Warmer weather, weekend getaways, and wild cuisines. These are just a few of many reasons why teaching abroad could be the best decision you make this year.
Over 250,000 native English speakers choose to teach abroad across 80 countries and I am one of them.
Not only do you have the opportunity to experience a new culture and learn a new language, you will find that you grow as an individual and professional. Unlike travelling, or studying abroad which inevitably ends, the teaching salary allows you to stay for as long as you wish (in most cases).
Having taught in Madrid and Barcelona, I highly recommend that you take a leap of faith as the rewards are endless.
1. Change the routine
It is difficult for some to leave their comfort zone, but don’t fear change. Change is good. Each day abroad will be like an adventure. You’ll have a new route to school, new places to explore and new people to meet. At some point you might experience culture shock or get homesick, but that is normal. You can always visit home and some schools even pay for your flights!
2. Learn a new language
Even if you are teaching in an international school and spend much of your time speaking in English, there will be ample opportunities to speak the native language. Sign up to evening classes or try a language exchange meetup. Some schools offer complimentary language classes, so take advantage of them. The more you try to immerse yourself in the culture, the more you will enjoy your time abroad.
One of the benefits about teaching abroad is the opportunity to travel during the weekends and holidays. Depending on where you are in the world, you will find yourself more inclined to take weekend trips to surrounding areas. Some schools in Asia offer complimentary airfare, weekend tours and extra-curricular activities in their packages so be sure to research in advance!
4. Make your CV shine
International teaching experience will always work in your favour. Besides revealing your strength of character, having real world exposure will place you above any of your competitors. For employers, your ability to adapt to new cultures and communicate internationally shows great leadership and versatility. You will outshine other candidates.
Teaching abroad is simply life-changing. There will be challenges along the way, but they are well worth the risk.
If you are still not entirely convinced, speak to others who have taught abroad and hear about their first-hand experiences. You’ll never know unless you try!
About our Community Expert
Over 5 years of experience in educational settings throughout London, Madrid and Barcelona. Whilst studying English Literature and Language at King’s College London and the University of North Carolina, she fell in love with her subject - both the study of literature and craft of writing.
After graduating, she completed the Leadership Development Programme with Teach First, whose mission is to provide equality through education, and attained her PGCE in Secondary English at Canterbury Christ Church University. She was then appointed as Deputy Head of English at one of the highest performing schools in England in a London inner-city academy.
Following this, she completed her Leadership and Management MA at University College London (Institute of Education) and became the director of an English Language company based in Barcelona.
Simi is our English Literature and Language Expert.