Why you Should Teach English Abroad
I’m going to be completely honest. 80% of the reason I took a TESOL contract in Japan was because I would get paid to travel. I knew I liked kids, but I didn’t really care about teaching.
That sounds selfish, I know, but hear me out.
As my contract nears completion this year, I am actually fighting the urge not to stay in Japan. Not because I want to keep exploring the area (which I do…there’s so much more here to learn about), but because I love the kids I teach. I love my job.
Teaching English has provided me a stable 9-5 (okay, 9-8 because the Japanese love working way too hard…..) that I enjoy, and am happy to wake up for. Teaching even gives me a magnifying glass to look at Japanese culture through.
It’s the best way to learn the language
American kids speak simple English. Japanese kids speak simple Japanese. Thai kids speak simple Thai.
I’ve learned more Japanese from my students than I have through podcasts, classes, or tutoring sessions. They speak an easier level than anyone else will, and I can easily understand why my preschool, (and now elementary school kids!!!) are saying to me.
I came to Japan with very little experience with 日本語. I’m not fluent by any means, but I can certainly follow along with a conversation now. I have a bunch of 4-year-old’s to thank for that.
You will become a member of the community
No, I’m not talking about just an ex-pat community. You will become a member of the local community.
In Japan, you work with a Japanese co-teacher. I know for a fact this is the same situation in Korea, and I’m pretty sure it’s a standard throughout most countries.
With local co-workers, you are automatically more involved in the community, and can network easier and without much effort.
Your salary will allow you to save money to keep traveling
Being a foreign English teacher pays well. In some places, it pays better than local salaries, and in other countries, it pays better than most jobs you can get within your own country. I know people that have saved thousands of dollars, sometimes in the 5-digit range. I don’t have a lot of friends that can say the same of their jobs at home.
There are also lots of opportunities to freelance while you are abroad. I teach over Skype for 20USD/hour, and place that directly into a travel-account. And, I can do this from the privacy of my own home, in my pajama(bottoms), at whatever time I please. Take that, Mr. Manager-sir.
You will have a true appreciation of the culture
Traveling is great. But being a tourist can get old after awhile. So you saw the Eiffel Tower? That’s awesome. What else did you do?
Wouldn’t it be cool to hang out with community members at their favorite spots? And see how similar we all really are? My point is, you never will really understand and appreciate a culture until you integrate with it.
love your job, and your students
Okay, I can’t promise that you will love the company you work for. But you will love your students. I personally have a lot of issues with my company, Seiha. I won’t recommend working for them for various reasons, but I have stayed with my contract because of my affection for the students I teach.
I can wake up tired, be a total b***h in the morning, and instantly have a smile on my face when I see the preschoolers in the morning. Watching them grow, learn, and laugh makes me the happiest girl.
I came to Japan to travel, but I stayed here to teach.
The only warning I have against Teaching English Abroad is not to stay too long. I have spoken to many ex-pats that say they came to spend a year or two abroad….and ended up staying for 10+ years.
Do you have any other reasons to teach english abroad? Share them with me in a comment or an email, and don’t forget to add your email to my newsletter so we can keep in touch.
Check out my page on Teaching English Abroad for all my recommendations and links to TEFL courses that wont break your bank.
Talk to y’all soon,