How Teaching English Opens Doors Overseas

I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel several times a year to places like Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

You might wonder how I became so lucky? Well, seven years ago, I came to Mexico to teach English as a second language. This allowed me to fulfill my dream of living abroad and immerse myself in another culture.

And teaching English was the best way to do it! I took advantage of 25-hour work weeks, long weekends, extended holidays, and summer breaks to explore all that Mexico had to offer…the delicious and diverse food, the rich and interesting history, the passionate and lively people of Mexico’s beautiful beaches and rustic mountain villages. I drank it all in!

Plus, there is no better way to become part of your new community and make connections than by becoming an English teacher abroad.

It’s a way to get “hooked-in” with what is going on in your new home and meet folks who know about opportunities you can tap into. Once you get connected, I can guarantee you’ll come across tantalizing ideas.

I have found that many successful expats I meet started off teaching English; and most started off teaching in a country other than where they are living now.

In Ecuador, I spoke with a man from Detroit who is now running a hotel in Quito. He started teaching English in Uruguay for a year or so, then made some connections that helped him to start an import-export business in Ecuador and went on to run eco-tours.

Another American man I met in Cotacachi began teaching English in Colombia. After several years there, he met and married an Ecuadorian woman. They ended up buying a restaurant in the expat friendly town north of Quito and couldn’t be happier.

In Mexico, I met a Canadian woman who began teaching English when she arrived 12 years ago. After several years of teaching, she decided she was “home” and opened her own little boutique store, selling high-end, artisan crafts to locals and tourists.

Even if teaching is not something you plan to do forever, it certainly has proven to be a great springboard for many living abroad. Not only is English a skill you already have, that is relatively easy to cash-in on for a part-time or full-time income, but it is also a doorway to opportunities you may never have expected.

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