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A Slightly Silly – But True – Look At What You Can Expect From Teaching Abroad In Different Regions


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No matter where you go if you plan on teaching abroad, there will be challenges. Some of them will be quite serious; others may be somewhat silly. But they are all things that people who teach abroad regularly joke about when they get together.

With that in mind, we talked to several people who have taught abroad in various regions, and had a bit of fun creating summaries of how they joke about those places when they are among themselves, and the natives – as well as their employers – are not listening.

·      The UK. The benefit is that the natives will speak English. The downside is that depending on where in the UK you are, you may not realize they are speaking English. You won't learn another language, but you'll discover interesting and horrible ways to pronounce your own language. Also, you'll sometimes be served warm beer and develop an intimate relationship with your umbrella.

·      Canada. You may end up learning French, but it will be a type of French that everyone else who speaks French doesn't take seriously. You'll be very, very cold most of the time and will need to learn how to talk about hockey in earnest tones.

·      The Middle East. Not great if you are interested in sex, alcohol, women's rights or Jesus. Plus you'll spend your days dreaming of the smell of bacon and wondering which people at local cafes are CIA.

·      Europe. Europe is a great place to learn a foreign language – and then primarily use it to fill out thousands and thousands of pages of bureaucratic paperwork. You'll never know if you need to go to work on a given day, or if for some reason or other there is an odd holiday or strike going on. On the upside, you can see lots of UK and American rock bands for roughly a tenth of what you'd pay in your home country. A lifetime a deep existential ennui is considered one of the more common side effects of teaching there.

·      Japan. You won't be able to afford anything.

·      China. Great money and friendly people. But you can't trust the results from Google, and won't be able to read most of the websites you enjoy. On the upside, you can buy pirated copies of any movie or television show you are interested in for next to nothing.

·      India. Very spicy curry plus unreliable toilets can make for sticky situations. The pay, however, will be excellent and the country itself is beautiful.

·      The Far East. Lots of chances to travel; your money will go far. You'll have very eager students. You'll learn about fascinating cultures. You'll also never be sure if a given Western tourist you are talking to is there simply because they want to have sex with children.

·      South America. Wonderful if you want to move on from teaching abroad to working for the CIA – or making your friends back home think that is what you are doing.

cc InternationalEducators.com

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