So, you’re thinking of teaching English as a foreign language, but don’t know if it’s right for you. Here’s a few reasons why everyone could benefit from being a TEFL teacher.
Get paid to travel
Let’s start with a biggy. While other travellers are draining their cash while they travel, you’ll be earning. Sometimes the pay isn’t huge (though it can be very healthy depending on which country you’re in), you’re still making money. With free accommodation and meals often thrown in, you’re left to either save or spend your money exploring the country when you have time off. With only a small investment, you can get travelling right away. Pro tip: look out for TEFL packages that offer free flights!
Join a community of likeminded travellers
You’re always going to be part of a community of travellers. You’ll have something in common with many of the people you meet on the road. Share your stories and get advice from other TEFL teachers on the best places to go and teaching techniques. On almost all placements, you’ll be with other travellers, so you’ll be building up that social network everywhere you go.
Integrate with locals
TEFL placements can vary between small rural towns and large metropolises. Either way, by living and working somewhere for an extended about of time, you’re going to integrate better with locals. They will be your neighbours, friends, students, the shopkeeper in the local newsagents, and the street vendor down the road from your home. These are people you’ll get to know in a way travellers never do when they pass through on holiday.
Do something worthwhile
Ok, so there’s plenty of ways to give back while you’re travelling, but nothing beats the satisfaction of helping people speak a new language. Over 4-6 months with the same students, you’re going to see a noticeable difference in their speaking ability, a skill that’s going to stand them in good stead when they go into the world of work.
Learn a new language
Not only will you be helping others learn English, but many TEFL internships and packages include language lessons in the local lingo for free. Ever wanted to learn Thai, or perhaps Spanish? Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to perfect the local dialog while you live and travel in country. You can get so much more out of a place, even with just a few phrases.
Add to your CV
Think about it. If you’re an employer, with all things equal, are you going to look more favorably to someone who’s taken a gap year to go travelling or taken a gap year to go travelling while teaching English?
Discover new cultures
Like all travel, you’re going to discover new cultures, but unlike those who just pass through, you’re going to explore a place in depth. Get to know the people, find out the secret spots that aren’t featured in guide books, get an intimate knowledge of the local food and walk away with a real understanding of a place and its culture.
Get support while you travel
A good TEFL institution offers on the ground support while you travel. Got a problem with your visa? Lost your passport? Your camera’s been stolen? Or you need some advice or guidance? No problem. There’s local people there ready to support you whenever you need it.
Ready to start TEFL? Take a look at our packages on offer here.