From the cool mountains of Northern China to the tropical jungles of Thailand or the brightly colored bustling markets of Central America, all of these wonderful places have something in common. They are in desperate need of teachers. Teaching overseas is often described as ‘the experience of a lifetime.’ So rewarding in fact, that people often stay longer than intended or end up living in their country of choice for years, even decades.
This raises a multitude of questions that need answering and research to be done and things to think about before finally taking the plunge to experience exotic cultures vastly different from your own. This is where social media comes in. No longer separated from friends and family, we are now connected through social media to such an extent that keeping in contact and finding a support network is easy.
Obtaining your TESOL Certificate ensuring you are qualified enough to teach overseas is only the first consideration. A lot of teachers find the biggest challenge is narrowing down the country they most desire to teach and live in. By simply typing in "teach English abroad" a whole new world will open up before your eyes. One of the very few job opportunities that enable you to explore the possibilities of an entirely new life through professional networking sites. All with just a click of the button.
Experience other philosophies, religions and beliefs, learn new languages, see how other cultures live their day to day lives. Entire societies and their traditions are available to you just by going to work. Imagine dancing with a street parade on the way to work, or being accompanied by a procession. These are possibilities in cultures very different from our own.
Culture shock is something people are concerned about when deciding to teach abroad and one of the best ways to put your mind at ease is through social media. Nearly every person and business have a Facebook page these days. These are excellent for finding Expat groups, teachers groups and joining your future school's page to keep abreast of activities before you even arrive making that transition all the easier. A quick search on Facebook will yield an entire support network of other teachers ready to help, support and answer all of those questions swirling through your mind.
These are great, but remember that it’s not all about work. Options are available to you as well. Networking sites such as Internations will make your heart soar and your excitement level will rise tenfold as you find new like-minded friends, discover art groups, free museums, and concerts or something as simple as a hiking group to go adventuring with on the weekends. One of the top expat sites, it helps put your mind at ease to know there are other friendly warm-hearted people there to help and support you during your move to another country. They have all been through what you have and can help allay any apprehension you may have. The wonderful world of social media opens so many doors for you and so many opportunities to network on a personal level as well.
Professional support can be found in abundance. Even applications and accounts you may already have, like Twitter, can be a powerful tool. No longer just for teenagers posting selfies, an entire support network is waiting for you as evidenced by this article from The Guardian Teachers on Twitter. There is also an entire list of Social Media Networking Sites listed on Wikipedia that with one click of a button you can converse with experts in your field or find groups of like-minded people to network and socialize with.
All of these sites provide a powerhouse of information for your new life teaching abroad. No longer contained to one town or city, we live in a global age of technology and communication. Making living and working abroad easier than in decades’ past. Each year more and more people are choosing a lifestyle of wonder and excitement by teaching abroad. Social networking is making this a viable lifestyle choice for many who may not have been able to accomplish this in the past.