One of the most exciting aspects of working as an ESL teacher is that you get the chance to see the world: if you like to travel, a career in TEFL will definitely give you the opportunity to realise your dreams.
Once you have chosen the country in which you would like to teach ESL, you will no doubt be keen to explore it in your free time: so here are a few useful suggestions to help you enjoy your travels.
It is quite possible that the terms of your employment also include free medical cover: if they don’t, you are strongly advised to take out medical cover for the period during which you will be working as an ESL teacher. Medical cover and hospitalisation can be very expensive in some parts of the world – especially in %countryname%. If you are teaching ESL in the EU or Switzerland, don’t forget to get a free EHIC (European Health Insurance Card): as a word of warning, don’t engage in activities which are not covered by your medical insurance.
Although you may be an independent and adventurous type of person, you should always consider whether it is best to travel alone or in company. Unfortunately, some countries are more dangerous than others, but if you are careful and don’t take unnecessary risks, you shouldn’t have any real problems. However you decide to travel, irrespective of whether you travel alone or in company, you should always provide a responsible person (your director of studies, perhaps) with the following information: (1) your destination and route; (2) who you are travelling with; (3) when you intend to depart and return.
Another important consideration concerns what you should take with you on your travels. Obviously, if you are just going to see the nearby sights – the ‘Acropolis’, say, if you are working in Athens, Greece – you won’t need to take much with you. Nevertheless, you should always ensure that you have the following eight items with you: (1) proof of identity and medical card or EHIC card; (2) local currency; (3) a functioning mobile phone and charger; (4) a light piece of warm clothing; (5) a few band aid plasters, some sterile gauze, and antiseptic wipes; (6) a small pocket torch and a Swiss Army pocket knife; (7) a couple of bars of chocolates or sweets; and (8) an umbrella or a parasol. Don’t worry – most of these items don’t take up much space.
Finally, be wary of strangers, no matter how nice they may seem: avoid offers of lifts or invitations from shady-looking characters: always be polite but very wary too – that way you’ll have a nice, safe time.