1. You Become an Expert in Your Field

One of the biggest advantages as a TESOL teacher is that you are constantly learning about English; not only grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation but how to improve in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Whether or not you are a native speaker, you will continue to improve in your own understanding of English and how it works.

2. International Work Experience

One experience that employers back home will notice in your CV is the fact that you have worked overseas. Teaching English in another country builds skills and experience that you may not be able to in your home country: the ability to adapt to culturally different environments, the skills of effective communication, empathy, independence, courage, appreciation for differences in people, and of course travel experience.

3. Learn the Customs

Being an overseas TESOL teacher enables you to experience a new culture, and with time, you will find yourself following the customs! It’s a great learning experience, and can help you to better appreciate your own culture.

4. Make Overseas Connections

Whether it’s just hanging out with local friends, or making business connections to further advance your career, working overseas gives you ‘in-the-field’ opportunities that you can’t have while living in your own country.

5. The Chance to See the Sights

As a TESOL teacher, you will often find yourself intrigued with the area you are living and working in; you will have time to be a tourist, whether it’s visiting a local place of interest, or hopping a plane or bus and travelling into nearby countries. South-East Asia has a clear advantage, in that many countries are very close together, enabling you to enjoy a relatively short journey from your home base to a neighboring country.

6. Always in Demand

One of the biggest advantages to being a TESOL teacher is that there are literally thousands of job opportunities in the overseas teaching market. With the right TESOL diploma, you can choose the country you want to work in; alternatively, you can go on a world tour, visiting and teaching in as many countries as you’d like, gaining income and experience as you go!

7. Develop Great Friendships with Students

As a TESOL teacher working abroad, you will be helping students learn English as a second or foreign language; you will also be able to form lasting friendships with your students, sharing experiences and learning about each other’s culture and interests.

8. One word – FOOD!

Anyone who appreciates a good meal will learn to appreciate the advantage of tasting the flavors of another country. Whether it’s fine dining, or sampling street food, every country has its own signature flavors that make it a unique place to live and work in. Ask anyone what they enjoy most about living overseas, and they’ll tell you the opportunity to try new foods.

9. Appreciate being the Foreigner

When you see a foreigner in your home country, do you truly appreciate the challenges they face when visiting or living in your country? Teaching English overseas will give you that unique chance to see the world through their eyes, and learn how to adapt to your new environment.

10. Make the World a Smaller Place

English currently has the largest number of speakers, and most of them are speaking English as a second or foreign language. This not only shows that there is a high demand for effective TESOL teachers, but also no matter where you go, everyone will be speaking the same language.

11. Become Involved in Local Concerns

One of the benefits of teaching English in a different country is that it exposes you to opportunities to do good in the region you’re working. Why not volunteer an hour or two a week to teach someone how to read and write? Or devote some time some humanitarian effort?

12. You Will Never Be the Same Again

As a TESOL teacher working overseas, you will often have once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will enrichen your time living and working abroad. You will meet unforgettable people, experience unforgettable things, and come away from the experience a better person, both personally and professionally.

Michael Bunyak

English Teacher at Canadian Education College, Singapore