Decide to Teach English Abroad ~ Step 1 ~ Find your Why
This blog post is the kick-off to a series of posts taking you through the steps of how to start your journey to teach abroad. The first part of that process is to finally decide to teach English abroad. Then there is getting certified, thinking about where to go, applying for jobs the process is extensive and can be overwhelming. So, I want to take you through the process step-by-step to help you make the best decisions for yourself, and have the most amazing experience teaching and living abroad.
How to Find your why
Let’s start with some guidance on what to think about before even getting started with the whole process I described above. This time of reflection and goal setting should come right after you decide to teach English abroad. This is just the first part of your journey…and it is going to be an exciting one! I have done it and I want to share my experience and knowledge with you to help you with your own process. I only wish I had had this guidance when I first started my own journey!
Let’s get down to business…..shall we? The first part of the process will help you get focused and set up your goals for your new life teaching abroad. Before you start to make any decisions about where to teach or what kind of job to look for you want to figure out your WHY.
Many people decide to teach English abroad from the stories they have heard from a friend who has taught in Korea or China. Side note: Korea and China are hot spots for teaching English abroad which means there are a lot of jobs and money to be made. These jobs have been the “cookie cutter” job option to move abroad and teach in a private school with accommodation and travel provided. With a friend’s recommendation and first-hand experience, this may seem like the perfect way to start. You have the information and personal experience and advice from someone you trust. But, and it’s a big BUT! There are so many MORE places and jobs to choose from.
Before you decide on living the same journey as your friend……make sure it is the journey you want to be on!
First, let’s figure out your WHY
I’ve made up some guiding questions to help you think about 2 main things:
1.) Why you want to teach abroad, and, 2.) what you want to get out of this experience.
When you really think about these questions and answer them for yourself, it will help you to make a better decision to have the best experience possible teaching English abroad.
Here are some guiding questions to help you figure out your WHY
1.) Why do you want to travel abroad?
- gain experience teaching?
- figure out whether you like teaching as a profession?
- get experience as a certified teacher (with a teaching certificate from your country)?
- save money?
- travel and experience the world?
2.) Do you want to teach abroad temporarily or make a lifestyle out of teaching abroad?
3.) Are you planning to make a lifestyle out of teaching abroad at a more professional level?
4.) What kind of lifestyle do you want to have? (Travel and fun, professional and travel, stay in one place and travel around? Travel around and teach in different places? Etc.)
5.) What do you want to do after you finish teaching abroad? (Do you want to keep teaching and traveling, go home and get certified as a teacher, go back to your original profession? etc)
Use these questions to guide you
Journal, meditate, run, walk, play board games….do whatever you like to do to help you really connect with yourself and figure out the most honest answers to these questions. The great thing is, there are no wrong answers!!!
Here is a free worksheet that you can print out and read or write on to help you really answer these questions: Decide to Teach English Abroad – Find your Why Resource
Of course, you can answer yes to more than one of these questions. This process is going to help you make decisions about your job and location a lot easier because you will be clear on what you want and why you are going this!
An additional resource to help you make your decision on where to teach is the Cost of Living search engine by Numbeo. You can look up the cost of living in different locations to see how much money you should be making to save and travel and plan your life abroad!
Ultimately, my reason for going abroad and teaching English in Korea was to travel and find my independence. What I got out of it was so much more than I expected! For more information about my own experience and journey teaching abroad click HERE.
CONGRatulations! You’ve taken the first step to teaching abroad!!
This is the first and most important step of your journey. In the coming weeks, I will be posting the next steps to help you travel and teach abroad.
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comment below, What are your reasons for teaching English abroad?
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THE NEXT STEP THE SERIES: Decide to Teach English Abroad – Step-2-Find a TEFL Job