Studying or teaching abroad presents exploration opportunities

by Student Photographer Caleb Cole

The task of planning a career after graduation can be daunting to say the least. In an increasingly competitive workforce, having international experience is a valuable addition to a résumé.

As the global economy becomes increasingly interconnected, there is a high demand for native English speakers who hold a college degree to instruct English classes in countries around the world.

While there are many advantages of living abroad, one of the best reasons for teaching English as a second language is to help save money and pay back student loans after graduation. Language institutes, especially those in East Asia and the Middle East, pay competitive salaries. In most of these countries, the general cost of living is much lower than the United States, making it easier for teachers to earn money and start saving.

Teaching English as a second language will also give people the opportunity to see the world. This is an invaluable experience that people can take with them for the rest of their life. Living abroad gives a person the opportunity to learn a new language, experience vibrant cultures and travel to places that one might have never thought was possible.

Going abroad is not the only way to get involved. There are several organizations at UNA where students can gain useful international experience. Programs and events, such as Conversation Partners and International Tea, offer international and domestic students a chance to come together an learn about one another’s culture and language.

To get involved in teaching English abroad, one must become a certified teacher by taking the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages test or earning a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate.

Additionally, UNA students also have the opportunity to take meaningful trips abroad to Haiti through the Alternative Break programs, which is a service of the Office of Student Engagement. By participating in these programs, students can strengthen communities at home and abroad while accumulating valuable volunteer hours.

If one is indecisive about post-graduation plans, teaching English as a second language could be the perfect segue for one’s career. For questions about how to get involved on campus, contact the Office of International Affairs or the Office of Student Engagement for more information.