Most of us want two things: money and freedom
Guest post by Sabrina Pinksen
After spending years inside classrooms, pulling sixteen-hour days at the library writing papers and doing research, enduring endless exams and sleep deprivation, once we finish university we are more than ready for freedom.
More often than not, that comes in the form of a holiday. We go off with a mate to Spain or Southeast Asia, somewhere tropical and beautiful, and we dread going home. But we go anyway because what other choice do we have?
Most of us are unaware of exactly that: the choices we have. You might be shocked to learn you don’t have to go home.
Once you have a degree, getting paid to travel the world is an easily achievable goal, all met through teaching English. There’s a whole market across the globe looking for qualified English teachers. Once you realize this and begin looking, you’ll be astounded by the opportunities you can find.
Maybe you’ve been dreaming of living an island life? Do you want to sip coconuts under a palm tree? Maybe you’re looking for new cultures and unique experiences and want to get off the beaten path. Whatever it is you want and wherever it is you want to go, you can find a space for yourself there through teaching English. There is a demand in nearly every corner of the world.
You can travel to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, across Europe, and the South and Central Americas and find someone willing to pay you to teach them English. You will find the highest paying jobs in Asia and the Middle East. But if you value experience over a paycheque, you can find work in virtually any place you want to go.
On top of that, you can even teach English remotely. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection and you can live anywhere you want to. Shockingly, sometimes the laptop isn’t even a requirement.
What do you need?
You’ve just graduated so you’re already one step in the right direction. If you’re a native English speaker, that’s a bonus for you. If not, no worries. There are still ample opportunities available to non-native but fluent English speakers. Regardless, you will need to get a TEFL qualification.
A TEFL qualification certifies you to teach English as a foreign language and it is a requirement in most countries looking for English teachers. If it’s not a requirement, having one puts you a step above those who don’t. Not only will it look good on a resume, but it will prepare you for the classroom. A TEFL course will teach you what second-language learners need from their teachers. In turn, it will teach you how to provide for your students and meet their needs. Getting TEFL certified will make you a better teacher and will prepare you for your first step into the classroom.
A great place to start is The Tefl Org whether you are based in England, Scotland or Wales. They are the UK’s most experienced and accredited TEFL provider and their teachers are experienced ESL teachers, providing you with invaluable first-hand experience. Check out these free printable English worksheets for ESL teachers.
After you secure a TEFL qualification, you’ll likely have a better idea of where it is you want to go in the world. Explore your options. Do some research. The process of applying and getting there will be different in each country. For some countries, you will need to secure a job and a work permit and visa before you leave your home country. In other places, you can get there first and look for a job while on the ground.
It’s a good idea to gather your documents, like your degree and TEFL certification, and have them notarized. It’s also suggested to get a criminal background check and to have that notarized as well. If you get a job while on the ground in a new country, it will be a major headache to get those documents processed and mailed to you while abroad. Do yourself a favour and sort out the paperwork before you go.
Book a flight
Leaving everything you know behind sounds scary and you know what? It is. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. But it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences you will get in your lifetime.
Don’t let the fear get the best of you. Make plans but give yourself the room to change them. Be open to things going wrong but be hopeful they don’t. Meet each new experience without judgment. Take your job seriously because your students deserve it and sometimes, you’ll find they teach you more than you teach them. But also give yourself time to have an outrageously good time.
One of the hardest parts is booking the flight. You can plan all you want for as long as you want, but until you book the flight, it’s not official. So book the flight.
And remember, this time you don’t have to go home.