Mar 29, 2010

Teach English Abroad

We’ve always been big promoters of travel and international experience. As a means towards new opportunities, travel has a lot to offer, from self-directed learning and résumé building, to simple expansion of world understanding. This week we’ll look at how speaking English can help you get where you want to be.

No matter where you want to go, odds are there will be a demand for competent English teachers. While interested individuals should not expect to make a fortune in this profession, a living wage and ample opportunities to explore are a given. Typically, English teachers remain in the same locale for many months. The extended stay, coupled with direct and daily interaction with locals, makes for a truly enriching experience far beyond what any tourist trip could ever offer.

Like most professions, preference and higher pay are typically given to those with more experience. If you think teaching English abroad would be a good fit for you, start locally. Try volunteering your time in ESL (English as a Second Language) classes and get a feel for the kind of work you’ll be doing. The more experience you have on your résumé, the more likely it is you’ll find your perfect job down the road.

Once you are certain that you want to teach English abroad, it’s time to get certified. There are a ton of programs out there, most containing some kind of acronym, including: TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), ESL (English as a Second Language), TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and so on. Programs vary greatly in price, schedules, and post-training job assistance, so do some research to find the best fit for you. It’s best to find a program with an established job track to help you on your way once you’ve completed certification. There are even some programs that offer training on-site in certain foreign countries, making the transition from student to teacher that much easier. If you can’t find that perfect program for your chosen destination, look for something close by. Downtime can be spent visiting that ideal place if you’re just a bus, train, or plane ticket away.

Of course, one of the biggest benefits to teaching in a foreign country is all the things you’ll learn. So if you want adventure and low-cost travel, check out becoming an English teacher in a foreign country.

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