If you’ve just finished your last year of secondary school and you’re nervously awaiting you’re exam results to see if you’re going to get into your university of your choice or you don’t even know what you want to do with your life, taking a year out could be the option for you. This is indeed a stressful time for young people everywhere and there are a growing number of fresh school graduates who’re heading overseas to do a gap year.
Back in the day many young people heading out on their overseas adventure didn’t work, they just travelled, but then again the world’s economic situation was more stable. These days the economic downturn and general lack of cash means that most people, especially young people have less money to spare for their backpacking adventures around the world. Lack of money is not however stopping our youth fulfilling their dreams and going on a gap year. Instead of just traveling about from country to country enjoying the sites, young people are opting to pick up work while they travel in order to make ends meet. One of the most popular forms of earning money while working abroad is TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language). This is a great way of working; not only does it provide young people a way of gaining some great experience it’s also a fantastic way of making some money while traveling. With TEFL, you won’t be limited to living on such a tight budget at least you’ll be able to afford to see some those cool sites that are just a stone’s throw away.
The experience of living and working overseas is unforgettable; it’s not just a travel experience, you’ll gain a whole lot more things including some vital life skills such as self-sufficiency, organisational skills, meeting deadlines, communication skills, and self-reliance to name but a few.
Of course there are many TEFL jobs that require the teacher to have formal qualifications and experience, but then there are countries that don’t require you to have formal qualifications such as Eastern Europe and South America. If you’re looking to find a TEFL job while doing your gap year, it’s a good idea to pay heed to the main TEFL recruiting period which is from July to October.
Even if you don’t have a degree, the first thing you should consider doing is getting TEFL qualified. Usually it requires taking a short intensive course of approximately 100 hours or so to get your first TEFL qualifications and if you’re lucky, you might even meet people or make contacts that will you land your first ESL teaching job.
Starting out, don’t expect to be earning big. While you’re not going to become a millionaire, you’ll certainly make enough money for your food, accommodation and a bit of fun. If you’re also looking to earn a bit of cash with a temporary TEFL job prior to going to uni then perhaps you ought to think working in an English summer camp where you’ll be required to do some pastoral duties, airport pickups as well as teaching.
If you’re not really looking to earn money and you’re more interested in just having a rewarding experience, there are plenty of ESL volunteer positions. Sometimes this may cost you, but usually your board and lodgings will be in lieu of your teaching efforts. This is one of the most rewarding jobs you could do and even if it’s just for a month or two, you can make a significant impact in many people’s lives.
Just because you’ve decided to put off university for a year or so it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing fresh and exciting for you to do. It also doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice university forever. Actually, you’ll be able to have a more than positive experience gaining new life and people skills that will prepare you for university when you finally do decide to go home. When it comes to TEFL, the world’s your oyster!