No time to teach English abroad? Think again!
Teaching abroad is a life-changing experience. The chance to live in a distant land, immerse oneself in another culture, and travel from a convenient home-base overseas is quite the opportunity. While some find the idea of living and working in another country appealing, many of us never take the initiative to do it; after all, it’s not an easy thing to do. Not all of us are prepared to leave our current lives for an extended period of time, and the logistics can be daunting, too. Where will you live when you return home? What will you do with your belongings? These concerns prevent many of us from teaching abroad. Not everyone is at a point of their life where teaching overseas for a year (or longer) is a sensible choice.
But what if you could teach overseas without leaving your job, selling your car, and moving out of your apartment? What if you could simply go for a month or two, to “test the waters” for a later, more extensive venture to another continent? The good news is, with short-term teaching positions abroad available, it is possible.
Seeing the World with Short-term Teaching Positions Abroad
Not long after I returned from teaching English in South Korea, I began graduate school, and while the prospect of teaching overseas again attracted me, I had little interest in abandoning my new program. Conveniently, I had my summers off, and I found myself in need of some short-term employment. I had heard about extensive “English camps” that Korean children attend during both their summer and winter holidays, and with remarkable ease, I was able to find one that fit my schedule. After interviewing with a few potential employers, I ultimately chose the one that seemed to be the most reputable. They provided me with a clear contract outlining the job responsibilities, compensation, and timeline, and helped navigate the process of obtaining a short-term visa with little difficulty.
When I arrived for orientation, it was clear that I had made the right decision. Although I was in for some hard work over the next five weeks, teaching a new group of students every few days, they made the rest of the process as simple as could be. They provided full room and board, which included a large dorm room with a lightning-fast internet connection, and three meals per day in the cafeteria. Since we had such a busy teaching schedule, they also offered free laundry service. In other words, we had basically no expenses, and no “life” responsibilities of cooking and cleaning while working there, all the while earning a relatively high salary. Even after the cost of the plane ticket to get there, and paying to travel around the country for about two weeks, it was still a financially responsible trip. I got to work overseas, travel to new, exciting places, bring money home, and come back to my job once the school year began anew.
So what’s stopping you? Have a pet? Well, I can understand not wanting to leave a furry friend for a year. But for six weeks? Sure! Can’t get (paid) time-off from work? No problem. If you make enough money overseas you can likely afford to take a brief, unpaid leave. Concerned about packing? What for? You’re only going for one season, and can get by with far less. Short-term teaching positions abroad can make this a possibility. Forget your other excuses. Just make it happen. Far too many people regret never seeing the world. Don’t be one of them.
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Written by Jeremy White
Jeremy White has lived and worked in several states and countries, most extensively as a TESOL instructor in South Korea. He has a master’s degree in linguistics and has taught Oxford Seminars courses in both New York and Minneapolis.