In college I really wanted to study abroad. I thought it would be the best opportunity to finally go abroad and experience a new culture, while also getting class credits. Unfortunately, this never happened, and that’s how it is for most students. Only 1% of college students study abroad, a surprisingly small number for all the possibilities there seems to be. I think for most students it just doesn’t fit into their plan to graduate on time. And after seeing the stresses and complications two of my friends went through with their study abroad programs I could see why the numbers are so low. Now, I needed another way to go abroad and still have some money when I returned; the answer was teaching English abroad.
We are lucky enough that we were born in an English speaking country. This one ability opens a whole new way to travel and actually get paid at the same time. English teachers are a hot commodity and there are many countries who have private and government run programs that pay natural English speakers to teach children and sometimes adults. For many programs you don’t even need to speak the language of the country you want to teach in. All you need is a TESOL or TEFL certification that you can get online. It can be pricey, but Groupon.com has had previous deals on these courses that significantly reduces the price.
I’ve never wanted to teach in America, but teaching abroad has more of an appeal. When you visit somewhere on your own you usually play tourist. Teaching would put you in direct contact with locals and give you a better understanding of a culture. You would even learn parts, if not all, of a new language and create many new friendships. I can’t wait to teach English in Japan after I graduate and I hope others who couldn’t study abroad also use these programs to go abroad.