For some teachers, taking the leap to teach English abroad has been a lifelong dream. For others, making the move to teach English abroad is for a change of pace and to gain international experience. Even still, some others long to travel and find any way to make that happen.
Whatever your reason, following through with teaching abroad can be one of the best decisions you can ever make in your life.
Still need some convincing? Here’s 5 reasons you should take the leap and teach English abroad.
Reason #1. Being global is the future of work.
You’ve probably heard of IQ, or “Intelligence Quotient,” which measures an individual’s level of intelligence and abilities to perform certain tasks. You may have even heard of EQ, or “Emotional Quotient.” Instead of your apparent “intelligence” to be a determiner of your ability to accomplish tasks, at the end of the 20th century, EQ became popularized to determine an individual’s ability to connect with other humans and form emotional trust, thus becoming a leader in the workplace. But have you heard of WQ, or “World Quotient”?
World Quotient refers to an individual’s ability to “be understood all over the world.”
AKA, to be successful in today’s professional age, you need to know how to make it anywhere in the world. What better way to start, than actually moving to the other side of the globe?
Reason #2. By living and working abroad, you acquire indispensable knowledge about the world.
You may have visited many countries on holiday, but have you had the chance to truly live within another culture? When you immerse yourself in another place for an extended period of time, you have the opportunity to raise your awareness of global issues (as seen by other nations), as well as gain understanding of multiple cultures, languages, and ways of life. This knowledge will benefit you in the professional world both in your home country, and everywhere in the world.
Reason #3. You gain skills such as effective communication and perspective taking that are vital in a multicultural workplace.
By living in another country, with a new language, you’ll be compelled to adapt your thinking and behavior, which can give you an advantage in the globalized workplace.
In addition, when teaching English abroad, you’ll find yourself working in a very multicultural workplace. I’ve met colleagues who come from all different parts of China, and nearly every corner of the world. By working and living with so many people from so many different places, I’ve become aware of different experiences and different ways of thinking that I never could have learned back home. Because of this, I’ve gained conflict resolution skills and more capacity to empathize; which in turn has helped me to collaborate, cooperate, and give feedback. These are highly valued skills in any line of work.
Reason #4. Your attitude towards the world will transform.
By spending extended time abroad, you develop an openness to, and respect for people from cultures and ways of life different from your own. This is what is referred to as “global mindedness,” which is the sense that as humans, we are all interconnected to each other. You will also become used to working in multicultural teams, and harnessing the creative power that is born when you combine diverse ways of thinking.
Reason #5. Acquiring new values to make you stand out in the professional realm.
The values that you will acquire when working and living abroad will strengthen your individual WQ to help you become an incredible 21st century professional. These workplace and life values include respect for cultural diversity, appreciation for what we all share in common, and regard for individual cultural heritage.
Did you know that 90% of a culture is beyond what the eye can see with just a glance? From the outside looking in, we can only notice language, culture, and physical appearance. However, when you spend time living in a culture and appreciating their values firsthand, you will learn deeper ideals like belief systems, thought patterns, and leadership styles.
Making the decision to live and work abroad is monumental, but so are the experiences and rewards that come along with it. Come teach English abroad, you won’t regret it.
Are you ready to take the leap?
Teach, travel and train with EF English First
By: Alexis Selby
Alexis is a Kids and Teens teacher from the U.S. who spends her free time exploring any nearby destination she can make it to, trying out any and all new foods, making new friends, and studying Mandarin.