July 30, 2010

We all have dreams. Some are achievable, like seeing the pyramids or ballooning across the Sahara. Many will always remain dreams, like climbing Mt. Everest or visiting the North Pole. But there is one dream that many people share and believe is beyond them; travelling the world. Well, it is not an impossible dream when you have a TEFL certificate, as you really can teach your way around the world.

1. You’ll get paid to travel

I bet you’ve been in town recently and had a look in the travel agent’s window, dreaming of being somewhere a little less wet and grey. The usual problem preventing an immediate getaway is cash – but with a TEFL certificate you won’t need to rob the bank to make that trip a reality. In fact, people will pay YOU to live abroad. OK, you’ll have the initial expense of attending a course and the flight to get there, but you can probably scrounge that up from parents or savings. After that your trip will be self-financing.

2. You’ll experience new cultures

Many people travel to see how other people live and to experience their culture firsthand, but the real result is normally just sightseeing in the tourist traps, hanging out on the beach or enjoying the local night-life. This isn’t the case when you live and work overseas. You’ll live amongst the locals, eat where they eat, hang out where they hang out, and get a whole new understanding of the culture that tourists never experience. Forget about hanging out with your mates and posting their pics on Facebook – you’ll be too busy posting pics of yourself!

3. You’ll make lots of new friends

You can never have enough friends unless of course you’re some weird kind of introvert, but then you wouldn’t be travelling anyway, right? Working as an English teacher is a great opportunity to make friends from all around the world. There will be other teachers, local expats and colleagues enjoying the same experience as you and all the locals that you would never meet under normal circumstances.

4. You’ll get some major bragging rights

The stories you’ll return home with are going to be awesome in the telling and re-telling. It’s just not possible to have the kind of experiences you’ll be bragging of without extensive travel. How many of your friends will have attended an elephant football match? bathed in a waterfall? attended a school sports day where you own class of kids was represented? Travelling with TEFL will truly add some spice to your life.

5. You’ll get to learn a new language

It’s not a requirement to speak the local language to be able to teach English (don’t worry, we’ll teach you that bit!), but living abroad does represent a fantastic opportunity to learn the local language. You can take some organised language classes or swap time with a local teacher to help improve their English skills. Being able to speak with the locals will add a whole new dimension to your time in the country.

6. You’ll get valuable work experience

Aside from all the fun experiences, teaching English overseas can be very useful in the long-run, long after your return home. Your experience will have boosted your confidence and improved your organisational and leadership skills. And if you travel to enough countries it will really fill out a CV! Once you’re back home and looking for work, you won’t be just another applicant in the queue – you really will stand out.

If you want some advice and help on how to make this possible, contact Ian at TEFLPlus now. We’ll make your dream a reality.

p.s. Those kids in the photo are some of the 76 primary students we bought ice cream for one day at Wat Kok Mai School here in Phuket. It was worth the minor expense to see the huge smiles on their faces!

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