Ascertaining the true value of teaching abroad is not something that always comes easy. According to a recent study conducted by Association of International Educations (NAFSA) only 1 in 10 universities today count with programs for orienting their students on this matter. If you are one of those people analyzing the pros and cons of embarking on a Teaching Abroad experience you need to consider the following Intrinsic and Extrinsic Values you will obtain from it:
Intrinsic: This is how your Teaching Abroad experience will impact you at a personal level.
It is fantastic! How many times have you found yourself reading through a travel magazine or watching one of those very popular TV shows where the host takes you to an exotic city halfway around the world to show you the cuisine and customs? That could be you! Stop reading about it and become that TV host! Travel to parts of the world you could only read about before and share your life journey with friends and family. Get to know the world while you can!
It will change your life. By living and working in a different country you will immerse yourself in foreign cultures with customs that will completely change your outlook on life, which is the true value of teaching abroad. Everything that you thought you knew about the way the world works and how people interact in it will be incredibly expanded. After a couple of months of living your life differently than you were accustomed to you will grow as a human being in a great number of ways.
Extrinsic: This is how your Teaching Abroad experience will impact the way other people see you.
Life skills. By living and working in a country with a foreign language and culture you will gain dexterities you never even knew you had! You will learn a different language, develop your communicative skills, improve your tolerance to stress and increase your adaptability. How many times have you heard the expression: “He/she is well traveled”? Thank could be you.
Competencies. This is the career builder. Living and working abroad will boost your career opportunities in any professional field. Employers around the world prefer employees that have international experience under their belt not only to work within their organizations but also to lead them. By traveling you become well oriented on interpersonal skills and cross-cultural sensitivity.
Thousands of people embark on these programs every year. Knowing the true value of teaching abroad enables you to get the most out of your experience.
Association of American Colleges and Universities (2013). It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success.
Norris, E.M., Gillespie, J. (2013). How Study Abroad Shapes Global Careers: Evidence From the United States Institute for the International Education of Students.
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