Is it November already? This month’s issue of the Teach Away Telegram discusses the importance of finding helpful resources while you are teaching overseas and the numerous benefits of volunteering abroad!
Things can be pretty hectic as the year comes to an end, so we encourage you to take a break and relax with this month’s Telegram. We hope you enjoy it! And, as always, feel free to drop us a line – we look forward to hearing from you soon!
Happy reading! – The Teach Away Team
In this issue:
Teaching overseas is an exciting endeavour, and one that also brings with it many challenges. Whether it is your first time teaching overseas or your first long-distance travel excursion, you are sure to encounter many things for the first time. You have read about culture shock, you know that you will experience homesickness after the first few weeks, and you may have even brushed up on your language skills – but what happens when you get settled?
Many teachers are excellent planners by nature, and planning ahead will help you ease into a comfortable routine. Creating a resource list by bookmarking helpful websites, writing down contact information, and even writing out a list of steps to take in certain situations can help many teachers feel more prepared.
Teach Away has recently launched a Resources page to help you plan ahead, including resources for planning your travels, keeping in touch with family and friends, and navigating your time abroad. In addition to the resources for teachers available on our website, you should also pack your Teach Away pre-departure guide, contact information for your employer, contact information for your Teach Away placement coordinator, information about your country’s Embassy or the local Consulate, and a basic guide book. Oh, and a great attitude, of course!
And if you’re really into planning ahead, or if you just enjoy a great read, we have also started a list of Suggested Reading! Read about life in Korea, teaching ESL overseas, pop culture in the Middle East – or about any of the countries where we place teachers. If you have any great reads to suggest to other teachers, feel free to let us know!
Volunteering overseas is an increasingly popular option for gap-year students and experienced teachers alike. Teach Away recently launched two very exciting volunteering abroad programs: Teaching English in Georgia, and Volunteering in Chile. With both programs up and running, we want to tell you about three great, not-so-obvious reasons to volunteer overseas!
Variety In What You Do
Volunteering overseas is a fantastic way to try new things and improve on some of your current talents. Most volunteer positions entail a variety of tasks, giving volunteers the chance to vary their routine and try new things. For example, a lot of volunteer teaching positions overseas include cultural exchange components, supervising extracurricular activities, and even tutoring a host family. Diversity in your routine keeps things interesting, and allows you to flex your skills!
Learning More About Yourself
While you build on your skills, explore your surroundings, and discover an entirely different way of life, not only will you learn about other people, but also about yourself. Many people find that volunteering teaches them different qualities, such as understanding and patience, and also encourages self-reflection. Since many teachers use reflection as part of good teaching practice, learning to self-reflect is an important tool. As well, stepping outside one’s comfort zone encourages growth and builds character. Not only will you be enriched by volunteering overseas, but your resume will benefit too!
Short-Term Options & Flexibility
Many volunteering abroad programs offer short-term options, ranging from a few weeks to a few months, allowing for a great deal of flexibility. Gap-year students may want to volunteer in more than one location, while teachers may not have more than a few months off; volunteering overseas offers options to both groups. For those who are not sure whether they will enjoy the experience of living and working overseas, a short-term volunteer contract is a great way to get your feet wet! Many volunteer programs also include plenty of free time, meaning you have the chance to explore your surroundings.
Learn about more great reasons to volunteer overseas.
You may have noticed that the Teach Away website looks a little different these days! Take a few minutes to explore the site, as there are some great new features and pages to make learning about teaching overseas and applying to teach overseas a lot easier!
Check out the Teach Away Community page, connecting you with other Teach Away teachers around the world, and read Teach Away Testimonials from Teach Away alumni. Catch up on news stories featuring Teach Away and find some helpful hints in our Tutorials. If you want to learn more about some of our overseas teaching programs, visit our Videos page. We have also changed our teaching jobs page to include filters that will make it even easier to find a teaching job abroad that is suited to your qualifications and interests.