A Resumé Entry
After exploring some of the personal benefits one accumulates while living and teaching abroad, we’ll now turn our attention to the benefits that such an experience can lend to your future vocational endeavors. Your time as an EFL teacher at XYZ English Academy in the country in which you’ve chosen to teach is more than filler material for future job applications or resumes. Rather, it can demonstrate those skills, which employers are specifically seeking in their employees. While you can emphasize this on your resumé or in a cover letter, most of the positives are best communicated during your interview.
So, What Does Your Year Abroad Teaching ESL Demonstrate to Potential Employers?
It Demonstrates Your Self-Reliance
“When I was unable to find a position in my field here in the U.S., I accepted a position overseas to teach ESL at XYZ Academy” sounds much more positive and take-charge than “When I was unable to find a position in my field after graduation, I returned for another degree to wait out the economic downturn.” You can sell yourself as a self-starter and not as someone who waited for the job market to improve. Indeed, you were so willing to work that you traveled halfway around the world to do so.
It Demonstrates Your Organizational Skills
It requires a great deal of organization and attention to detail to even leave the U.S., much less to teach in a new school in a different country. You need to update your passport if it’s scheduled to expire during your year abroad, obtain a visa from the country where you’ll be teaching, visit your doctor for any necessary immunizations and purchase a teach abroad insurance policy.
It Demonstrates That You’re Open-Minded
If you’ve vacationed in Vietnam, then you have exotic tastes as a tourist. If you’ve lived and taught there for at least a year, you’re open-minded. With that degree of tenure, you would have had to either accept certain situations—cuisine, clothing or customs—or arranged an acceptable alternative. In fact, this latter situation would demonstrate three highly desired skills: open-mindedness, problem solving and communication in order to relay your necessary deviation from custom, such as in a food allergy.
It Demonstrates That You’re Willing to Try New Ideas or Experiences
As in our first example, living abroad demonstrates to potential employers that you are open to new ideas and new ways of problem solving. If you’re able to find restaurants or homes without addresses in nighttime Korea, you’re aware of how drastically a change in perspective can affect problem solving. The easily located old red house and its blue door, by day, are completely hidden in the outrageous neon display that takes place every night in that country. Your ability to consider that there might be a temporary factor blinding you to a solution can save time and frustration.
It Demonstrates Your Communication Abilities
Your ability to live abroad can demonstrate to potential employers your ability to communicate by language and culturally, a particularly important aspect in our multicultural nation.
It Demonstrates Familiarity in the Country’s Language
Employees able to speak two or more languages are highly desired.
In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss the influence that a year teaching abroad can have upon your students.
|Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.|
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