After I graduated university, I had the dream of travelling for as long as I possibly could. So, I tried to make it a reality. I spent 6 months working my bottom off in England, adding to the savings I had already accumulated, and planned my next trip.
But, there was a slight spanner in the works. If you haven’t read about it already, catch Sun, Sea and COVID-19, my blog post about why travelling in 2020 didn’t really work out.
So there I was, home from travelling merely 3 weeks in, with no job, in lockdown and feeling pretty blue. I was looking for something to fill my time that was not only useful, but also interested me, and would mean I could pursue my dream of travel once things returned to normal.
I had always loved teaching, from assisting drama classes from a young age, to actually doing work experience in a secondary school during university, I had enjoyed it all. I didn’t want to teach formally as I felt very restricted by curriculums in England, but I always wanted to use the skills I enjoyed so much, and work with people to help enrich their lives.
And then…. it clicked. Teaching English as a Foreign Language. A job that lets you travel the world, and uses the essential teaching skills I loved so much. Due to coronavirus they were also all heavily discounted, and all the teaching was online too! It was the perfect choice. Having now completed my TEFL qualification, here are 10 reasons why I think (and now KNOW) it was a great idea:
- Learning – might seem obvious but it’s true.
This is a kind of multi-faceted point. Firstly, I learnt a lot actually undertaking my TEFL. There were grammar rules I used everyday speaking English that I wouldn’t have even known I was using (sounds crazy but it’s true). Not only did I learn about grammar, but also about teaching styles, different methods and so much more. I really enjoyed learning so much throughout my course. However, not only this, but I also have learnt so much whilst teaching. I have learnt about different countries, cultures and people so much, and it has been an absolutely joyous learning experience in so many ways.
- Getting paid to do what you love.
If you love: travelling, teaching, or studying, then you will love earning money through a job in teaching English as a foreign language. For me, doing a TEFL combined all 3 things, and these are 3 things that are my biggest passions. On top of enjoying it, getting paid to do it is an even bigger added bonus, I can earn a living from doing what I love, and who doesn’t want that from their job?
- Living in another country.
Doing a TEFL gives you the ability to live in pretty much any country in the world, as wherever you go there are almost always people who want to learn English! The opportunities to live in another country and get a job that means you can stay are endless with a TEFL, and it’s a great way to spend long periods of time in a certain place and learn about that country or city.
- Meeting likeminded people.
This leads on from point number three. Sometimes travelling or moving to a new country can be extremely daunting. With a TEFL, and by getting a job as an English teacher, you have a multitude of opportunities to meet people who love the same things as you, and share the same aspirations. This enhances your experience of a new country by creating friendships that last a long time, and that you will never forget, whether it be with other TEFL certified teachers, students or other people you meet through teaching abroad.
- Making a difference.
This may not be true for everyone, but, certainly for me, having a purpose makes such a big difference when it comes to my career or job. A career in teaching English as a foreign language can change other peoples lives, and give you an opportunity to see other people succeed in life, and achieve their dreams or even just their learning goals. This can be so satisfying and make you feel like you are helping people, something that I think is very important in my life goals.
- Working remotely.
This is especially relevant in our currently global pandemic. Not only does a TEFL allow you to move to a different country, but in times where this isn’t possible, it also allows you to teach online, remotely, from your own home. This can be done for groups or individuals, and means the opportunities for work are unlimited. I have done most of my teaching post-qualifying online, and it has been a truly enriching experience, allowing me to work in the area I want to, whilst still staying safe in our current situation.
- Flexibility with your time.
This is another extra bonus from point number 6. Working remotely and tutoring online means you can choose your schedule. You can have students from all over the world, in every different timezone, and have the ability to choose the times that suit both of you. You can have weekends off, choose not to do early mornings, or do all your tutoring between 7pm and 3am local time. You are truly free to choose your schedule and make it work for you, something that rarely happens in a job. Forget the 9-5, make it suit you!
- Perfect time to do it.
I know we are living through unprecedented times currently, but lockdown (#1) gave me the perfect opportunity to study hard, and make the most of my TEFL qualification. Points number 2, 6 and 7 also reinforce why now is the perfect time to do this, and allows you to sustain a job you love in the hope of travelling when it is possible in the future. I am so grateful I chose to do my TEFL back in March, and I have really reaped the benefits in this strange old time.
So, what are you waiting for…?
I joke, but leading on from this, a lot of TEFL qualification providers currently have sales and discounts because of the new year and the pandemic. The provider I went with was The TEFL Org, but there are many great providers out there, and on top of this, a variety of different courses too!
If you have any questions about doing a TEFL, or my experiences, feel free to contact me here. Thank you for reading and look forward to sharing with you again soon.
Love, Amy @thisgingertravels x