Published 20th January 2021
When people consider their different career options, they often turn to the age-old traditional jobs of lawyers, accountants, or doctors. While there is certainly nothing wrong with those career choices, these days there are a lot more options available to us. But if you’re looking for a meaningful, significant career, look no further than Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Being a TEFL teacher is life-changing – not only for your students but also for yourself. Just in case you don’t quite believe us, let’s discuss how teaching English as a Foreign Language will change your life:
It’ll give you itchy feet
The big drawcard for teaching English as a Foreign Language is the travel. Ask any wannabe TEFL teacher why they decided to be a TEFL teacher, and chances are they have already bought a ticket to go abroad. Even though you might be a little apprehensive to leave your friends and family behind to make a life for yourself in a country you’re not familiar with, after a few months of living abroad, your life will be changed forever.
You will be happiest when you are exploring new places, having new experiences, and meeting new people. While you will most certainly work hard for your money, you’ll also get to spend your free time exploring your new city and your weekends and holidays discovering new places. You will be tempted to jump on a plane or a train whenever you can, and you will start feeling the itch if you stay in the same place for too long.
Luckily for you, there’s a whole world for you to explore – and wherever you go you’re likely to be able to find a TEFL job.
Read more: Culture Shock
It’ll change your DNA
Okay, not really, but it’ll definitely change your outlook on life. Living abroad not only gives you a taste for new experiences, but it’ll change your personality. You’ll become more adventurous and independent, out of necessity. After all, you won’t be able to rely on anyone else to deal with the everyday life responsibilities that come with being an adult. YOU are the adult!
What’s more, teaching will make you more outgoing and confident. You won’t be able to be shy when you’re teaching a class of 30 students who look to you as the expert on all things English. And you’ll be dealing with total strangers on a daily basis just to get by – as soon as you realise how capable you really are, your confidence will be sky high and you will no longer feel nervous meeting new people or speaking to groups of people.
It’ll upskill you
Teaching upskills you in many ways. You become a better public speaker. You will be more organised, with good time management skills. And above all, you will learn how to organize your day so that you can prepare adequately for your lessons but still have time to have fun.
If you have a knack for languages, you might pick up the local language. Being bilingual is an asset in this day and age, and having a foreign language on your CV will make you very attractive to future employers, even if you decide to leave teaching behind.
Not only that but living abroad also shows your future employers that you are independent and flexible and can handle change. There are few things more stressful than moving abroad and it is a reflection of your independence that you have shown that you can do it – and enjoy doing it, which is an asset in any employee.
Read more: 3 Ways to Help You Learn the Local Language
It’ll change your future
You might get into TEFL as a way to travel the world or to take a gap year and earn a little bit of money, but being a TEFL teacher is only the start. You might fall in love with teaching and find yourself teaching for fifty years. Or you might decide to open your own English school or write English coursebooks. There is a range of different career possibilities open to you in the ELT field.
Or you could discover other options you might not have considered before. Travelling the world will show you how easy it is to be a digital nomad. You could start a blog, become a writer or proofreader – or even an online teacher. This will enable you to travel the world while living the life you want to live.
Read more: Is EFL a Good Career?
It’ll broaden your horizons
Living and working abroad will change your outlook on life. You will see how the world works in many different places – you’ll understand how different cultures live. You’ll be more tolerant of different lifestyles and viewpoints and you’ll learn how to communicate your own beliefs in an understanding and compassionate manner.
No matter how cosmopolitan your home town is, there is no substitute for leaving your home country and experiencing life in other parts of the world. When you (eventually!) find your way back home to your family and friends, don’t be surprised when you see how different you are. That’s not to say you will lose those friendships, but you might find your priorities have changed.
And besides, living and working abroad will open you up to a whole new world of friends, be they other foreign teachers, local teachers, or even students.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of considerations when it comes to choosing to embark on a career. We all want jobs which give us a decent salary with good working hours, as well as a good working environment. An added bonus would be a job which is able to have a positive impact on the world at the same time. Being a TEFL teacher satisfies all these requirements, and so much more!