Why Teaching English is the Best Way to Spend Gap Years Abroad

 | Teaching House Nomads Blog

Gap years are a popular choice for students who have recently graduated from high school or university, and are looking to take some time off before pursuing their next academic or professional venture. Before you land on your next steps, taking some time away can be an excellent opportunity to explore new interests, travel, and gain valuable life experience.

If you don't know what to do during a gap year, have you thought about teaching English abroad?

In this article, Teaching House explores why teaching English is the best way to spend gap years abroad.

Visit New Locations Across the World While Earning a Steady Salary

One of the biggest draws of teaching English during gap years abroad is the opportunity to travel and live in a new country. As an English teacher, you can find job opportunities in countries all over the world, from Europe and Asia to South America and Africa. This gives you a chance to visit places you may have never had the opportunity to otherwise go. 

In addition to the opportunity to travel, teaching English abroad also provides a steady salary. While you may not be earning the same as, say, a CEO, you will receive ample to cover your living expenses in your host country and leave some money for travel and leisure activities. This means you can fully enjoy your gap year without worrying about financial constraints.

Gain Real-World Experience

If you don't know what to do during a gap year, you've had your fill from learning out of a textbook or classroom, teaching English abroad is a great way to gain real-world experience in a professional setting. 

As an English teacher, you will be responsible for planning and delivering lessons, grading assignments, managing a classroom and more. Every aspect can be an invaluable opportunity to develop important soft skills, such as communication, leadership, goal-setting and problem-solving, that will be beneficial in any career path you choose to pursue, whether it is in the educational field or otherwise.

In addition to gaining professional experience, teaching English abroad can also help you develop new skills that can broaden your capabilities. Depending on where you go, you may have the opportunity to learn a new language or improve your existing language skills. This can be a great way to enhance your resume and make you a more competitive job candidate in the future.

Embrace New Cultures

One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching English abroad is the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in a new culture. You will have the chance to make new friends, try new foods, and participate in local traditions and festivals. If you have never before left your hometown, or only been on tourist vacations, living in a new country can be a life-changing experience that helps you grow as a person and broaden your horizons.

In addition to experiencing the local culture, you will also have the opportunity to share your own culture with your students. By sharing your own experiences and customs, you can help your students better understand the world beyond their own country.

Make a Difference in Your Students' Lives

Teaching English abroad is not just an opportunity to travel and gain new skills; it's also a chance to make a difference in the lives of your students. As an English teacher, you will be responsible for helping your students improve their English skills, which can open up new opportunities for them in their personal and professional lives. 

Your students will also look up to you as a role model, and you will have the opportunity to inspire and guide them. By sharing your knowledge and expertise, you can help your students reach their full potential and achieve their goals.

How to Get Started Teaching English with Gap Years Abroad

Teaching English abroad can be a fulfilling and exciting way to spend a gap year. It allows you to live in a new country, immerse yourself in a different culture, and make a positive impact on the lives of your students.

If you're considering teaching English abroad during a gap year, here are some steps to get started:

A Bachelor's Degree

Most countries will require proof of higher education if you want to teach English. Typically, any four-year diploma or bachelor's degree from an accredited institution will prove sufficient, and this does not need to be in the field of the English language or even education. You can hold a degree in commerce, arts, sciences and more.

Having a degree can also increase your chances of being hired and may lead to higher pay. If you don't have a bachelor's degree, consider completing a degree or a program that recognises prior skills before embarking on your teaching journey.

Receive Your Certification in Gap Year Programs After College

Most employers abroad will also require that you have a certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or equivalent. These courses show you have had the appropriate training and preparation for teaching English, and there are several options for obtaining a TEFL certification, including in-person courses, online courses, and hybrid courses (a combination of in-person and online learning). It's essential to do your research and choose a reputable program after college or university, such as the CELTA certification from Teaching House, that will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to be a successful teacher during a gap year.

Find the Locations in Which You Would Like to Teach

Many countries around the world offer opportunities to teach English. Some popular destinations include Japan, South Korea, China, and Thailand.

Consider the type of experience you want to have and the location that best aligns with your goals. Do you want to live in a big city or a small town? Do you want to experience a traditional culture or a more modern one? These are all important factors to consider when choosing where to teach.

Apply for Jobs

Once you have the above sorted, it's time to start applying for jobs. There are a number of websites and job boards that cater specifically to English teachers looking for work abroad. You can also check directly with schools and language centres to see if they have any openings or gap year programs after college and university.

It's a good idea to start applying for jobs several months in advance to give yourself plenty of time to prepare for your teaching adventure, or even visit the country in person for interviews and an assessment of the role.

Ready to Have a Memorable Gap Year? Get Started with Teaching House

Teaching English abroad can be a rewarding and exciting way to spend a gap year. With the right preparation and a little bit of effort, you can set yourself up for a successful and fulfilling experience. 

For more help getting started, please contact our helpful team at Teaching House today.

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