10. The world is a very big place.
Teaching abroad offers globetrotting opportunities that might not avail themselves to you under any other circumstance. No matter what your determination level is, you can’t see it all. But, you’ll never tire of exploring; that’s a guarantee.
9. Even as a teacher, you’re still a student.
If you’re not teaching abroad to also learn, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. You’ll master the arts of patience and acceptance, while enriching your knowledge of other cultures and languages.
8. There can be good money to be made, even in the teaching profession.
Living accommodations are often provided, and utility bills may be a fraction of what you’d pay in your home country. Throw in a tax-free salary and you may be able to breathe easier than ever before.
7. Almost every experience is amusing when you share it with friends.
Situations that would be maddening, become comical when you can commiserate with others. Work issues? Language barriers? When your problem du jour becomes fodder that renders you the winner of Thursday night’s “Top That!” story-telling session, nothing seems impossible.
6. Sometimes there are no words.
And that’s ok, even for those of us who love to write. Teaching abroad can literally leave you speechless on occasion, but that’s okay. When you have a crazy day, just remember – there’s always tomorrow.
5. People are people.
From other English-speaking co- workers to those you must gesture to communicate with, or to those you need a third ear to understand – teachers learn that we’re all basically cut from the same cloth. People from one end of the world to the other really aren’t that different. We’re all living in a foreign country, doing what we’re doing for various reasons, but it usually boils down to being better able to take care of our families while living a lifestyle that makes it a tad easier to get out of bed in the mornings.
Though I considered myself to be somewhat humble before I left my home country, I’ve now seen firsthand how many others, live. I’m amazed at how happy they are despite their lack of material possessions. What I may pack for a week’s vacation is the equivalent to what many people around the world own in total. I’ve learned to appreciate what I have. I’m embarrassed by my excessive ways. I’m especially in awe of those who knew this all along, yet refrained from making personal judgments while I figured it out on my own.
In teaching abroad, I’ve developed an appreciation for everything my life has been, is now, and will be. The perfect storm brought me to this place, and was the catalyst for all the experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to partake in. Who knows what’s next? The only guarantee I have at this point is that I have no idea where I’ll live next or what I’ll become in the next phase of my life, but I can’t wait to find out!
2. Friends… family… what’s the difference?
As a result of moving to and teaching in the Middle East, I consider myself to be family to people from approximately ten different countries. Interesting people, intellectual people, fun people, and serious people – they’ve become and will remain family. Most importantly, I didn’t have to marry or give birth to any of them!
1. The world is a very small place.
It’s all accessible one way or another. Get out and see what the world has to offer you, and what you have to offer the world. Teach abroad!
By Suzanne Berg
Suzanne is an English teacher who enjoys traveling and blogging. She is the proud mother of two wonderful daughters.