Top 3 Perks of Teaching English Abroad

Teaching English abroad is a career opportunity unlike any other.

The life of an expat teacher is dynamic, adventurous, challenging, and ultimately fulfilling. No matter where your TEFL certificate takes you in this vast and exciting world, you are guaranteed to reap numerous benefits from your TEFL pursuits that cannot be achieved in any other line of work.

As a TEFL teacher in Hanoi, it is easy to forget about certain work-life stressors from back home. “Gotta Work 9-5. Gotta pay the bills. Gotta thrive…”

Now that I have landed my dream teaching job, I look forward to going to work, enjoy activities I could never otherwise afford, and I am still able to save more money than at home. My new career is challenging, but deadlines and pressures don’t result in stress as they do at home – I feel that my work life is a challenge that I choose to rise to. I do his not because I have to in order to survive, but because I want to. I have to pinch myself when I realize that everything has pieced together in such a short time. I have dabbled in a handful of career moves in my life, and have never had a job that brims with such an array of perks!

Reflecting on this fact, I have compiled a Top 3 List of the most amazing things that I have been able to achieve and experience in my six months teaching in Vietnam.


Not many lines of work offer the opportunity to travel, and within the small pool of occupations that do, there is a smaller pond that permits ‘travel’ AND ‘exploration’ in the same sentence as the word ‘work’.

Teaching English Overseas not only implies that you will be traveling and working, but also enforces the opportunity to explore frequently! From weekend trips to mountains and beyond, to inexpensive flights to various nearby Asian destinations, the life of a TEFL teacher is a convenient and inexpensive exploration vocation.

As a teacher, you also have SUMMER VACATION OFF FROM WORK! This means anywhere from 1-2 months a year (Sometimes even paid), to pack your bags and hit the road, Jack! Aaaand, particularly in Southeast Asia, you can work, play, travel, and still head home with substantial savings. The cost of living here is particularly low, while TEFL certified teachers get paid extremely well.

Cultural Immersion

Backpacking is a glorious, life changing adventure, and your memories will definitely change you. Even more life changing is when you live in a foreign country for an extended period of time. You make a home there, and your notions of the culture and landscape become a part of who you are. You learn how to communicate in the native language, even if only minimally; you nurture local friendships that don’t end at ‘Let’s exchange e-mails…’; you spend your days getting to know the next generation of local citizens through the outlet of education! Your students are the future of that country! You get to know where you are by its most intimate qualities, and not as a spectator.

I am by no means suggesting that these experiences are not achievable when backpacking, but the pressure to “Go! Go! Go! See it all before vacation ends!” is absent. The expat lifestyle is an immersion in one town or city as one extended, continuous exploration.

The Foooooood

My Husband and I fondly refer to Vietnam as “Vietnom-nom-nom”.

For those of you who are foodies, Hanoi is among Anthony Bourdain’s favorite cities in the world for dining. Walk down nearly any street and you will find:

-Sizzling woks of friend rice dishes
-Steaming broths boasting dozens of Vietnamese soups
-Smoked meats hanging from street carts and shop windows
-A surprising variety of fresh and fried spring rolls

There are local markets teeming through the streets, offering fresh seafood, exotic fruits and local herbs for pennies.

Hanoi is also an attractive city for restaurant owners from various foreign countries because of its affordability. Any night of the week we are able to eat any variety of impressive Indian, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Western foods. There are some outstanding places to be gluttonous for fractions of what you might pay in the Western world. We eat like Royalty frequently, and are ALWAYS shocked when we see how little our bill comes to at the end of a 3-5 course meal.

There are dozens if not hundreds of other perks to teaching overseas (I haven’t even touched on expat community friendships…), but the reality comes to this:

If you spend your days wishing you could just quit your job and travel BUT never follow through because you think that this option is financially impossible, think again! You can live your wildest dreams and earn money while doing it. All you need is the ability to say yes to your future.

Start your teaching career today with fully accredited TEFL training and free job placement services from MyTEFL.


1 Comment

  • myirishheartblog
    Posted March 21, 2016 8:42 am 0Likes

    This summer, I will be traveling to Hong Kong to teach English. I can’t wait to learn more about the culture and to, hopefully, travel around the area. However, I really want to learn some Chinese while I am there. Do you have any advice for people trying to learn a native language while they are teaching English?

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