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TEFL Courses: Why Take Them? There are many people who would benefit
There are many people who would benefit from completing a TEFL course; people who, like me, are looking for some way to experience a culture other than their own. Completing a TEFL course can be that gateway, whether the goal is to master a new language, travel to new places, or just experience how a culture other than you own lives, attaining a TEFL certificate, and teaching English in a foreign country, can lead anyone to accomplishing those goals. Aside from these personal reasons, professional benefits can be gained as well. In a time when businesses are expanding more internationally, experience abroad can be helpful in furthering opportunities in the professional arena.
Many people who complete TEFL courses also want to be immersed in a second language that they have a desire to learn. This would be possible while living and teaching English in a foreign country because a great deal of the language of that country would be absorbed. Many Eastern European countries, Asian countries, and South American countries are looking for certified TEFL teacher, and the cost of living can be very reasonable to inexpensive (other European countries are looking too, but they might be more expensive to live) (Poelzl). Whatever foreign language a person desired to learn, they could probably find a job teaching English there. According to an article called 'Teach English Overseas' by Jean-Marc Hachey in Transitions Abroad Magazine, 'over one billion people in the world want to learn English.' With numbers like that, it is obvious that if a person is willing to commit to completing the TEFL course, and search for the job they want, there are jobs to be had. Whether a person is looking for some place similar to a person's home country such as in Europe or someplace completely new and exotic such as Thailand, a TEFL certificate can result in jobs there (Poelzl).
There are many options for the TEFL certified besides teaching in a public school. A person who is TEFL certified can be privately hired by wealthier families to tutor their children, hired by businesses to teach English to foreign companies who want their employees to speak English, or even hired as a nanny to live with a family so that their children can have a large exposure to English. People with a TEFL certificate are ideal for these positions (Swanson).
If a person is only looking for a way to be able to experience a new culture, and get in some traveling for an extended period, a TEFL certificate can realize this goal as well (Meyer). In some positions, especially if the cost of living is low where the teaching position is located, some money can be saved. Many TEFL teachers work in schools and also tutor privately in their spare time, and they are able to save money for travel that way.
Obtaining a TEFL certificate and working abroad can also be beneficial for future career goals. Many companies who have business abroad are eager to hire young employees with experience abroad because they see them, according to Jennifer Hamm in Transitions Abroad, as 'more mobile and less expensive (Hamm).' Experience abroad, such as in an English teaching position, develops a more global perception and a greater ability at interacting with different cultures (Estep and Youman). It can be what sets a person apart from an otherwise equally qualified, potential employee.
So whether the desired outcome is to break into international work later in life, to master a language, to travel, or to simply to experience a new culture, a TEFL certificate can help realize all of these goals.
Works Cited Estep, Bryan J., and Becky Youman. "What You Do Here, You Can Probably Do Overseas." Transitions Abroad Magazine (2006). . Hachcey, Jean-Marc. "Teach English Overseas." Editorial. Transitions Abroad Magazine Jan.-Feb. 2006. . Hamm, Jennifer. "Gen X Goes Abroad: Join the Young Professionals on International Assignments." Editorial. Transitions Abroad Magazine Jan.-Feb. 2005. . Hoge, AJ. "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: How to Avoid a Terrible Work Situation as an English Teacher Abroad." Editorial. Transitions Abroad Magazine Mar.-Apr. 2005. . Meyer, Jacy. "Choosing a TEFL Program." Editorial. Transitions Abroad Magazine Mar.-Apr. 2005. . Poelzl, Volker. "The Lure of Foreign Lands." Editorial. Transitions Abroad Sept. 2006. . Swanson, Jen. "Work, Study, and Travel: the Combination Allows You to Live as a Local." Editorial. Transitions Abroad Magazine Nov.- Dec. 2003. .