Teaching English as a Foreign Language after graduation can improve your job prospects and give you loads of transferable skills that are in demand in the domestic jobs market. So, even if you’re not thinking of teaching as a long-term career, spending time teaching abroad can be really beneficial to your future career.
Improve your communication skills
When you teach abroad you’ll spend much of your time standing in front of a class or preparing lessons. This will improve your communication skills and your confidence in presenting to a group, both of which are really useful in all forms of business. And because you’ll probably be teaching in a non-English speaking country, you’ll also learn to communicate effectively with people who don’t speak your language – a really useful skill if you planning on a career in multinational business.
A challenge like no other
From the second you step off your outbound flight until the moment you say a tearful goodbye to your students, you’ll be challenged almost constantly (don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds). You’ll need to learn how to function in a foreign country, how to navigate your way around a new city, how to build new working relationships and how to function outside of your comfort zone. If you write your CV properly, future employers can’t help but be impressed.
While you’re overseas you’ll cross paths with people from all walks of life: from foreign tourists and backpackers to local businessmen and university professors to government officials. If you make the effort to stay in touch, theres every possibility that something may come of it. Life throws up all sorts of opportunities, it’s just a question of recognizing them and using them to your advantage.
Open new doors and broaden your horizons
Many people head off to teach for six months or a year and never come back: they find new opportunities and follow a new path in life. For example, one of the guys from the office just came back from Ko Lanta in Thailand. While he was there he met a Canadian woman in her late twenties who went to South East Asia to teach English after she graduated. She now owns a one of the island’s top bars and travels around Asia when the tourist season is over. You never know where TEFL may take you until you take that all important first step!
How will TEFL help back home?
Imagine it for a second. You arrive in a small city in South East China for the first time. Everything is foreign. You don’t know a soul for a thousand miles. You don’t know a word of the language. You’re not even sure what to order in the local restaurant. Now jump forward a few weeks. That foreign city is now home. You hang out with all the other TEFL teachers at your school. You pick up the evening newspaper for the old guy who lives next door. You can order a meal and have a short conversation in the local language. And you’re on first name terms with the family who own the local restaurant. That is what teaching overseas gives you: independence, resilience and the belief that no matter how big the challenge, you’ll do alright!
Improve your CV and impress employers
A quick question! If you were an employer whose CV would impress you more? A university graduate with 12 months’ unrelated experience in a junior role in the UK or a graduate who’s a fully qualified English teacher with proven presentation and communication skills and 12 months experience of living and working overseas? For most employers it’s a pretty obvious choice.
Are you living and working overseas? Leave us a message below and let us know how it’s going.
About The Author
Teaching English abroad is the perfect opportunity for any English speaker to explore the world. As long as you’re a fluent English speaker, a TEFL course is your ticket to the journey of your life.