The first reason to teach English in Istanbul is that it’s a great place for both new and experienced teachers. Although the size of the city may seem intimidating at first, relocating to a big place does have its advantages for newbies. In this massive metropolis, it’s fairly easy to blend in and get acclimated, especially if it’s your first stint teaching English abroad. Doing your first stint as an expat in Istanbul allows you to have access to modern conveniences while experiencing an ancient culture, as well. Below you will find 9 more reasons to teach English in Istanbul!
One of the best parts of teaching English abroad is getting the opportunity to go on culinary adventures and try unique foods. This can certainly still be the case for vegetarians, but it does require a bit more care and stealth when trying to figure out just what ingredients are in different dishes. In South Korea, this challenge is particularly prevalent. As a carnivore’s paradise, South Korean cuisine is almost entirely centered around meat, seafood, and rice, and oftentimes it can be hard to distinguish what is what. To top this off, a lot of the vegetable side dishes are coated in gochujang, a red chili paste that often has traces of fish bits in it. Dining out alone can also be a challenge, as meals at restaurants are almost always served family style, with large pots and bowls of various dishes making up a spread across the table. This makes it pretty hard to go out to eat with a group of people, especially if you are the lone vegetarian. In this article, I will tell you how to thrive as a vegetarian when teaching English in South Korea.
The first reason to teach English in South Korea is that it is very easy to get a job, especially if you’re a first-time teacher. Learning English is mandatory in South Korean public schools, meaning there is a huge demand for native speakers to teach. English is highly valued in their culture as well, to the extent that almost every child attends an after-school English academy in addition to participating in regular class at school. This allows potential teachers to have a variety of options when it comes to choosing a teaching job in South Korea. The requirements are also pretty basic. Legally, you must have a bachelors degree, but your major is irrelevant. Employers are more interested in you being a native speaker. However, the public school program (EPIK) recently passed a new law stating that any teacher who’d like to be considered must have a 120-hour TEFL certificate or higher qualification. Private academies (or ‘Hagwons’) get to make their own rules and decisions regarding this. Below are 9 more reasons to teach English in South Korea!
I arrived in the majestic city of Istanbul at the end of a six month hitchhiking journey across Europe with around twenty British pounds to my name. I was immediately captured by the fascinating architecture, mouth watering food, and magical buzz of the city. ‘We could live here,’ I said to the young lady who had given up her life on a whim to travel with me. ‘We could stop for a while and teach English.’ She agreed.
Food is a big concern for vegetarian teachers, especially when it comes to traveling outside the big city. Although Turkey is a meat-loving country known throughout the rest of the world for its famous kebabs, it also happens to be a vegetarian’s heaven on Earth. Even the locals may sometimes be confused when you make meat-free requests, but, whether they immediately think of it or not, Turkish cuisine has tons of vegetarian dishes ranging from sweet to savory and back again. You’ll never need to ask for a modified version of a dish, which kicks any chances of confusion out the window. Turks are also highly hospitable and true feeders, meaning you will most likely need to be wheeled out of whichever home or restaurant you dine at. Whether you’re after a big breakfast, a hearty dinner, or a snack while perusing the streets, there will literally be something for every taste on every city corner or household table.
A bad teaching experience can really ruin all the beautiful things that China has to offer. There are thousands of that become available every month, so there aren’t any reasons to be crammed in a classroom with 50 students or to pay an organization an TEFL internship fee. You can get a great teaching job at an international or local language school. TESOL jobs at language schools pay a starting salary of 7,000 rmb per month, which is twice as much what a TEFL internship in China offers. And besides, you don’t have to pay anyone a single penny to get your teaching job!
Teaching English abroad turned out to be quite the adventure. Who knew? Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I had just graduated from my second degree and still had no idea what to do with my life. Like many others, I decided to take some time before I entered the corporate world. The mere thought of living day in and day out in the concrete jungle I called home without a set path gave me anxiety. I loved my city, my friends, above all, my family. Yet I needed to remove myself from my comfort zone. I booked a ticket to Portugal with the intention to spend a few months there to clear my mind.
Teaching English is the best way to get paid to travel the world. Teaching experience is not required and entry-level teachers can start at $30,000 per year plus accommodation. Not bad considering that you will only be working 29 hours a week! Flexible hours, paid holidays, and paid accommodation are just some of the reasons why teaching English is highly recommended for those who want to take a gap-year abroad.
My first experience teaching abroad was back in 2009, when I packed my bags and moved to Costa Rica. I needed to get away and go on an adventure after four long years at university. The global economy had just collapsed and nobody was hiring anyway, so I thought I’d better take a year off to a sunny place rather than regret it later. This was the best decision I ever made! I continued teaching English all over the world, pursuing a meaningful career in Education while I traveled and earned a really good income.
We interviewed some of our graduates to ask them what inspired them to teach English abroad and what were some of the challenges they had to overcome. They told us amazing things about how they had to adapt to a new culture, how they learned to become a better teacher, and how friendly the locals are!