In our increasingly interconnected world, the benefits of post-secondary education go much further than the traditional classroom walls. Among the most adventurous and enriching experiences that arise from higher education is the chance to teach abroad. This experience opens doors to new cultures and perspectives and enhances professional development in ways few other experiences can match.

Benefits of teaching abroad

Teaching abroad comes with a wide range of benefits for both professional development and personal growth. When living and working abroad for a longer period, the first thing people mention is often cultural immersion. Teaching abroad offers an immersive cultural experience because as a teacher, you come into contact with several layers of society. You will work together with other local teachers and/or international colleagues, form bonds with your students, and possibly meet your students’ parents. As a teacher, you will also have enough free time to explore other aspects of your host country.

Teaching abroad allows you to gain a broader perspective on education and society around the world. It is natural to compare and contrast educational systems, teaching methodologies, and student experiences with what you are used to back home. By doing so, you can enrich your knowledge and understanding of education around the world.

Living and working in a foreign country comes with another highly sought-after opportunity: travel and exploration. Regions like Europe and Southeast Asia are known for their backpacking opportunities, making it possible to visit many different places and explore new cultures with relative ease. This adds an element of adventure and exploration to the teaching experience, creating lasting memories and experiences.

Travelling casts a lot of money, but by combining living abroad and working at the same time, you will also be earning a salary. This not only prevents you from breaking the bank while spending time abroad but might even allow you to save money. How much money you could potentially save depends on which country you choose and the current cost of living compared to the average salary of teachers. If you want information on average salaries for English teachers, head over here for more teaching English abroad salary insights.

Professional Development Opportunities

Teaching abroad does not only offer benefits for travel, but also for professional development. Teaching in an international setting requires effective cross-cultural communication skills. Teachers must learn to navigate language barriers, cultural differences, and diverse learning styles. By doing so, teachers can improve their ability to communicate and connect with students from various backgrounds, a skill that is wanted by employers.

That being said, working in a foreign country does come with challenges. Stepping out of your comfort zone forces you to adapt to new teaching environments, curriculum frameworks, and educational systems. This experience allows for the development of adaptability, flexibility, and problem-solving skills, which are valuable skills in any professional setting.

Lastly, teaching in a non-native language environment or alongside bilingual students will most likely improve teachers’ language proficiency. You may develop fluency in a new language or strengthen existing language skills, which can be advantageous for teaching, communication, and personal growth no matter where you end up living and working.

Impact on Personal Growth

Teaching abroad requires an individual to step outside of their comfort zone, which in turn has an impact on personal growth. Living and working abroad, either as a teacher or in any other form of employment, exposes you to diverse cultures, traditions, and customs. This experience fosters cultural awareness and sensitivity as well as a global perspective and open-mindedness, resulting in more inclusive and respectful interaction with people from all kinds of backgrounds with understanding and without judgement.

Living and working in a foreign country often requires individuals to become more self-reliant and independent. You will learn to navigate unfamiliar environments, manage day-to-day tasks, and make decisions autonomously. It is recommended to ask for help and rely on a support network, but those things take time, and the kind of support you receive abroad might be different from what you are used to back home. In the end, these challenges could lead to increased self-confidence and self-sufficiency.

Global Citizenship and Networking

As a teacher in a foreign country, you have the opportunity to discover new cultures and traditions, but also possibly new teaching methods. Not only that, but by staying in a foreign country that could have a very different socioeconomic or environmental climate than your home country, you are exposed to other aspects of global challenges such as climate change, social inequality, and human rights. Gaining these global perspectives and incorporating them into your daily life and teaching can encourage students to become active global citizens and agents of positive change.

If you go for a teaching job abroad, you could work with an international organization to help you with the logistics and practical side of finding an international teaching job. It is not uncommon for several international teachers to be placed within the same institution or to undergo a joint introduction period before setting off to their assignments. This allows educators to connect with like-minded individuals and build their own professional network around the world. On top of that, it is also recommended to connect with the local international community to share experiences, tips, and resources.

International Opportunities

Teaching abroad exposes educators to global perspectives on education, societal issues, and academic research. During your stay abroad, you could engage in cross-cultural research, collaborate with other international scholars, or contribute to educational initiatives addressing global challenges, expanding your knowledge base and professional contributions.


An adventure such as teaching abroad through post-secondary studies opens doors to new cultures and perspectives and enhances professional development and personal growth. The experience offers immersive cultural experiences, broadens perspectives on education and society, and fosters adaptability, resilience, and cross-cultural communication skills. Furthermore, it promotes global citizenship, encourages networking and collaboration, and provides international opportunities for research and contributions to global initiatives.