We all know how much fun a holiday abroad can be, but is saving up for months just to go away for a few days really worth it? This is where teaching English as a second language (ESL) abroad comes in.
You get to travel, you get to teach, and you can make your journey abroad last for more than just a couple of weeks. And while living in a foreign country for an extended period of time might seem daunting at first, being away from home may be easier than you think. That being said, here are 5 things you won’t miss when you teach abroad:
1. The 9-to-5
This one is pretty obvious. If you are seriously considering teaching abroad, odds are you are not feeling totally satisfied with your current job.
Teaching ESL is considered among the more admirable career paths that one can embark on, and ESL teachers stand out even compared to other teachers. Teaching techniques from a wide variety of disciplines and the use of constant innovation makes ESL teachers special, and you will most definitely feel proud to call yourself a member of this remarkable little tribe.
Teaching abroad presents a unique challenge, and you will leave your comfort zone behind in a good way. Say goodbye to monotonous 9-5 days in a cubicle, and get ready for a new adventure every day!
2. Feeling Stuck
Whether it’s the routine of your 9-to-5 job, the need to give back more or to change your environment, teaching ESL may just be the move you need to reinvent yourself.
Teaching and traveling will give you a great opportunity to build a ton of new relationships. As much as it sounds like a cliché, it is true. Socializing is taken to a whole new level when traveling and it’s not just because of the sheer volume of new people you encounter every day. Travelers are often birds of the same feather, and you’ll find that crossing paths with different people suddenly becomes a much easier and much more enlightening experience.
This allows for turbocharged personal development. Just a few months of teaching abroad and being on the road will help you become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
3. The Lazy Routine
Personally, I can’t think of anything worse than not living up to your potential. The comfort of conveniences like Facebook on your smartphone, Netflix in your living room, and the same commute to work every day can be great, but they can also keep your mind shielded from new experiences.
Breaking this comfort will leave room for self improvement like you never thought possible. And I’m not talking about striving for perfection, because perfection won’t actually bring you much joy. Rather, look at travel as an opportunity to go out and explore and experience new things that will broaden your horizons and give you a sense of accomplishment.
4. Not learning things
If you’ve lived in the same city for a few years or done things the same way for as long as you remember, then you might feel like you’ve learned everything you can from your day to day routine. Maybe it’s time to try something new?
Traveling and teaching, on their own, present endless opportunities for new discoveries and acquiring new knowledge, but when brought together, a perfect storm is born.
Learning about Hungary’s culture, along with finding new ways to deal with your students, are just a small smattering of new lessons you might encounter abroad. Even small things like thinking about the Word of the Day for your class, or visiting a nearby village, can bring the joy of learning back into your life.
5. How Expensive Having Fun Is
At home, we are used to spending a lot of money just to visit a new place. We also spend a good deal of precious dollars on fancy nights out. Even more generally, we often associate having fun with accumulating new possessions.
Having a good time abroad can be profoundly different, though. New experiences lurk behind every corner and people’s hospitality will present many fun surprises during your time overseas, without costing you a fortune.
It’s actually easier to have fun when you’re teaching in a new country than when you’re just on a tourist visit. The time you get to spend there will open up new doors and let you experience things more valuable than the main tourist attractions (and way cooler than any XBox game you would have bought back home).
Nevertheless, nostalgia or homesickness is a real worry for many who are still unsure about teaching abroad. Gathering in-depth information, completing your training, and filling out all the paperwork are also common concerns, but fear not!