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Teaching abroad is an unforgettable experience. The new people that you meet, the new connections that you make, the amazing culture transition that you’re undergoing – they all add up to an extraordinary overall adventure.
There are so many reasons why teaching abroad will change your perspectives and enrich your attitude towards life! But before we get into that, let me give you a quick motivational background.
Not many people live life to its fullest. Most of them go through the motions, but they never get out of their comfort zones to see how living differently feels like.
In order to make the best out of our lives and expand our horizons, we must do things that stand out – things that only a few would do, out-of-the-extraordinary activities. Living by such means is an excitement generator. How can you be bored when you’re living a life full of persistent, thrilling activities?
One of the best ways to challenge yourself and live up to your potential is teaching abroad. Teaching helps you grow. By constantly interacting with your students, accepting their flaws and qualities, you create tight bonds with your students – bonds that could last a lifetime.
Below there are multiple reasons why teaching abroad is an awesome idea. Take a look, and if there’s anything you’d like to add, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.
1. Self-Development and Independence
When we travel and get out of our comfort zones, we might go through some tough situations that require a strong mind. Whether these events are pleasant or not, we must overcome difficulties and find the right answers to our questions. If we don’t, who else is going to? Traveling will have a significant impact on your personal growth. You will be able to:
- Consider different perspectives
- Understand a whole new culture
- Refine who you are
- Be open to other peoples’ points of view
- Be engaged in the community
- Become independent
The last point is crucial. When you’re going through challenging situations and have no close friends or family to help you actively, you’ll be forced to come up with solutions on your own. That is a great lesson for your future career and further personal development.
2. Developing a New Skill Set
Are you teaching for the first time in your life? Good! When you arrive at your destination, you are probably going to take some teaching courses that will help you communicate better with the students. On top of that, if you don’t feel confident enough on your speaking abilities, you can take some classes to improve your second-language aptitudes as well.
Anyways, developing a new skill set does not have to be all about the new language skills acquired. Teaching itself is a profession that requires mental strength, patience, sympathy, and purposefulness. You must be:
- mentally stable, to provide students with advice whenever necessary
- patient, to help them develop and acquire new abilities
- sympathetic, to understand where they come from and what their background is
- purposeful, to be by your students’ side whenever they are struggling
Developing all the above qualities will happen inevitably. Teaching changes people and teaches them important life lessons.
3. Finding New Friends and Better Communication
Research shows that we tend to repeat the same patterns and take the same life routes if they suit our needs, and make us happy. For instance, if Sarah got along with a person with a choleric temperament in her childhood years, she is probably going to look for the same qualities in the next person she becomes friends with. That’s how our brains work.
If you grew up in a Western, modern culture, you probably lack a thorough understanding of other cultures. Learning a new language and exchanging information with people living overseas will strengthen your communication abilities and expand your acceptance circle.
All of a sudden, that “choosing the same friends” pattern will fade, and you’ll realize that regardless of our race, sex, or color, we are all the same people with different qualities. You’ll be able to connect with people more because you will accept them exactly as they are.
4. An Increased Number of Job Offers
Being more acceptant, speaking another language proficiently, and developing exponentially on a personal and spiritual level, your return will bring you nothing but amazing benefits. Finding a job will be so much easier to do. New doors are going to open, and amazing opportunities will come your way!
- Don’t forget to include your traveling accomplishments in your resume.
- During a job interview, mention that you’ve traveled and lived overseas for an extended period and learned X, Y, and Z.
- Emphasize the challenges that you’ve been through, the cultural exchange, the improved communication abilities, the expanded friends’ circle – recruiters love hearing that!
- Do not be afraid to expand on your trip if you feel like it, and include spicy details that will make your story stand out. In the end, you did what others wouldn’t have done, so brag about it as much as you’d like!
5. Experiences That Shape Your Character
Traveling and teaching are two of the most impactful activities that significantly shape a person’s character. After you’ve tried at least one of the two, you’ll perceive the world with different eyes.
At home, we have everything that we need: people listening to ourselves and caring for our needs, a big circle of friends to go out with, and family that always has our back. Abroad, there’s nothing like that. There are many times when we feel alone and misunderstood, maybe even left out of the conversation.
The most important lesson to take home is understating how foreigners living in your country feel like most of the times. Experiencing the same emotions will get you better insight into their feelings and perceptions. You’ll become less judgmental and wiser over time. Thus, you’ll be able to form new, better connections with people from all around the world when you return from your trip.
6. Taking Action
Last but not least, teaching abroad will open your eyes to the real problems within our world. If, for example, you choose to teach in an African country, you’ll perceive the struggle that African children are continuously living with your own eyes. You’ll see how living in a third world country feels like, and how missing basic foods and supplies can affect your life.
We as Westerners, are too ignorant most of the time. We forget or refuse to open our eyes and see the problems around us. We are too caught up in our daily, fancy activities and busy, corporate lives to consider other perspectives.
Living such impactful experiences, you’ll become a more cultured individual. Because you live in a relatively rich country, you’ll be able to take action and fight for global changes easily. And isn’t making the world a better place what we, humans, should always strive for?
Teaching abroad is an amazing opportunity that opens new doors, broadens perspectives, and changes lifestyles. Your whole life could be redefined by such a startling intercultural exchange. So, do it! Experience new activities, get out of your comfort zone, and live life to its fullest!