Whether you’re an upcoming graduate or an experienced professional considering a career shift, at one point you may have considered working overseas. While you were excited by the opportunity to discover a new country and get paid while doing it, it’s likely that some of your closest friends and family have already advised you against it. They would say you’ll be lonely, you won’t know anyone over there, or you don’t even speak the language. Those are some common lines you’ve probably heard from the naysayers. Still, you’re dying to get out into the world!
In fact, nearly 300,000 U.S students studied abroad in 2013 and that number has only increased then. Although you’ve heard some opposition, more and more people recognize the advantages of traveling abroad. The world has turned into a massive melting pot and if you don’t take get with the program, you could be sorely missing out. A great example is teaching abroad. Today, it’s one of the largest markets when it comes to global job opportunities. Statistics show that a whopping 1.5 billion people enrol in some sort of English course each year. Teaching English abroad trends also reveal that there are more than 100,000 new openings each year, mainly Europe and Asia, and at least 20% of teachers will continue teaching in a new country after their first experience overseas. If that’s not enough reason for you to go against the grain, here are 8 more reasons why you should consider working or teaching abroad.
You’re More Likely To Get Hired
According to UC Merced, 97% of international students find employment within 12 months, post-grad. That means they were twice as likely to land a job as compared to to those with no experience studying or working overseas. Such experience will set you apart. With more and more countries becoming racially mixed, employers appreciate applicants with a global mindset. Whether you’re volunteering, studying or teaching abroad, when you come back home, you would have more opportunities that those who haven’t set foot overseas.
You’ll Have A Global Network
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You might have expected this career benefit of going abroad. Other than getting to know the locals, and having an in-depth understanding of a new country, you’ll make long-lasting friends from around the globe that will benefit you in the long run. In the future, you might end up looking for new job opportunities, international investors for your start-up, or simply in need of a place to stay. Whatever the reasons, you can count on your global friends to lend a helping hand.
You’ll Learn Another Language
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This is not a surprising benefit of working abroad, but it’s one that goes beyond face value. Other than impressing your friends with your bilingual abilities, both the personal and professional payoffs are large. According to the New York Times, speaking multiple languages makes you smarter and will even lessen your chances of dementia when you’re older. Being able to understand and think, no matter what form the words take, shows that your cognitive skills aren’t limited to language. In addition to this, you’re increasing your chances for success. Studies show that 31% of the world’s executives speak at least two languages, while 20% speak three, and 13% speak four or more languages.
You’ll Be Getting A Higher Salary
Working abroad has huge career benefits when it comes to getting paid. In 2009, some 60,000 job openings required bilingual applicants and this statistic has only increased since then. More than that, bilingual employees have up to 20% larger salaries, as compared to employees speaking only one language. If this hasn’t convinced you yet, higher pay also means higher appreciation. Especially in countries where English-speakers are rare, employers are likely to acknowledge the skills you’re bringing into the company.
You’ll Be Jet Setting Around The World
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This is probably the most attractive and compelling reason why you should consider teaching abroad. Seeing the world is a life goal that most people have. After all, who wouldn’t want to be relaxing in an Italian cafe one year and enjoying authentic Japanese ramen the next? Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai employ up to 15,000 English teachers a year, while Madrid and Rome currently has around 5,000. Turkey is also set to hire a whopping 40,000 foreign tutors in the next five years.
You’ll Have So Much Freedom
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Working overseas will not only be one of the best career moves you’ll make; it will also be the most freeing. According to a Gallup survey, a shocking 29% of Americans, aged 18-35 still live with their parents. This just goes to show that even if you’re employed, it’s highly likely that you have the financial or even the emotional independence to move out. However, as I’ve mentioned earlier, working overseas increases your chances to be paid a higher amount. Not only will this allow you get your own place, this gives you free range to travel abroad. Teaching in Europe? Take a train to the nearest country. The world is your oyster! At the same time, this gives you the chance to grow away from overprotective, overbearing parents. After all, you’re not a baby anymore. You’re a full-grown adult!
You’ll Be Connecting People Along The Way
Today, there are roughly 6,500 different languages being spoken around the world. However, 32.5% of those languages have less than 1,000 speakers. Meanwhile, the global English speaking population amounts to a total of 1.5 billion people. From these statistics alone, you can see how large the cultural barrier can be. However, by teaching English abroad, you’ll be part of the 250,000 people who are working to close that gap. This isn’t to say that English should be the primary language everywhere in the world. This just means that even speaking the basics can lead to better understanding between people of different geographical backgrounds. Having a better grasp of a common language also means people have a greater capacity to come together, no matter what the circumstance.
It’s A Once In A Lifetime Experience
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Last but not least, the main reason why you should close your ears to the people who are against your plan to work or study abroad, is because you may never have this chance again. Some people wait until they’re retired and have saved enough before they go and see the world. However, one can never know what the future holds. You may no longer have the financial or physical capability to travel this much. More than that, even if you are able to travel abroad when you’re older, it still won’t be the same as satisfying your wanderlust while you’re young. I assure you, seeing the world while you’re young leads to a fresh perspective and a global mindset that will change you forever.