Published 30th January 2018

Not so long ago gap years were reserved for the privileged few who could afford (or whose parents could afford) to take some time off after school to spend time travelling the world, deciding what they wanted to study, and finding themselves. What that actually meant was they’d spend the better part of a year travelling around on Kontiki tours, staying in cheap hostels and drinking excessive amounts of beer.

These days, gap years have changed.

Nowadays, it is not uncommon to take a gap year not after graduating from high school but after graduating from university. In other words, taking some time out either before you start your job or while you are looking for a job or to help you decide what kind of a job you want.

If this is you and you are looking for inspiration on what to do on your gap year, then look no further. Teaching English as a Foreign Language is the perfect gap-year filler, and here’s why.

It’s good work experience

Sure you can be a waiter or waitress, but why not earn money doing something that’ll look amazing on your CV? Teaching English as a Foreign Language will prove you are committed, dedicated and responsible. It will also improve your time-keeping, and organisational and management skills.

It pays well

Being a TEFL teacher can mean earning quite a bit of money. If you want to save some money while on a gap year then there are specific countries you should look at teaching in – South Korea, the UAE and Hong Kong, to name a few. Even if your salary is not as high as you would like, you can find a job with free flights and accommodation, which will mean you can save a lot more than you think. Even if your job doesn’t pay really well, you can still support yourself for the duration of your gap year and you’ll definitely earn enough to cover your flights and your TEFL course.

It allows you to travel

By its very nature, teaching English as a Foreign Language takes place in an exotic location, or at least somewhere far from home. Taking a year or so as a gap year can mean that you can find work in a school for a year and travel during the holidays or work a few summer camps or work in a country that allows you to travel easily on weekends.

It’s good for you

If you spend your year partying and being excessive, then maybe not, but if you are a responsible teacher then doing a gap year of TEFL can be beneficial to your mental health. Getting out of your comfort zone and stepping out into a totally different situation than you’re used to will push you in ways you’ve never pushed before – which is a good thing!

Taking a gap year can be a really good idea if it’s done responsibly. You can travel the world and have a lot of fun but you can also earn some money and work on your CV at the same time. Who knows, if you decide to do a TEFL gap year maybe you’ll never go back to your day job!