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3 Reasons Why Teaching Could be the Best Work Abroad Idea

on January 20, 2017

So we know that there are tons and tons of opportunities out there for you. You could stay home and pursue a career in your field of study, you could go work on a farm in Australia or you could au pair in Europe. So why would teaching abroad be a good option and how does it stack up against the competition? Let’s explore…


1: The cultural element

Teaching abroad gives you some serious cultural emersion with something that’s very different to life back home. While au pairing may give you the opportunity to see the French Riviera, you may find yourself seeing it from that luxury hotel room baby-sitting young Jean-Luc and Marie while mum and dad bask on the beach and wash down their canapés with Dom Perignon. Contrast this to working with school kids in Thailand either as a teacher or a camp counsellor where you’ll be living amongst the families of the kids you teach.

Many of our teachers have stories of how they’ve hardly had to cook a meal some weeks as they get whisked off to the homes of neighbours and fellow teachers to be spoiled with all the best the land of smiles has for hungry bellies. Not only that but the country as a whole is so insanely different to the likes of Europe, which while it may not share the same language as back home, is similar in more ways than not compared to Thailand, Vietnam or even Colombia.

If you’re like our teachers, you don’t travel for comfort, you travel for the excitement that something new, authentic and wildly different to home brings.

2: The cash in your pocket

It’s a given that many of the teach abroad jobs pay more modestly than jobs back at home. But the cost of living abroad, in for example Thailand and Vietnam, is some of the lowest in the world which means that your paycheck goes a lot further. So while you may be getting just $1500 a month, your rent could be just $200-$300 compared to maybe around a $1000 back home. Meals in South East Asia can be bought for a couple of dollars from the local markets and getting around either on your own scooter or on public transport will be next to nothing.

But don’t forget that many teach abroad destinations such as China and South Korea offer great pay, some placements in China pay almost $2500 per month with considerably lower rent prices than The West and in South Korea you’ll get amazing benefits like FREE accommodation, medical cover, paid leave and yearly bonus pay.

3: The work experience

So this is a great opportunity. With so many graduates out there with identical degrees, more and more employers are looking for signs that they’re getting someone who’s a cut above the rest. Work abroad shows potential employers that you have the guts to try something new and aren’t intimidated by change and risk. Teaching abroad goes a step further to show just how much of a team player you are in that you were willing to not only take this big risk but also that you were willing to give back to people that are perhaps less fortunate than you.

Being a teacher is both an immensely joy-giving and also an immensely humbling experience, it challenges you daily and brings out the leader in you, you never knew you had! Being able to demonstrate courage, leadership and humility to you potential new boss is golden and having a teach abroad job on your resume means you’re one step ahead of the competition. Just remember to reference it in your interview!

Oh and one more thing: teaching abroad is HARD WORK, don’t forget that and don’t let your potential new boss forget it either. Sure, it brings amazing travel opportunities, it brings life-changing cultural experiences and you’ll make incredible friends you’ll keep for the rest of your life along the way. But, it comes at the cost of some challenging work. Kids can be difficult and are a big responsibility, even the most confident and experienced teach-abroader will encounter those “what the *&^% do I do here!?” moments. But it’s for this reason especially that a teach abroad placement in your CV goes down well with potential bosses: you worked hard, you stuck to your commitment, you saw the task through and you’re a better person for it.


Interested in Teaching English Abroad? We’ll send you more info!



When can you go?

Okay so you’ve read this far. I’m impressed. You didn’t chicken out at the sound of hard work? You didn’t chicken out at the idea of some culture shock? You sound like you’re probably the kind of person we’re looking for! You’re going to need to get planning! So here’s how it works:


  • Biggest intakes are April and October to coincide with the start of the new Thai school terms
  • Demand can also be higher from May to July
  • Jan to March has very low demand
  • You secure your spot with a deposit (once accepted) and then you’ve got to pay the remainder of your program fees within 6 weeks of departure
  • You can teach for as little as 4 months (1 month for English camps) or more


  • Biggest demand for teachers is between April and September each year
  • Very low demand between November and February
  • You secure your spot with a deposit (once accepted) and then you’ve got to pay the remainder of your program fees within 6 weeks of departure
  • You can teach for 1 semester or 12 months or more

South Korea:

  • Offers a range of different placement types across multiple locations in the country
  • The biggest public school intakes are in February and October each year
  • More limited availability placements are available throughout the year
  • Applications work on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Applications take time, often 3 months or more as there are multiple steps
  • You pay a deposit to secure a spot, then for your TESOL course (if you need it) and finally you pay your final fee as soon as you’ve been offered a job
  • You can teach for 12 months or more


  • Teachers are required year round
  • We recommend applying about 3 months prior to departure
  • NO FEE is required for this program, but it does have stricter requirements for certain nationalities such as South Africans
  • You can teach for 12 months or more



Interested in Teaching English Abroad? We’ll send you more info!



You might also want to read:

About Nick Paul

Nick is the Marketing Manager for Travelbud and has had a long history in the travel industry working in student travel and even a big multinational online travel agency.

He regularly presents at travel conferences and has spent a great deal of time traveling the world from the US to Europe, Africa and most recently South East Asia.

Nick is super passionate about travel and his best travel memories include his recent trip to Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea to meet face-to-face with some of TravelBud’s teachers.

Read more about him and other TravelBud authors.

Filed under  Teacher Talk 


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