I first got interested in teaching English overseas when I got sick of my 9-5 job in Australia, and wanted something more from life. I didn’t want to waste away behind a desk doing stuff which didn’t feel meaningful at all. I did some research and found a good, cheap online TEFL school.
(If you want to skip my adventures and get straight to the info about how to teach English abroad, scroll straight to the bottom of the article)
After that I set off into the Middle East, with my first stop being Egypt. Although Egypt had some amazing ancient artifacts, Cairo was the ugliest, most stressful city I had (and still now 3 years later) ever been to. The only nice part of the city were the pyramids. Overall it is worth going to Egypt and you can check out the cheap but good quality accommodation options for Egypt here (check out the ratings on the left)
|Flickr: Ed Yourdon|
After Egypt I crossed the port to Jordan – which was slightly nicer looking but had truly amazing people – in fact the people I met there and Syria I have considered the most warmest unbelievably selfless people I have ever met. If you are in the region I truly recommend visiting Petra – it’s one of the most amazing, most preserved Ancient Cities that exist – it’s not just the
photo below – it’s much more – it really is an entire city still preserved (by the way, I recommend keeping away from a Hostel called Valentine’s Inn – the owners are slightly/completely insane).
|Flikr betta design|
It is also in Jordan (in the capital Amman) where I stayed for a month and taught English to Palestinian and Iraqi refugee children (who had to leave their homes and families in Iraq due to the American military’s invasion and later occupation for oil). It was amazing how well behaved and eager to learn these kids were – despite having lost so much.
After that I traveled through Syria, Israel, and beautiful Turkey – Istanbul – which is still my favourite city (along with Belgrade). It’s quiet easy to get a job in Istanbul as a native English speaker – there are many language schools. Make sure you have your copy of your TEFL certificate and don’t go for the first offer, see which one pays best – know that the schools charge the students a small fortune to have lessons with you (a native English speaker “wow”) – so make sure you are getting your fair share of it. The schools will also help you get your visa for working.