Many thousands of people every year, of all nationalities and from all walks of life, make the decision to take a TEFL certification course for a wide variety of different reasons. For some it offers the chance to earn a bit of spending money while traveling in far-flung corners of the world, while for others it is a great way to make fundamental changes to their career and life plans. If you are one of the many thousands of others who have thought about studying TEFL, but are yet to act, here are some of the main reasons why we think you should take the leap.
To shake things up
Most people have periods in their life when the job they are doing becomes dull, mundane, and all too repetitive. So what better way to shake things up and make a change to the same old same old than by taking a training course that will allow you to work in virtually any country in the world, or from the comfort of your own home. With a quality TEFL certification on your CV/resume you will be able to apply for jobs with a wide range of online teaching platforms and an even wider range of schools and language centers across the globe.
For the lifestyle
Whichever path you take in the TEFL world, you will have the option of completely changing your day to day lifestyle. If you teach English online you will probably be free to choose how many hours you work and at what points during the day or night. Online teaching is often a 24/7 option as your students can come from any time zone worldwide. Thanks to this, you should be able to fit your working hours around your other commitments, rather than the other way round as is normally the case in regular jobs. If you decide to head overseas to teach you might end up working in a language center where classes often run in the evenings, leaving your days free to spend however you please.
To make money
In most parts of the world where EFL teaching is popular you can expect to earn more than the national average of that country. Even first-time teachers should have no problem earning enough to live comfortably and many will be able to put some cash aside for future travel or to pay off student debts. In popular countries such as Japan and South Korea, and many across the Middle East region, you have the potential to earn large, often tax-free salaries and enjoy extra perks such as free housing and paid flights. While you might need a bit of classroom experience before being able to apply for some of these positions, earning a big salary is a realistic goal for many TEFL qualified teachers.
For the culture
For many of us, experiencing other cultures is one of the real joys of life, and with a TEFL certification in your pocket there is nothing to stop you exploring as many as you like. Heading overseas to teach English opens up all manner of possibilities, from music, art, and fashion, to food, architecture, and local traditions. Whether you have a fascination for Japan, Mexico, Spain, or Egypt, there will always be plenty of teaching jobs available that will allow you to spend as long as you like within the culture of your choice.
To learn a language
It might sound slightly ironic, but it is true that one of the most popular benefits of teaching English abroad is the opportunities it provides for learning a foreign language. It is no secret that the best way to learn a new language is by immersing yourself in it and as a TEFL qualified teacher you will have that option, no matter what language you are interested in. If you spend a year living and working in France, for example, you will certainly pick up some basic French language without much effort. If you dream of becoming fluent in Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, or Arabic, there is probably no better way to do it than by living and working among native speakers.
For the satisfaction
Unlike many mainstream jobs, teaching a foreign language can be a very rewarding experience. Seeing your students develop their language skills over a period of time, thanks in part to your endeavors in the classroom, is an experience that money cannot buy. You might even consider a stint of volunteer teaching in poorer parts of the world, where you can have a major impact on the futures of your students. Learning English language skills can often be a huge step forward in terms of employment and general life prospects for people in many areas, and the satisfaction you can gain from being a part of that journey is hard to measure.
To smarten up your resume
Although some people embark on their TEFL adventure and never look back, for many it is a short-term journey that culminates in a return to their home country and the start of their intended career or study. Whatever you plan to do in the future, having classroom teaching experience in a foreign country on your resume is certainly a big plus. It demonstrates to potential employers that you are an outgoing, motivated, and open-minded individual who is not afraid to take risks, and also takes great pleasure in helping others to reach their full potential.
As you can see, there are many different reasons why taking a TEFL certification course can be a highly positive step forward. Regardless of your age, profession, or background, if you are looking for a change, whether long term or short term, there are plenty of reasons why we think TEFL is the way to go.