Mike Cairnduff from Hello Teacher!

August 14, 2016
Mike Cairnduff

Last updated: October 01, 2017

teach english in china

Weighing up your gap year options? Here’s eight reasons why you should pack your bags and teach English overseas.

1. Earn money while you travel

Teaching abroad is one of the best ways to travel the world and earn money at the same time.

Some people squeeze as much traveling as they can into weekends and vacation time during their teaching contract, while others complete their contract and travel afterwards. Some do both!

Seasoned English teachers, armed with experience and a hunger for travel, often ‘job hop’ from one country to the next. It’s a great way of seeing the world without breaking the bank.

2. Enhance your CV

Overseas teaching experience can significantly improve your resume.

It demonstrates that you’re flexible and resilient, and have loads of initiative! Most importantly, it shows that you’ve got experience in leading and managing people – one of the toughest gigs out there. This is highly valued by recruiters and a great way to differentiate yourself.

As soon as you’re back home, make sure you update your resume and LinkedIn profile so you can stand out from the crowd.

3. It’s easy to get qualified

To teach in China, you need a teaching certificate to accompany your degree qualification.

It's best to get a teaching certificate before you teach English overseas.

You need a teaching certificate to teach in China but it’s easy to get (Pictured: Summer Pagoda, Hebei province, northern China).

The most common certificates are Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL) and Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA).

The good news is that it’s relatively quick and easy to get certified. We’ve teamed up with TEFL Source to give you access to special rates on a range of courses from different providers.

The length, inclusions and price of each course varies between providers, so it pays to do a little bit of homework first.

4. It will open your eyes

Working overseas opens your eyes to new cultures, new experiences and new ways of doing things.

When you return home, you (or those around you) may notice that you’re more open-minded, tolerant and patient. That’s a good thing!

Afraid of culture shock? Don’t be – just understand that there will be an adjustment period and it may take a little bit of time.

Teach English overseas and experience new cultures.

Open up your eyes to a new culture.

5. The job market in your country probably sucks

Don’t worry if you can’t find work in your own country – there are plenty of teaching jobs overseas. In fact, demand in some countries is so strong that schools simply can’t fill all the advertised positions.

China is regarded as one of the world’s teaching hotspots, where demand outstrips supply year after year. It’s good to feel wanted!


6. It will provide a new challenge (in other words, you’re sick of your job)

Are you bored of doing the same old thing every day? Want to learn something new? Teach English overseas and it will give you a new lease on life.

For many, the journey starts with the teaching certificate. The content is interesting and will really make you think. Studying can also be a nice change from work, and is an exciting lead-up to your trip abroad.

Once you’re there, the new culture will challenge you, so too will your classes. It’s a challenge that you will want to take on as it will stimulate and motivate you.

7. You’ll make new friends

Teaching overseas is a sure-fire way of meeting new people. Whether it’s your fellow English teachers, local teachers, your students or simply the friendly face at the corner store, you’re bound to make lifelong friends.

Teach English overseas and meet new people.

You’ll meet new friends while teaching abroad.

China, in particular, is known for its friendly and inquisitive people. You’ll be asked about your home country a lot, and you’ll even have strangers wanting to practice their English with you!

Being out of your comfort zone effectively forces you to speak up, gain more confidence and connect with new and interesting people.

8. Feel good by helping others

Why would you want to work in a monotonous, depressing job when you could touch the lives of hundreds of aspiring students?

Teaching English gives students real opportunities. It improves their communication skills and gives them the confidence they need to handle everyday situations. For older students, it helps them advance their careers, improve their job prospects and compete in a global marketplace.

Knowing that you’re making a difference in people’s lives is rewarding. And helping others gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside (awww!), so it’s a win-win situation.

So there you have it – eight good reasons to start planning your overseas teaching adventure.

Any questions? Drop us a line and we’ll help you find the perfect teaching position.

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