Joining the “real world” after graduation is fun and all — secure your first 9-5 job, get a new apartment, and start working your way up the corporate ladder from cubicle to corner office. That’s one option.
Here’s another option: travel the world after graduation as a paid, professional English teacher in countries like Spain, Thailand, or Costa Rica! As a native English speaker, a TEFL certification is your ticket to an epic, Instagrammable international adventure.
Here are 5 reasons why teaching English Abroad is the BEST job after graduation.
1. Pay Off Student Loans & Debt While Living Abroad
Getting your first student loan bill in the mail after graduation is a surreal moment and a definite reality check. Oh wait, so I actually have to pay for all those classes, books, dorm rooms, and meals? Great.
Landing a job shortly after graduation is ideal. Landing a job shortly after graduation that pays enough for you to live comfortably, have your own apartment, and also allows you to pay off a chunk of debt each month seems like a crazy dream.
Teaching English abroad is a professional job you can land just out of college. It enables you to travel the world while also earning competitive pay and benefits. Many English teachers in South Korea, for example, earn enough to save $10,000-$15,000 per year while also receiving free airfare and rent.
So not only are you having the international adventure of a lifetime but you’re actually earning and saving money along the way. Talk about a win-win!
2. Boost Your Resume with International Work Experience
First you go to high school and maybe you do some summer volunteering, followed by 4-years at college along with some internships, and then you graduate and join the “real world.” This is the way it’s supposed to go, right?
Set yourself apart with a year or two of international work experience. Wait, you lived and worked in Germany after graduation? Wow. In the international economy of the 21st century, employers and graduate schools highly value international experience.
It takes some serious initiative and courage to research teaching English abroad and even more to actually get on the plane and go do it. Stepping out of your comfort zone, breaking the mold, and seeking out this opportunity to learn about new cultures is a talking point on your resume that will set you apart from the rest.
3. You Are Getting Paid to Travel the World
If you’ve ever studied abroad or gone on a backpacking trip, then you probably know it’s not cheap and it’s zero fun coming back home. You’ve got to get back into the “real world” and start saving and planning for your next international adventure from scratch.
Teaching English abroad is a realistic way to not just live and work abroad in one country, but it allows you to travel extensively along the way. If you’re teaching English in Prague, it’s not at all uncommon to hop on a bus to Germany for a weekend visit. If you’re working in Bangkok, then why not hop on a train to Vietnam to explore for a few days?
You’re earning competitive pay and all of your friends are fellow world travelers if they’re also teaching abroad, so it’s simple to plan these weekend getaways and holiday trips. The best part is, unlike a study abroad program there is no expiration date. Perhaps you teach English abroad for one year in Spain and then you go back to the States, but it’s far more common to continue teaching and country hop to Taiwan or Argentina to find a new teaching job and explore a new part of the world.
4. Enjoy Going to Work & Making A Difference Everyday
If you’ve ever had a job you dread going to every day, then get ready for a refreshing change. During your job as an English teacher abroad, you’ll have the opportunity to help shape your young students’ confidence in speaking English. You’ll be blown away by your student’s improvement week-by-week, month-by-month. At first, they could barely form a sentence and after a few months they are talking your ear off about their favorite hobbies and weekend plans.
When teaching older students, you’ll play a major role in helping them prepare for college. Being a fluent English speaker is extremely important in order to get into top universities. If you’re teaching business professionals, you’ll help your students qualify for better positions and promotions.
Seeing this progress throughout the school year is unbelievably rewarding and powerful. You’ll form strong bonds with your students, invest in their wellbeing, and overall have a true sense of purpose when you wake up for work each day.
5. Learn a New Language
How much of the Spanish you learned in high school do you still remember? Hello, my name is… I like to swim.
Learning a foreign language is far easier when you’re in a full-immersion setting. So, if you’re teaching English in Colombia and also studying Spanish or teaching English in Rome and also learning Italian, you’ll learn and progress exponentially faster.
You don’t need to speak Korean before moving to South Korea to teach English, but most English teachers seize the opportunity to learn the local language to make their time abroad smoother and also to gain a new skill for your resume!
So, Now What…?
Ready to hop on a plane yet? Can’t blame you!
Your first step is to start researching accredited TEFL certification providers. As a native English speaker with a TEFL certification, you’re eligible to teach in 80+ countries worldwide all across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Download your free TEFL starter brochure now to see how you can get TEFL certified with International TEFL Academy.
About the Author: Jessie Smith
Jessie is an International TEFL Academy graduate who taught English in South Korea and Vietnam. Upon returning from Asia, she joined the ITA team as an Admissions Advisor, helping people create their own unique teach abroad adventure.