There were plenty of study abroad programs when I was in school (only a few years ago). But, I never actually studied abroad. A handful of my friends studied abroad, however.
And they loved it.
It was the best experience of their life. They learned so much, met a ton of great friends, and would do it again in a heart beat. Well, if life didn’t get in the way, that is. You’ve got a teaching job (if you don’t, here’s a list of ways to find a teaching job). You probably have an apartment 15 minutes from school. And maybe you’re married.
That’s a lot going on, isn’t it?
You long for the beaches of coastal Spain, the winding roads of Austria, and the thriving city streets of Paris. Well, there’s an alternative. And I think it’s pretty awesome.
Yep. I know, it’s not ground-breaking or anything. But, it does provide an outlet for you to get the travel bug back and make a difference in the lives of young people. As if that’s not enough, here are 9 more reasons you need to hop on a plane this summer and teach abroad:
1. The impact you’ll make
Teaching abroad means you have the chance to make the same impact you’re making stateside, abroad. The students may even be more excited – and appreciative – of the opportunity they have to learn from you. And what’s better than making a difference in your student’s life? Pretty sure nothing is.
2. The other countries you’ll see
Just because you’re teaching in Tanzania doesn’t mean you can’t explore Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, etc. You’re not chained to one country. Take the chance to see the world around you when you’re so much closer than normal. I have friends who explored 10-12 other countries while working in 1. Talk about travelling the world in just a few months!
3. The food you’ll enjoy
In addition to working on QuizBean, I’ll also enjoy some interesting food on my travels. And what better way to push your culinary limits than to teach abroad? You’ll get the local flavors of the region, the greasy spoons, and maybe even some fried delicacies. Sounds like an adventure to me.
4. The people you’ll meet (remember, it’s a small world)
I remember when I was in Paris on a bench and saw Carlos Valderrama, a famous Colombian soccer player, walk past me. In Paris! When you’re abroad, you never know who you’re going to meet. There are truly amazing people out there. It’s time to see which one of them you’re going to run into.
5. The lessons you’ll learn
Many time, trips away from your normal life, lead to the most profound lessons learned. I’m talking about dramatic shifts in your values and life strategy. Other countries do that to people. I have a friend who spent a year in Thailand. He’s a better person because of it, too. How are you going to change? Pick a country and find out!
6. The increased appreciation for friends & family
Remember those Skype phone calls? And the letters? Oh, and don’t forget the care packages. When you’re abroad, away from family and friends, you’ll gain a better appreciation for what you have at home, the relationships you’ve built up, and the small things that make home, home.
7. The chance to teach something different
It’s fun to always teach general science, but what if you got the opportunity to teach biology to culinary students? Or nano-technology to students in Beijing? There are amazing teaching opportunities to explore. Try something different for once!
8. The (most-of-the-time) decreased cost of living
In many countries, it’s cheap to live. Inexpensive rent, food, and nightlife, makes teaching abroad affordable. After all, you’ve got to see all those other countries, right?
9. The feeling of accomplishment
You did it! You started teaching abroad. It has always been on of your life goals to teach in the south of France. You can now cross it off your bucket list. This feeling of accomplishment does great things for you. It shows you you can do anything you put your mind to. It shows you you can take risks. Now, what’s your next move?
Teaching abroad is an amazing experience. While not everyone is presented with the opportunity, if you are, I’d take it. You only live once, so why not spend a year in Tanzania?