The Pros and Cons of Teaching English Abroad
If you have ever considered the possibility of teaching abroad you are probably going to weigh up the good and bad points. We promote a number of worldwide teaching jobs but we don't want to trick you to think there are only positive things from this experience and we want you to be fully prepared before applying which is why we have put together a guide to the pros and cons of teaching English overseas.
Teaching abroad allows you to travel the world, live abroad and experience new cultures - whilst getting paid. There are so many places you can go - the only downside can be settling into a job and not liking the company, school or location. This can be said for most jobs abroad though.
The salary can be really high, or really low depending on which destination you choose. In the Middle East and Asia wages are generally higher, but so is the culture shock. A huge salary in a country like Saudi Arabia or Japan might look impressive on paper, but you really need to research countries to see if they will appeal to you. You might get a really amazing experience teaching somewhere like India, but at the end of the job you might come away with little or no money.
You will usually need to commit for at least 1 year and sign a contract. This can be a big commitment if you are looking to break free and travel, or if this is your first full time employment position it can seem quite daunting when starting out looking at how much time is left.
Students / Teaching Role
You need to be confident when teaching English, students need to learn and they will need good instruction - this comes with time but if you don't feel comfortable talking in front of a classroom.
Most ESL jobs are in countries where English isn't the first language, and this can make integration, communication and the whole whole experience difficult. You will definitely need to learn some basic words and phrases of the country you are visiting - this can require a big effort when you are always working a 9-5 teaching job. On the other hand it also provides you with a lifetime tool which will come in useful for the future.
Teaching abroad can either help, or hinder a future career depending on what industry you would like to work. Most future employers will look brightly on having a TEFL certification course and your role as a teacher overseas, this hows various skills and beneficial characteristics like leadership, initiative. But spending too long teaching abroad, then trying to get a job in a totally different career might be tricky.