One of the greatest benefits of teaching abroad is giving yourself the opportunity to travel to countries that you probably would not have otherwise ever visited. Teaching English in a foreign country is different from teaching in an ordinary school in your home country. While teachers in North America and other Western countries often struggle with long hours, homework of their own, disgruntled parents, and salary disputes, ESL teachers abroad are often given somewhat of a golden ticket- that is, if they choose a country that is viable in this regard. Rather than accepting a position out of desperation for work, ESL teachers have the luxury of having more options and thus being more picky with teaching jobs. Of course, there will be certain schools, countries, and continents that will not provide you with the means to lead a lavish lifestyle. However, with a proper look and some disciplined planning, you’ll swiftly find yourself on the road less-traveled. Read: The Best Places to Teach and Travel
Save Money Teaching English Abroad and Travel the World!
The first aspect to consider if you want a job that allows you to travel is the salary you will earn teaching English. Many places will give you a beyond decent wage, especially when you consider the fairly small amount of hours you’ll be working and lesson planning. If you don’t have any debts in your home country, the only element you’ll need to compare with your salary is the cost of living in your newfound home. If you play your cards right, you can find yourself with a fair amount of disposable income, all while living a comfortable lifestyle in a new country. Many Asian and South American countries afford teachers the ability to eat at restaurants and grab a drink with friends frequently, all while racking in a bit of savings. There is a huge potential to save when working as an ESL teacher, but practicing cost-efficient habits in your everyday life will allow you to save up for trips, both luxury and budget depending on your taste and circumstances, to other countries.
Travel to Different Countries On the Cheap
For those of us who were born and raised in North America, traveling outside is/was quite a physical ordeal. With oceans on both sides, booking a trip across the pond(s) is a commitment. This changes, however, when you find yourself in Europe, Asia, and even South America. Residing on these continents allows you to be in close proximity to a plethora of vastly different languages, cultures, histories, and cuisines, almost all of which are open for your exploration. Plus, traveling between countries and even continents can be unbelievably cheap. While flying across the U.S. or Canada might take a bit of financial planning, you can book a bus from one South American country to another for the equivalent of a few hours of work. Bullet trains in Asia allow for speedy weekend getaways, while budget airlines let you spend your vacation money on experiences rather than flights. These types of travel opportunities certainly should not be passed over, since you never know when you’ll get them again. Just make sure to check the visa restrictions and TESOL certification requirements before you get overly excited and hop on the next train to anywhere.
The last obstacle that teachers must overcome in their quest to travel is a simple one: fear. Living abroad alone undeniably makes you more comfortable being in other countries and environments in general. I had an American co-worker in Jeju who had a majorly debilitating case of social anxiety. She had never gone anywhere alone and found it very difficult to be in public places with strangers. She decided to push herself and moved abroad to teach on a whim. After only a few months, she was planning solo vacations around Korea, Japan, and Indonesia by motorized scooter. Moving to a foreign country can be intimidating, to say the least. This is especially true when you know nothing about the place or if you’re aren’t as of yet well-traveled. Choosing to live abroad thus empowers you to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Welcome to the life.