TEFL as a gap-year option for university graduates

A good number of graduates are choosing to take a couple of years out to travel, and many are hoping that TEFL will help facilitate this. At the end of the day, it’s an option that will provide them will financial support, cultural integration and a beneficial addition to their CV.

TEFL has long been a popular option amongst new graduates, but it’s likely that this year will see even more students than normal training in TEFL in order to head abroad.

Two such graduates are Zoe Delaine-Smith and Catherine Handley. Zoe, who graduated with a history degree from Sussex University in June last year and recently completed a CELTA course in Budapest said:

“ I took the CELTA course for a couple of reasons. Firstly i really like travelling and it just seemed a good idea to get a qualification that I could use while abroad which would aid my travels. Secondly the job market is pretty bad in England at the moment sadly and there seems to be more opportunities for work abroad- people always need to learn English after all!”

Catherine graduated in English and Philosophy from Stirling University last June, and had been considering TEFL as a means to travel for a few years. She thinks that the CELTA certificate will enable her to support herself abroad for an indefinite amount of time, and says:

“It was only one amongst a few ideas before the credit crunch, but i think the current economic climate has tipped the scales in favour of CELTA for me and has definitely made doing a CELTA course a more recommended next step for many graduates at the moment.”

Some people are worrying that the increase in number of teachers will bring about a cut in the number of TEFL jobs available, but in reality it’s an industry that continues to boom. There are opportunities to teach all over the world, particularly in the Far East, and if you get the right kind of qualification and can afford some flexibility in terms of where specifically you work, you shouldn’t encounter any problems in getting a job.

An element of how easy, and successful, your job hunt is also relates to the time of year that you look. If you can coincide searching for work with the beginning of the school year, this will definitely count in your favour.

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