Travelling overseas on a gap year continues to be a popular option for graduates looking to broaden their horizons before entering the world of work. One idea you might like to consider if you’re thinking about going down this route is teaching abroad.
Here are some potential reasons for taking up a teaching role during your gap year – even if you have no intention of actually becoming a teacher after returning to the UK!
1) Skills, skills, skills
There’s little doubt that a year of travelling can be a great addition to your CV – as long as you pick up some decent skills that are transferable to the workplace. Teaching abroad is an excellent way to do just that; the process of imparting information to students in as clear and engaging a way as possible means you need some seriously good communication skills.
And that’s not all – your teaching duties might also include planning lessons, collaborating with other teachers and arranging extracurricular activities for your students, all of which will help develop easily transferable skills like organisation and teamwork. You might also learn a little of another language, depending on the nature of your job and how willing you are to pick up the local language.
2) Doing good
Whether you opt to volunteer for a teaching job abroad or apply for paid work, it’s undeniable you’ll be doing a lot of good. It’s obvious why choosing to teach children in an orphanage is a very worthwhile thing to do, but you should also remember that anything that involves helping others to expand their knowledge can be just as fulfilling.
Lots of overseas teaching jobs see travellers teach English as a foreign language, but there are plenty of roles available that cover other subjects, such as sports and science. So, if you’re keen to give others the benefit of your expertise in these areas, teaching abroad is a great way to do so.
3) A cultural education
As well as developing the transferable skills mentioned above, you will also have the chance to immerse yourself in a whole new culture if you travel to somewhere completely unfamiliar. Getting to grips with a new country isn’t always easy, and you’re likely to impress employers if you can demonstrate the ability to quickly learn new ways of doing things, tolerate seemingly alien rules and customs, and integrate with groups of complete strangers.
Of course, there’s also the thrill of simply being in a brand new place and getting to see and do things you might never have experienced before. It’s an exhilarating feeling, and one that should definitely be savoured!
4) Deciding on a plan for the future
It’s safe to say that not all uni students know what they want to do when they graduate. Embarking on a gap year is a great way to spend some time putting things into perspective and deciding on a course of action. Plus, if you’ve actually managed to decide on a career before you set off, your gap year will offer a good opportunity for you to make doubly sure it’s really what you wish to do.
If you decide to teach abroad on your gap year, you might even realise that this is a vocation you want to pursue when you return home. On the other hand, the experience may help you rule it out as a future career – which can happen even if you enjoyed your time in the job!