Thinking of teaching English abroad?

 

So you’re thinking of moving abroad to teach English and wondering if it’s a good thing to do?

The short answer is yes, go for it! Here’s why…

Making the decision to move away to a new place and work in a different country can be a daunting one, especially if you have not lived there before and you don’t speak the native language at all. But here are some reasons why I think it is a great thing to do.

In many countries it seems that the demand for English teachers is very high, particularly in the larger towns and cities. This means that it wont be too difficult to find yourself a job teaching in a school, academy or even privately. If you can get a job abroad while still being in your home country then that is great and will certainly give you some piece of mind so start looking early for jobs in academies and schools. If you don’t find a job before you move, don’t let that hold you back. It seems risky but in my experience it is easier to get a job when you are already living in the place where you would like to work.

I think experience and qualification requirements depend on the country you plan on travelling to, but don’t overlook the assets you have. When I moved to Spain I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t have the qualifications or experience to be a teacher. I had worked with children a bit before but not much more than that. I was surprised to find that when I got my first job my most impressive asset, to my employer, was that I was a native English speaker. This is something I hadn’t really thought about but schools really value it, so you should too.

Being a teacher is a great way to earn money whilst experiencing a new place. As a valued profession in demand, it’s also a pretty well paid one. In my experience in Spain you can expect to get paid between 15€ and 20€ per hour for teaching English and in a school you will probably get a nice lunch included. The work can be more difficult, mentally, but the perks of the job balance this out. When you’re teaching, every day is different. Of course you can expect a few days to be tough but it is more likely that you are going to be having a lot of fun with some great kids and fellow teachers. It is a very rewarding job and if you put the effort in there is nothing better than being personally thanked by a parent or teacher, or seeing a struggling student improving.

Being an English teacher doesn’t have to consume all your time. In my current school I work from nine in the morning until two in the afternoon with some free periods where I can do some lesson planning. Now that spring is here that gives me a lot of time to enjoy and explore the place where I am living. Working hours can obviously vary a lot but just because you are getting a grown ups job don’t think it has to take up all your time.

Speaking the local language is definitely not essential as most English classes will be taught only in English, but if you do want to learn a bit of the language, working in a school teaching can be really helpful. Because you’re interacting with the children all day it is surprising how much vocabulary, and how many useful phrases, you pick up and learn from the kids you are teaching.

Finally, and I think most importantly, living and working in a country is a really great way to get an in-depth experience of a place. You will really get to immerse yourself in a new culture and get to see the less well visited spots, exploring things at your own pace. You will have time to meet some great people and build friendships with locals and parents who can help you get to know your new home and become part of a community.

I hope anyone thinking of teaching abroad has been sufficiently encouraged, leave a comment below if there is still anything you are unsure about. I’m going to write a post about how to maximise your chances of getting a job soon so follow my blog and look out for more!

 

 

 

 

 

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Waves for water

 

My girlfriend, Celia, Has been studying in China since February, and on the 29th of June I am flying out to Hong Kong to meet her and explore China and Asia together. This is great chance to see another part of the world and it is also a great opportunity to help some of the people living in the world less fortunate than myself in a simple and useful way.

Waves for water is a charity with the mission of getting clean water to every single person who needs it. Although it can be easily taken for granted, millions of people worldwide are currently living with no access to clean water and the waves for water ‘clean water couriers’ initiative is really simple and I love it! The idea was originally conceived in the surf community but it is applicable to anyone travelling to places in need of clean water. You raise funds to buy water filters, provided by waves for water, pack them with you on your travels and distribute them in the communities that need them. One filter cost $50 and can provide 100 people with clean water for 5 years. The idea is that thousands of travelling folks each with a few filters can make a very large collective impact. For more information about the filters, charity and the other work they are doing check out wavesforwater.org

China is often associated with huge cities and a rapidly growing economy and this is true however the contrast between the city and rural areas is huge. I had a look at the WHO/UNICEF water monitoring report and although many more people in Eastern Asia have improved access to clean water, 64 million people do not, the majority (69%) living in rural communities. In South East Asia a further 60 million people, in 2015, did not have access to clean water and again the majority (78%) are from rural areas.

In short, there are a lot of people who still need clean water in this area. These filters are not necessarily a long term solution but they will provide vital help to the people suffering now as a result of limited access to clean water. I’m in contact with some local charities to arrange an appropriate place to take the filters to make sure that they will get to the people and communities who need them.

I am planning to purchase 5 filters initially which will cost $250 (if I get lots of support then hopefully I can take more!). That’s clean water for 500 people for five years. I have set up a page on waves for water and if any of you feel that this is something you would like to be part of, then I really encourage you to donate to the fundraiser. Even a small amount of money will be gratefully and thankfully received and I would really appreciate your support. I will keep you updated on where they are going to be distributed and give updates as they are distributed so you will know that your money has been put to good use.

I also just want to raise awareness of this great scheme and encourage anyone who is planning a trip in the near future to get involved. Part of the appeal is that it requires very little work from you, as it says on the website “doing what you love, whilst helping on the way.” With a bit of planning you can make a big difference to some people and be part of a broader scheme to provide clan water to everyone who needs it.

The easiest way to find my project is to go to my fundraiser  or journeysofgeorge on facebook and click the link that will take you straight to the project homepage, Thanks for you support!

 

 

 

 

Welcome to my blog!

Last year I finished my degree in environmental sciences after four years of study in the UK. Up to this point I have been lucky enough to travel a bit and I have always loved exploring the world with friends family and on my own.

After I had finished my degree my desire to see some more of the world was strong but worse than having no money, fours years of studying had left me with minus money! I worked in a cafe in norwich, the same city where I completed my degree, for a couple of months then left England for Spain where up until now I have been teaching English in schools.

This journey has given me lots of experiences that I think are worth sharing with you all, and as my teaching job here in Spain comes to an end and I begin planning my next adventures, it looks like there are going to be many more to share!

As I said, my journeys so far have given me experiences that I think are worth sharing. On this blog you will find regular posts that I hope will help inform and inspire your own journeys so watch this space and follow Journeys Of George so you dont miss a thing!

George