Gap years are a very popular way for people to get away after spending years at school or at university, but due to increased competition for graduate jobs many students are now looking to make the type of travel experiences they do on their gap year worthwhile, in a bid to make them stand out on a CV.
TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) is a very good way of doing just that: travelling and living in a new and exciting culture, whilst making a difference to the lives of others through education. After record numbers in their summer sale (course enrolments up by 30% on last year) co-founder of TEFL Org UK, Joe Hallwood, said:
"It’s becoming more and more common for people to mention the fact that they’re looking to do some travelling, but travelling that’s deemed worthwhile and gives them transferrable skills. TEFL is perfect for this because it’s so varied. You can secure voluntary or paid work and can choose how long you go away for – a week, a month or up to a year! Because we feel this type of experience is so important we give students and recent graduates 20% off any TEFL course they want to enrol on, to help get them started on their path to travel and adventure abroad.”
For those who may be a bit down heartened by the graduate job hunt and are looking to do something entirely new, TEFL could be a great option. Many are now turning to this as a way to escape for a while and review their situation, and some even realise it as a previously unconsidered career path!
Whether you want to volunteer with young learners in a rural Thai village or work with business executives in downtown Tokyo, there’s a suitable job waiting, and graduates are in an exceptionally strong position for securing TEFL work. And, once booked on to a course you’ll get free lifetime access to the TEFL Jobs Centre, which currently lists around 200 jobs in about 40 different countries.
Think about alternatives - you’ll be in your career for the next 40 years or so! Travel broadens the mind, as well as your future prospects, so a gap year may be something to ponder.
TEFL Org UK is the coming together of TEFL Scotland, TEFL England and TEFL Wales. As one they are the largest and most highly accredited TEFL provider in the UK. For more information visit www.tefl.org.uk