Teaching English Overseas; Delve Deeper than the Salary or Consider Staying HomeBy esljoblinks I Teaching - Other I 0 comment
I have been aching to talk about something. Whether you want to define it as sharing my insight or simply just expressing my biased opinion, either way works for me. I have been working overseas as an ESL teacher now for close to two years. I will be continuing on with the pursuit of happiness through education, but believe me it isn’t about the money. I want to debunk the myth that teaching English abroad is a viable option for people looking to get rich. Can you save a lot of money overseas by teaching? Absolutely. Can you live on less money than you could at home? Quite possibly. Will you become a millionaire or gain a high financial status? Not unless you win the lottery in your free time.
Teaching overseas does help you obtain wealth. However it has nothing to do with the kind of wealth that is brought about with money. Instead you receive the opportunity to gather information, live abroad, work in dazzling destinations, make friends around the world, and indulge in different foods, flavors, and cultures. The experiences are worth far more than money alone. And that is what I wanted to address. There are so many recruiting companies, websites, and even programs that rant and rave about the money you can make overseas and all the cash you can send home. The truth is that the money you save is going to depend greatly on how you live and what choices you make.
Accordingly, I urge potential ESL teachers to look further into what they are getting into. This thought may not relate to everyone, but I truly feel that if you are looking to move abroad and teach English for the money, you would benefit from reworking your priorities. You may also be better off landing a desk job and simply taking the bus to work rather than buying a car. On the other hand, if you are looking into this career, even just as a temporary choice, as a means of engaging in new experiences, meeting new people, and getting a new outlook on life, you are going to be handsomely rewarded.
Am I the guru when it comes to teaching English? Absolutely not. Is my opinion anymore important than the guy next to me? No, but I have been down this road for quite some time. I have made mistakes yet I have also made some lasting memories with some of the most wonderful people in the world. Have I saved as much money as I thought I would? Not even close. Would I change a single moment of the time I have spent traveling and working? Not in a heartbeat. Sometimes a $1,000 trip to Thailand can help you find your way and learn about yourself far more than putting $1,000 in your savings account. Don’t get me wrong, saving is important and necessary. Yet, not even money can buy some of the experiences I have had. None of which I would take back.
Repossess my house, charge me inflated interest on my credit card, it doesn’t matter. No one can take away what I have learnt, about myself and the world. That is the attitude I ask you to adopt before moving away and teaching. You are being given a chance that many people years ago didn’t have. You are getting the chance to see parts of the world that millions of people will never see. You are getting the chance to teach children or adults in order to give them the same opportunities you have. Teaching English overseas is an opportunity, and one that should not revolve around money.
Save whatever money you can and give it your best but make sure you live a little. Always remember how few people get this chance and how much of an impact you can have. Take it all in, try new foods, do things that scare you, speak to strangers, and just use this opportunity to connect to the world. Often times there is no better way to find oneself than through connecting with others.