Teaching Beyond Borders

Grace Carney- Staff Writer

While many of us have considered studying abroad at some point, it’s far less likely you have been offered to take this a step further, and have been offered to teach abroad. Whether you’re an English major or not, one of the most compelling and unusual experiences you can undertake is to teach English in another country. Through doing so, you will have the chance to travel and stay in another country for a reasonable price, provide knowledge and access to resources to a community of children that might not have received them otherwise while gain life long skills of communication and leadership. Most importantly, teaching abroad will allow you to plant a seed of personal growth, fabricated in the immersion of another language and culture—moving away from your comfort zone and taking on an entirely foreign perspective.
Both exciting and daunting, the first place to begin would be to figure out which country you would most like to make a difference in. It’s crucial to take into account where you can picture yourself for several months at a time—location is irrelevant compared to the culture and environment you’ll be surrounded by. The best place to start would be to investigate where you are thinking of going by researching your top options. How far you’d like to stray from familiarity is entirely a personal decision. Perhaps the most fun add-ons to your trip will be the accumulation of the little things: the people, language, food, architecture and history you will be surrounded by. Another main benefit will be the fact that you will be provided with a considerable portion of leisure time—that is, freedom to explore the nation you’re living in.
Regarding personal growth, delving into the unknown and leaving the safety of your friends, family and home is intimidating; but going through a program that has recruited several other U.S. college undergraduates who are in the same boat as you makes it all the more bearable. By taking on the leadership position of teaching a group of children in a foreign country, you will automatically and forcibly cultivate skills of independence and learn how to manage people on your own. Best of all, you will be offering both knowledge and critical thinking skills to a handful of young people who will have the chance to broaden their scope of insight about how the world works, later participate in the global community with English language skills and advance intellectually on an individual level.
Regular vacations typically require paying thousands of dollars to visit another country, cramming in sight seeing, not really connecting with the locals, for only a very brief period. Through teaching abroad, you will be able to fully immerse in a culture, learn the language to a significant extent, understand the people on a relatively profound level, enjoy unhurried sightseeing and earn an income from your work as an educator. Airfare, housing and medical insurance is usually partially or fully reimbursed by the school you’re working for. By working to help children learn English, you will be opening the door to allowing them to be able to partake in the global market, since today’s modern world economy uses English as a primary medium in international business.
On an internal level, teaching abroad encourages you to open up and understand the core values of people in another country. Maybe such philosophical wisdom will lead you to not wanting to leave after you’ve served your time teaching. Finally, you will be able to come back to the U.S. with a once in a lifetime, intensely memorable experience and a fantastic addition to record on your resume, demonstrating self-sufficiency and an audacity many of your peers would not have had the courage to tackle.

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