Teaching abroad is an experience that can have many benefits, both personally and professionally. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned educator, teaching abroad can be an opportunity to develop your skills, learn about a new culture, and make a positive impact on the lives of others.
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of teaching abroad in detail.
1. Teaching Abroad is Great for Professional development
Teaching abroad can be a great way to develop your teaching skills and gain new perspectives on education. By teaching in a different cultural context, you’ll encounter new challenges and opportunities to learn. You may need to adapt your teaching style to fit the needs of your students or learn new approaches to classroom management. Teaching in a foreign language can also be a valuable experience that can improve your communication skills and help you become a more effective teacher overall.
In addition, teaching abroad can be an opportunity to gain international experience and expand your professional network. You may meet other educators from around the world, attend conferences or workshops, or even collaborate on research projects. This can be valuable for career advancement and may lead to new job opportunities down the road.
You may even find that teaching abroad itself is your ‘Ikigai’, providing you with an income, an ability to make an impact, a sense of achievement, and a sense of purpose all at the same time!
2. Teaching Abroad Immerses You in New Cultures
One of the most significant benefits of teaching abroad is the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture. By living and working in a foreign country, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the local customs, traditions, and way of life. This can be a transformative experience that broadens your perspective and helps you develop a greater appreciation for diversity.
Immersing yourself in a new culture also allows you to reflect on your own cultural upbringing, and apply new cultural perspectives to your life. We’re all products of the culture we grew up in, and while it’s important to appreciate one’s cultural values, it’s equally important to examine them critically and keep an open mind.
Finally, living abroad can also be a chance to learn a new language or improve your language skills. This can be especially valuable if you’re teaching in a foreign language or if you plan to work with immigrant or international students in the future. However, learning new languages has also been shown to improve cognitive function over the course of your life, and even decrease the rate of cognitive decline at later stages in life.
3. Teaching Abroad Turbocharges Personal Growth
Teaching abroad can be a challenging experience that requires adaptability, resilience, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. By overcoming these challenges, you’ll develop important life skills that can benefit you in many areas of your life. You may become more independent, self-confident, and open-minded as a result of your experiences abroad.
In addition, teaching abroad can be an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery. You may discover new interests or passions, meet new people, or develop a new sense of purpose. This can be a transformative experience that helps you grow as a person and find greater meaning in your life.
In fact, researchers at Rice University have also found that teaching abroad develops a clearer sense of self. Nearly 2,000 participants across 6 studies completed a well-established measurement of self-concept clarity, and across the board those who had lived and worked in a different country demonstrated a clearer sense of self than those who had not.
At the end of the day, our relationship with ourselves is absolutely essential for a happy and purposeful life. Teaching abroad is an incredible way to develop a sense of self-clarity, purpose, and meaning in your life.
4. Teaching Abroad Allows You to Make a Positive Impact
Teaching abroad can be an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others. By sharing your knowledge and skills with students, you can help them achieve their goals and improve their prospects for the future. This can be especially meaningful if you’re teaching in a developing country or working with disadvantaged populations, which most of our teachers do at some point.
Our teaching practicums in Bangkok, for example, take place at a temple school. The student body of this school comprises mainly of students who aren’t able to attend public school in Thailand, many of whom have fled neighboring countries and don’t possess a state ID, effectively rendering them stateless.
In addition, teaching abroad can be an opportunity to promote cross-cultural understanding and help build bridges between different communities. By fostering empathy and understanding, you can help create a more peaceful and connected world.
5. Teaching Abroad Allows You to Travel the World
Teaching abroad can be an opportunity to explore new parts of the world and experience new cultures. Many teachers take advantage of their time abroad to travel and explore nearby countries and regions. This can be a chance to see new sights, try new foods, and make new friends from around the world.
In addition, teaching abroad can be a way to satisfy your wanderlust and gain a sense of adventure. Living in a foreign country can be a thrilling and exciting experience that can create memories that last a lifetime.
Overall, teaching abroad is an unbeatable life experience. It allows you to travel the world while making money, but more importantly while making a real impact. It decimates your comfort zone. It reveals strength and abilities and reserves of courage you never knew you had. It broadens your perspective, grants you access to an international network, and gives you a greater sense of self-clarity and purpose. Honestly, a better question might be: is there any way in which teaching abroad doesn’t change your life?
While teaching abroad is an incredible experience, it’s also an unprecedented challenge. You’ll be facing things you’ve never faced before, and challenges your friends and family back home can’t relate to or provide much support on. Unfrotuantely, there’s also not a ton of great information on the internet out there either.
But that’s exactly what we’re here for.
Our mission is to help equip you with the knowledge, skills, and support to maximize your experience abroad. We know that by doing so, you’ll also make a bigger impact in your students’ lives as well.
That’s what we call a ‘win-win’.