Many people who dream of traveling the world take their exploration one trip at a time. But what if there was a way to hop from country to country, all while maintaining a fulfilling career and building meaningful relationships in the process?
TEFL, it turns out, is the perfect way to do that. Getting certified in Teaching English as a Foreign Language is an international market that is easy to break into. If you want to fully immerse yourself in all the cultures that the world has to offer, it’s time to get off the couch and sell those DVDs on musicMagpie. Use the profits to fund your initial training, and you’ll already be one step into a journey around the globe.
To start, getting a TEFL certificate is easy. You can take classes at an institute or complete your certificate with a combination of online work and practicum experience. Most programs will run for four weeks, but it is possible to take a course that is longer or shorter to fit your projected travel date. Or, if you’re eager to start your travel experience immediately, you can also find reliable companies like Bridge or the TEFL Institute that provide training in your destination country.
The primary benefit for most aspiring TEFL teachers is the chance to fund their travels by working abroad. As a native English speaker, being certified to teach the language to nonnative speakers gives you an edge in many foreign job markets. Once you find a stable teaching job in the country of your choice, you can use the location as a home base, traveling in your free time without worrying about incurring debt while doing so.
Some TEFL teachers also view their role in an international setting as a valuable civic duty. Whether your student is a shopkeeper hoping to increase his or her sales by marketing to English speaking tourists or a top-tier business person who needs to learn English in order to communicate with colleagues a continent away, your new career is a part of an international effort to make globalization more beneficial for various societies.
And though it may sound trite, getting a TEFL certificate to travel will be a life-changing experience for you, as well. In addition to helping others, you’ll be able to experience new countries, including their cuisines, languages and customs. But more than just photo ops and souvenirs, the kind of long-term exposure that you can get while working and living abroad will help you gain a broader understanding of humanity, politics, economics and the sociological implications of these areas. Even if you’ve earned a college degree before your adventure, you’ll feel educated in a completely different way once you embark on it.