It is expected that an approximate 1.75 billion people will be speaking and learning English in 2019, according to the British Council. Which means that the opportunities to teach and travel with a TEFL certification are vaster than ever. Those who have chosen to obtain their certifications will be qualified to teach ESL in dozens of international countries.
The demand for English teachers across the globe makes it the perfect market to sustain suitable employment without the added stress of potential saturation. It provides English speakers of all backgrounds the opportunity to explore the field while experiencing different countries and cultures, and that’s only one of the benefits of getting TEFL certified.
One of the most glorified parts of teaching English abroad is the opportunity to travel for extended periods of time without having to return home. However, you have a way better opportunity of continuing to land legit teaching jobs if you have the required credentials–a TEFL and a bachelor’s degree.
Once you have both requirements on your resume, and in your portfolio, you can plan to be contracted in one country, and then upon completion, travel to the next with added experience to secure another position in a different country. Gaining experience across diverse populations will make you the ideal candidate who will continue being offered opportunities no matter where you travel.
Kickstart a Career
Recent studies show that only ⅓ of college attendees take off with a career in their field of study after graduation. That leaves ⅔ of the population to wander or straggle behind their peers. Of the 66% of grads who don’t immediately launch their careers, about ¼ were never sure about their majors to begin with, and only 25% obtain internships compared to 87% of those who successfully carve their paths.
Could it be that obtaining a TEFL and teaching abroad can help those who’ve fallen behind?
The answer is yes! Not all TEFL certified professionals choose to make teaching English a lifelong career (though many do) but getting the experience of teaching abroad helps you to develop several skills every employer seeks in a prospective candidate; confidence, communication and public speaking, management, problem solving, and critical thinking are only a few. And with the added experience of living and working overseas, you’re sure to figure out your wants and needs for a successful career that suits you best.
Boost Your Applications
Whether you’re applying for a new employment opportunity or submitting an essay for an advanced degree, your time abroad is the perfect experience to set you apart from other applicants. Everyone wants to speak to the person who braved Choquequirao or participated in Guatemala’s Day of the Dead celebrations.
In addition, you come to learn about different cultures and can connect with others in a more profound way than those who’ve never experienced an international lifestyle. Add that to the Spanish immersion courses you participated in and your application is sure to leap to the top of the pile.
Expand Your Network
One of the most exciting parts about teaching while traveling is all the people you meet along the way. English teachers typically come from the U.S, Europe, Australia, and South Africa, but those aren’t the only friends you’ll meet. Meetup groups like Couchsurfers guarantees you’ll meet travelers from all walks of life, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to interact with your local colleagues and students.
Meeting people comes easily when no one knows anyone else and strong bonds are formed practically overnight. Expanding your network can make for new travel opportunities, business opportunities, unimagined adventures, and lifelong friendships.
Learning English is one of the least expected benefits of getting TEFL certified. Sure, we took English classes in school growing up, but the science of the language didn’t stick. Typically, people learn language through the sheer engagement of it, but you quickly learn that teaching the language doesn’t quite work that way.
Teaching English requires you to understand the logical reasoning and structure. For example, why is it correct to say so many options as opposed to so much options? We wouldn’t be able to simply say to an ESL student “because it is!” (although there are some instances where it just is).
Therefore, teaching English requires one to learn English, making you a better English speaker overall.
The end of the year always comes with reflection– Are you doing what serves you? Are you making strides toward advancement? Are you stuck in a rut with no end in sight? Do something drastically different this year and participate in a life changing experience; get TEFL certified abroad and discover the opportunities that await you in 2019 and beyond!