How to Make Teaching Abroad a Permanent Career
Every year, thousands of young college graduates travel abroad to teach English as a Foreign Language to young people overseas. For many of these young people, teaching English abroad offers a chance to see the world, beef up their resumes and earn some money to pay off student loans or travel. Most new college grads who go abroad to teach English will fulfill the terms of their contracts and then return home after a year or two. But some will enjoy teaching English abroad so much that they’ll wonder if they can’t make it permanent career.
While it’s true that many people teaching English abroad do it only as a temporary job, you can definitely make this your permanent career if you so desire. Your job prospects for teaching abroad, especially if you’re a native English speaker, are excellent. English teachers are in high demand in countries around the world. Whether you want to settle down in one country or travel the world and take jobs in several countries, teaching English as a foreign language to students overseas can be a rewarding and exciting career.
Be Outgoing and Independent
The biggest challenge for most people who decide to make teaching English abroad a permanent career is living so far away from home. If you decide to take up permanent residence in another country, you’ll be separated from your family for long periods of time. You may seldom have the chance to catch up with loved ones and American friends. This won’t be a problem if you’re an independent, self-reliant person.
You’ll also need to be an outgoing and gregarious person who makes friends easily. Being alone in another country, especially permanently, could make you unhappy if you have trouble coming out of your shell.
Choose a Stable Country or Countries
For your own safety as well as your job stability, it’s best to choose a politically and economically stable country if you plan to teach English abroad as a permanent career. If you take a position in a politically unstable country, you may have to leave your position due to civil unrest. Economic turmoil in your new country of residence could threaten the stability of your job. There are many stable countries in Europe, Asia and elsewhere where you can have a long and successful career teaching English.
Of course, many people who choose to make a permanent career out of teaching English abroad do so in order to travel around the world while collecting a paycheck. You can spend a year or two in Thailand, for example, then move on to China, Mexico, Peru, the Czech Republic, Dubai, El Salvador or any other country of your choice. When and if you get tired of moving every few years, you can choose a country in which to settle down.
Consider Earning an Advanced Degree in TEFL
If you really want to make a permanent career out of teaching English abroad, you may want to consider earning an advanced degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. An MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language will prepare you for the best jobs at international schools in countries around the world. When you teach at an international school, you can earn much more than you would if you stuck with teaching in public schools or other local markets. Salaries at international schools are typically healthy and vary from $4,000 to $6,000 a month in many countries. In addition to this competitive salary, you could also receive a reimbursement for your airfare, comprehensive health care, several weeks of vacation time each year and a housing allowance. As a teacher at international school, you would be teaching students from around the world, not just from the country in which you are living.
If you want the opportunity to see the world after you graduate from college and earn the money doing it, teaching English abroad can be a great temporary gig. Teaching English as Foreign Language to students overseas has the potential to be a permanent career — and one that’s far more exciting than those of your friends back home.