Graduation is a complex time in young adult life, eliciting a swarm of emotions from students, who are overwhelmed with feelings of excitement, confusion, and anxiety as the day approaches. The source of all this emotion comes in trying to answer the lingering question; what am I going to do after graduation? This blog shows an alternate to jumping straight into a graduate scheme and how teaching English abroad can help you expand your horizons and be just what you need after finishing your degree.
1. There is no better time to go
At this moment in time, you have the least amount of responsibilities you will ever have in your life. You most likely don’t have a mortgage or a family to support – now is the ideal time to explore a new culture and move abroad, before you are tied down with new responsibilities.
Furthermore, you will be earning a salary and living costs will be lower than they are back in the UK, meaning you will not be losing money, which is often a concern for recent graduates, especially with the continuing burden of having to pay off massive student debt.
Also, with teaching programs, you have ample time off meaning you can explore surrounding areas and are not just restricted to your base location. If you wish, you could go on small trips every weekend and save your longer travels for assigned holidays.
2. Moving abroad will propel you to grow
Whilst you may have lived on your own during university you most likely stayed in student housing or shared an apartment, thus were surrounded by friends; and whilst it may have been sustainable to live off ready meals and quick fixes during university, this isn’t the best long-term strategy. Furthermore, up until now you have had the security of education where you have been entirely familiar with the organisational structure and what is expected of you. Even in university, which is supposed to get you ready for life after education, the repercussions are far milder than in the real world, as in you can miss a few 9am lectures and you can get away with a quick nap during the occasion lecture. The best way to learn to be truly independent is by jumping into the deep end and what better way of doing this than entirely switching environment by moving abroad to a country with a completely foreign culture.
Above this, moving abroad will help you discover yourself, by leaving your regular life you will be able to better assess what truly motivates you and brings you happiness. Furthermore, you will be interacting with people of different cultures, this will build your communication skills, enhance your ability to adapt to new settings and make you more comfortable dealing with the unknown. You will also realise to appreciate the things that connect as all as humans and learn to appreciate the differences that make us all individuals across cultures.
3. You never know who you are going to meet
You will meet many likeminded individuals also taking up similar teaching positions, here you have the opportunity to make lasting friendships, or even useful contacts for your future life. Furthermore, if you decide to travel to neighbouring cities and countries in your time off, you will engage with a vast array of people of many different cultures, any of which who might light the spark that leads you into the journey of self-discovery. The point being you will be engaging with individuals you would not have otherwise met and you never know who is going to end up inspiring you and influencing the rest of your life.
4. The grad schemes will still be there when you get back
You will probably have friends from university that have secured prestigious graduate jobs. But this shouldn’t deter you from taking a year out of what you may consider to be your desired career path to explore a new culture; later in life you will probably be glad you didn’t rush into a graduate scheme, as it will still be there when you get back.
What's more, before making a big decision it is often beneficial to take some time and distance yourself from a situation to gain better perspective; as it is often difficult to truly reflect when you are in the middle of a situation. Too often students jump straight from education to a career without fully considering what they truly desire out of life. Taking a year out to teach and explore new cultures can be exactly the break which is needed to evaluate your options; you may realise that you want to pursue a completely different career than what you initially envisioned for yourself, or you may return reaffirmed with your initial choice, either way you will have a year of fond memories to look back on.
5. Career prospects
Whilst teaching English abroad, you will undoubtedly pick up new skills that are highly desirable by employers. Whether this be a strengthened ability to adapt, or the increased independence and confidence obtained from moving into a foreign country. You will also find the job role to better your organisational capabilities and communication skills, as well as make you more flexible and understanding to the needs of co-workers.
Thus, moving abroad is a catalyst for personal growth, and discussing how you overcame the massive transition and the hurdles you encountered along the way makes for interesting interview conversation. Furthermore, travel enhances your conversational abilities which will undoubtedly help during the interview process of future job applications.
Also, teaching abroad can be your first steps towards international experience, making the prospect of living and working abroad not seem as daunting. This opens your job search from being limited to the UK to the entire globe, thus increasing your odds of obtaining your dream job.
6. Learn a new language
The corporate environment is becoming increasingly globally integrated; hence it is always useful to be bilingual as this can have an exponential impact on the number of your available opportunities. This is supported by industry data from salary.com, which states on average bilingual employees earn 5-20% more per hour. Although it is not always necessary to pick up a new language when you move abroad, it is a fantastic opportunity to do so, as you are immersed in an environment that is conducive to learning this language. Moreover, international business relies not only on a common language but also requires an understanding of the business culture of the country you wish to engage with, the nuances of which are difficult to realise without living in the country. Even if your desired job role doesn’t require knowledge of any other languages, you never know when being able to communicate in another language may come in useful.
7. Become a better thinker
A study conducted by William Maddux of INSEAD Business School found that integrating with new cultures improved problem-solving amongst MBA students. It was also discovered that those who displayed an open-minded attitude towards different cultures were able to make more complex connections between disparate ideas.
Furthermore, Angela Leung of Singapore Management University showcased in a study that students who were exposed to more than one culture were more likely to generate unconventional ideas. Thus, it has been shown engaging with other cultures makes you more creative and a better problem solver.
8. Earn a competitive salary
Teaching abroad offers very attractive salaries at Teach Globally our teachers earn between £21,000-£35,000 per year, with a bonus upon the completion of a 12-month contract. Furthermore, because of lower living costs in China compared to the UK, the relative value of this salary is far greater than it would be in the UK.
9. Discover the joy of spreading knowledge
Spreading knowledge is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world, the joy of teaching young children brings instant gratification. Teaching English abroad gives you the opportunity to experience these interactions in a relaxed atmosphere. If the prospect of this appeals to you, why not learn more about what Teach Globally does here, or if you’re ready apply here.