I hear this a lot, “Wow, you are so lucky you get to travel and teach all around the world! I wish I could do that.” Well, I’m here to tell you – You can do it too!
This quote is literally what I’ve been saying since I first traveled out of the country to Costa Rica in 2014 for my student teaching abroad semester.
“I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.” – Bill Bryson
Seriously. Whether it’s just to travel, work abroad, or like me do both it’s time for you to realize you can do it too.
“The best way to travel is to live with the locals.” – Anonymous
Top reasons people say they can’t
I’ve met plenty of people that have these pesky things. I will admit that yes I am lucky that I do not have these. However, the majority of the people I meet abroad have them and yet they find a way to make it work. Get creative, ask for a hold on payments (I’ve actually met people that have been able to do this), work hard for 6 months and save as much as possible and then just go, etc. There are plenty of ways to work around these payments. Don’t let them control your life.
You can’t live your life for other people. I’m extremely close with my family and I include a select few of my friends group in that as well. I know they all want me home but they also want me to be happy and to live my life. I miss them everyday but technology is great these days. You have FaceTime, Skype, Whatsapp, Line, Messenger, and the list goes on. Stay in touch with everyone and you won’t feel so far from them. You can even surprise your family and come home for a visit. Those are the best! Maybe your married and have kids. I’ve also met families like this that have moved abroad found work and put their kids in international schools in the city they are in (they find the schools with good English programs). That can be a daunting task I’m sure but doable.
Again, you can’t live your life for other people. Tell them your hopes and dreams of traveling/living abroad. If it is someone that respects you and your life then they should be understanding of this goal of yours. Who knows maybe they will want to join you! I know plenty of couples married and non-married that have traveled together and even moved abroad together.
Here’s a blog to read if you are stuck on this. I love Nomad Matt, he does a great job of explaining how you can make it work. Seriously, go to his site and explore.
I know it’s a lot easier to say this stuff but a lot of it comes from others that I’ve met along the way that have overcome these challenges. The point is – You can do it if you really want to do it.
The last thing I want anyone to think is, “What if…”
I’ve talked about the program I’ve used before to teach abroad but I want to break it down for you again. I’ve also included links to other programs that my friends have used. Note: All of these programs have been used by either myself or close friends that have given great feedback on them. Now a lot of you may not be teachers by trade but I’m here to tell you if you’re a native English speaker then the world needs/wants you. Some countries you need a 4 year degree, TEFL, or both. Some you only need TEFL. I’ll include a great website that breaks down the countries for you as well.
CIEE Teach – I used CIEE Teach to go to Thailand. They have a program for a year or a semester. I chose a semester because I could not leave in May for the year program. (At the time you needed to leave in May for the year program – now I believe, you can leave in October for the year program as well as a semester.) They have programs for all over the world and you can compare the different programs – very nice tool. I met two girls in Prague that did the Spain program for two years and loved it.
They also offer other programs for working abroad. I have not been on those programs but I did love all the help I received in the Teach program so I would assume they also have a great service for this.
EPIK – This program is for Korea and I had one close friend that did this for two years. She loved it and might even go back. If a big goal of yours is to teach and make money go to Korea. Seriously. They pay native speakers very well there.
The Language House Prague – This is a TEFL school but they also offer a Job and Guidance Package for those that might already have TEFL. This is very unique – not many places take on people that did not receive their TEFL though them. I went through most of the process for this but ended up getting a job at and International school on my own. However, it was a very smooth process and the guy in charge (Chris) was great! This is of course specific to Prague. If you need TEFL this is a great program for that. I’ve met many people that used this service. This program gets you into a network of other teachers in the city and you will make a lot of friends. They have monthly get togethers and even holiday parties for their graduates.
Oxford Seminars – You can take TEFL in your city or pick a destination to take the course. A lot of English teachers in Prague use The Language House or Oxford. But Oxford isn’t just for Prague. It is worldwide. Once you have a TEFL certificate through them you receive help finding work. They help with jobs all over the world no matter where you received your TEFL.
Theres plenty more out there – Do research!
For a country break down chart go here and scroll down to the download button. It really is amazing and helps you understand what is required for each country.
Planning it all out
First step: GET A PASSPORT – They are good for 10 years so even if you don’t go abroad right away you still have 10 years to get worth out of it.
Second step: Decide if you want to travel or work abroad.
Third step: Where do you want to go? And if you want to work abroad apply for jobs.
Fourth step: Book your flight and a place to stay.
Fifth step: Breathe and get excited for doing this!