. Either way, making friends with people who know the area better than you do will mean they can show you places you would never have found otherwise and introduce to parts of the culture you wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to.

So bear in mind that when you decide to embark on a TEFL adventure, it’s not always going to be about the teaching. A TEFL job can be a stepping stone to discovering a whole new part of the world.

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