People take gap years for various reasons, and there is no one-size-fits-all timing for it. Perhaps you have just completed high school or university and aren't certain of your next steps. Maybe you are currently working but yearn for a break from the monotony of your daily routine. No matter your reasoning for taking a hiatus - be it a few months, a year, or even longer - it could turn out to be one of the best decisions of your life. A gap year provides time to reflect on your past, savor your present, and carefully map out your future plans.
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While many initially see teaching English during a gap year as merely a practical method to earn while traveling, there are multiple reasons to view it as an enriching experience.
- It offers an opportunity to earn while exploring different parts of the world.
- It lets you experience countries in a way conventional tourists can't.
- It guarantees meeting an array of fascinating individuals from around the globe.
- TESOL jobs are flexible, allowing you to change locations when you wish to.
- It imparts a set of skills applicable in other professions.
- It might unexpectedly lead to a long-term career path.
Also read: Can I teach English abroad without a degree?
Your first significant step before embarking on this journey should be to complete a reputable TESOL certification course. This will equip you with the necessary skills to handle the initial few weeks in the classroom. A TESOL certificate, valid for life, opens the door to quality teaching jobs in virtually any country. These courses can be completed online, in a classroom setting, or through a blend of both, often while you are still studying or working, ensuring no lost time or money.
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Once you have earned your TESOL certification, you can begin scouting for potential jobs. It is crucial to do your own research as different countries have varying rules regarding work permits or visas. Also, bear in mind that some countries or employers prefer hiring native English speakers. However, you needn't speak any language other than English, as your TESOL course will train you to employ the immersion method of teaching, which exclusively involves English.
First, determine your desired work and living location(s), and then begin scouring job boards for opportunities in these areas. The process typically involves submitting a CV, cover letter, and application form. After applying, await the employers' responses, which might be followed by an online interview and possibly a demo lesson or video introduction. If successful, you will receive a contract to sign, and then it's time to arrange your travels.
Most TESOL job contracts span 12 months, providing a rich immersion in the local culture. For a shorter stay or frequent moves, consider summer schools or camps, with contracts ranging from four to twelve weeks.
Also read: Can I teach English abroad in the summer?
Teaching English online is another popular option that offers the flexibility to work from anywhere with a strong internet connection, unrestricted by a fixed schedule.
Teaching English during a gap year is, at its core, an adventure. It allows you to explore captivating countries, meet remarkable people, and create a trove of unforgettable memories. Moreover, international work and travel experiences are appealing to potential employers, reflecting your independence, adaptability, responsibility, and organization. Some people enjoy teaching English so much that it becomes their long-term career.