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Is TEFL Worth It?

As the world becomes increasingly connected, English language proficiency has become more important than ever before. This has led to a growing demand for English language teachers, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) has emerged as a popular career choice for individuals seeking to work and travel the world. However, is TEFL worth it and why should you consider teaching English abroad? Personally (and I am bias!), teaching English abroad was the best decision of my life. I discovered new cultures, broadened my horizons and gained skills that will benefit me for years. More importantly, I also met my wife while teaching in Shenzhen! We now have a a child, dog and house together so TEFL truly gave me the life I had always wanted!

You probably don’t want to make such a big decision based on my soppy words, so here are a few other tangible benefits that make TEFL worth it!

Benefits of TEFL Accreditation

Firstly, let’s look at the benefits of TEFL. TEFL is a highly flexible career, with opportunities for employment in various locations around the world. From Europe to Asia, and South America to the Middle East, the opportunities are endless. This means that teachers can experience different cultures and ways of life, all while earning a living.

Moreover, TEFL provides a unique opportunity for personal growth and development. Teaching a language to non-native speakers requires excellent communication skills, adaptability, and patience. These skills are highly transferable and can be applied in various other career paths. Furthermore, teaching English overseas can also be a chance to learn a new language and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures.

In terms of financial benefits, TEFL can be a lucrative career. While salaries may vary depending on the location, many countries offer competitive salaries and benefits, including housing, airfare, and health insurance. This means that TEFL teachers can save money while experiencing new cultures and traveling the world.

A high school classroom in Chin. The students are using laptops to work. Is TEFL worth it? Only if you enjoy environments like this!

Is TEFL Worth It – Teachers Opinions

One of the most significant advantages of TEFL is the opportunity for travel and cultural immersion. TEFL teachers can work in various locations around the world, from South America to Asia to the Middle East. This allows for a unique experience of cultural exchange and personal growth. As Rebecca Ricketts, a TEFL teacher in Vietnam, shares: “My time in Vietnam has been so enriching, not only because I’ve been able to experience the culture and travel around the country, but also because I’ve been able to develop myself professionally.”

TEFL teachers also have the opportunity to learn a new language and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures. As Julia Watkins, a TEFL teacher in Spain, explains: “Learning Spanish has been such a rewarding experience for me. It’s helped me connect with my students and the local community on a deeper level.”

In addition to personal growth, TEFL can also be financially rewarding. While salaries may vary depending on the location and level of experience, many countries offer competitive salaries and benefits such as housing, airfare, and health insurance. TEFL teachers can also save money while traveling and experiencing new cultures.

Is TEFL Worth It? Teachers Share Their Challenges

However, TEFL is not without its challenges. Teaching English as a foreign language requires patience, creativity, and adaptability. As Casey Jones, a TEFL teacher in China, shares: “Teaching English in China has been an incredible experience, but it’s not without its difficulties. The language barrier can be challenging, and the cultural differences can take some getting used to.”

Moreover, some countries may require TEFL teachers to have a degree or a TEFL certification. While this may be a significant investment of time and money, it can also enhance one’s professional development and job prospects. As Ricketts notes, “Getting certified in TEFL has not only allowed me to qualify for better-paying jobs, but it’s also given me the skills and knowledge to be a better teacher.”

Despite the challenges, TEFL teachers are passionate about their careers and the impact they can have on their students’ lives. As Watkins explains: “Teaching English as a foreign language is such a fulfilling career. I’ve seen my students improve their language skills and gain confidence in themselves, which is incredibly rewarding.”

TEFL teachers also value the flexibility and creativity that comes with teaching English as a foreign language. As Jones notes: “TEFL has allowed me to use my creativity in the classroom and adapt my lessons to meet my students’ needs. It’s a dynamic career that keeps me on my toes.”

Moreover, TEFL is a growing field with numerous job opportunities. As English language proficiency becomes increasingly important, the demand for TEFL teachers is expected to continue to rise. This provides a sense of job security and stability for those pursuing a career in TEFL.

TEFL’s Benefits Summed Up

Overall, TEFL can be a highly rewarding and worthwhile career for those who are willing to commit to it. While it may come with challenges, such as the language barrier and cultural differences, TEFL provides an opportunity for personal growth, cultural exchange, and financial stability. As Ricketts sums up: “TEFL has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s given me the opportunity to explore the world, learn about new cultures, and make a positive impact on my students’ lives.”

Tom Bogues

Tom is the Director of ESL Job Center. He has been working in the TEFL industry in one form or another since 2016 and is now using that experience to match quality teachers with quality schools across China.

One thought on “Is TEFL Worth It?

  • Shantal

    Good day . I have just obtained my 120 hour TEFL Certificate and I am interested in teaching English online.


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