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Life after TEFL

11

So you're TEFL certified and thinking about what’s next. Your future. You’re a planner and a realist, and understandably grappling with the question:


What will I do after teaching English abroad?

Maybe you fell in love with teaching. Maybe the course made you realize that teaching is not for you. Maybe you like teaching, but only as means to travel. Maybe you are unsure how to transfer your international teaching skills to a job in your home country. Whatever the case, everyone comes to the inevitable “what next?” question after teaching abroad.
The good news is that we are living in a growing global marketplace, and employers are placing even more importance on effective international communication and cultural competence. . As a teacher in a foreign country, you have already proved that you are capable of both. You now have invaluable cultural experience that will help guide your life path and make you stand out on a job or graduate school application. Rest assured that your decision to teach abroad will continue to pay off.


Capitalize on your global experiences

These make great talking points in interviews. Don’t underestimate the importance of real-world experience. Aside from teaching students and trying to keep up with the local language, maybe you were solving transportation crises in Thailand, or figuring out how to negotiate with street vendors in China.


What did you personally gain from teaching English in a foreign country? Increased patience, cultural understanding, greater adaptability, a comprehensive worldview, improved communication with others, management and leadership abilities, confidence and independence in unfamiliar environments…and the list goes on! Don’t be afraid to mention personal experiences either—this will make you an even more memorable candidate.


Brag about your TEFL Certification

Another resume booster! Maybe you won’t be teaching professionally anymore, but that doesn’t mean your hard-earned TEFL certification will go to waste. This course helped your professional development, interpersonal skills, relationship building, cognitive and problem-solving ability, and cross-cultural sensitivity. It’s all about relating one experience and ability to the next—even lesson planning skills can correlate to project planning for a company.


Never underestimate what you’ve gained from managing hundreds of students per week in a foreign country. The ability to adapt to new environments can help you in whatever career you choose back home. Or, you may never want the adventure to end! Don’t forget your TEFL certificate never expires, and with it there are endless job opportunities abroad—especially if you are an alumni of CIEE.

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