There is no simple answer to this question as the reasons for teaching English are different for different people. For some it is the chance to help people who need English to improve their job status and to provide for their families. For others it is the adventure of heading overseas that is the real draw. With a TEFL qualification you can realistically look for work in almost any country you can think of. Another major benefit of teaching English that is often overlooked is that it provides a huge boost to the confidence and future careers of thousands of people who see it as a major step on their work and study journey. Whatever your own reasons for wanting to teach English, you will get to travel, help other people, and gain valuable work and life experience, all while exploring your own abilities. Seeing your students reach their goals and being a part of their journey can be an incredibly satisfying experience that will stay with you for many years to come.
Teaching EFL allows you to travel
One of the most obvious benefits of teaching English, unless you choose to teach online from home, is that it allows you to travel. You can move from one country to the next, teaching for periods of time in each destination. You can also choose to stay in one location for a longer period and use that as a base to explore a particular country or region in more depth. Teaching jobs can be found all over the world, so no matter where you are interested in, there is a good chance that you can teach English there. The most popular destinations are located in Asia, Europe and Latin America, allowing you to choose between a number of amazing locations.
Teaching EFL to earn money
How much you can earn teaching English will vary considerably depending on the location you choose, your level of qualifications and experience, and the type of job. However, in some countries it is possible to earn a very high wage that allows you to enjoy a good lifestyle and save cash to pay off student debts or to travel, etc. Many teachers head to the Middle East region as that is where many of the best contracts can be found. In countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, your income will be tax free and will also likely include free housing, paid airfares, and a range of other benefits and bonuses. These jobs will usually require some experience so many teachers start elsewhere and then apply for jobs in this region later on in their career. If you decide that the Middle East is not the right fit for you, there are plenty of other countries where the average teacher’s wage is enough to fund a good quality of life.
Teaching EFL for the language and culture
While teaching English abroad you will have seemingly endless opportunities to enjoy the culture of your new home. Whether you choose Brazil, Spain, Saudi Arabia, or Japan, you will be surrounded by the local culture every day and as you are living and working in it, you will get to experience the benefits in a way that regular visitors can only dream of. Whether your passion is for music, art, fashion, food, or architecture, you will get to explore it like a local.
Another popular option for EFL teachers is to learn the local language while teaching English. Living and working within a different country provides the very best environment for learning a language as you will be immersed in it every single day. Many teachers pick up the basics of a new language out of necessity, while others see it as a great opportunity to take things a bit deeper and learn a language that will stay with them all their lives.
Teaching EFL to help others
While there are many reasons to teach English that will benefit the teacher, the help you can provide for your students is also a big motivation for many. English students turn up for classes for a variety of reasons, but in many cases it is in an effort to better their own prospects and those of their family. The ability to speak English can be a passport to a new career in many countries and seeing your students reach their goals can be a hugely rewarding experience. This level of reward can be gained from any teaching job, although volunteer roles can be particularly special as they provide instruction to people who might otherwise have little chance to embark on this kind of path.
Teaching EFL for your future
While some EFL teachers spend many years in the profession and might end up teaching in a variety of different schools and countries, for many others it is a short term adventure that provides a bridge between education and the rest of their lives. Whatever your long term study or work goals, there is no doubt that a stint teaching English overseas will be a positive experience on a personal level, as well as on a professional level. Future employers will be impressed with your CV/resume as working abroad demonstrates a high level of motivation and drive, and the ability to adapt to new and unfamiliar environments.