Benefits Of Teaching Abroad

For most of us, the thought of getting to see the world is an expense we either cannot see ourselves ever achieving, or a distant whim where we fill up old piggy bank labeled ‘Travel Money’ in hopes of perhaps one day seeing it come to fruition. As someone who has fit into both of those categories at one point, I can definitely sympathize.

It was in the spring of 2011 and I found myself up late one night. I probably should have been anticipating whatever high school assignments would be due the next day, but I was restless. High school would be over soon, and it seemed like all my friends already had the rest of their lives planned out. They would go to college but, more importantly, they knew why. They would be accountants, teachers, lawyers… they knew. I, however, didn’t fit into that.

YouTube was a permanent vice back then, and it was there I stumbled across a channel called ‘EatYourKimchi’. Intrigued, I spent the next few hours watching this couple from Canada explore Seoul, South Korea, talk about their experiences being foreigners in a culture so radically different from our own, and, most importantly, how they got there in the first place.

It was then that it all started to make sense for me. Teaching English in South Korea is something not only achievable, but the absolute easiest way to leave the comfort of our own little homes and see the world for what it really was.

A little more research showed that most schools required a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification and the willingness to devote at least 20 hours of your week to helping children learn. In return, the schools would pay for your housing, your airfare and help with your visa.

Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t.

I found myself wondering what that would mean for me. For one, a diverse resume. Teaching overseas could mean that added little je ne sais quoi that set me apart and ensured I get whatever job in the future that I would eventually hope to turn into my career.

Another giant benefit was, to me, quite obvious. I could see the world! South Korea isn’t the only country looking for young minds, after all. I looked into Japan, China, a multitude of countries in Europe with contracts ranging from three months to a year. The idea that I—or anyone for that matter—could make all those tiny dreams of traveling into massive realities gave me hope.

Maybe you find yourself right now where I was back in 2011 thinking ‘what am I going to do once I get that piece of paper?’ If you aren’t so keen on standing in the court room or immediately going into the work force, consider teaching abroad. Not only will it change your life, but it will change the lives of the dozens of little minds and hearts you touch.

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