by Jill Robinson with Greenheart Travel
Teaching English overseas has always been a fascinating travel option for me, and the latest addition to our Greenheart Travel programs offers some perks that made me do a double-take, some mental math and a slight open-mouth stare as I listened to my colleague give me the run-down of our Teach in South Korea program.
First, it’s a free program. I won’t go into a sales pitch of why any reader stumbling upon our site should travel with us, but I will say in the name of cultural exchange, someone with a passion for travel and shallow pockets is not out of luck. Teaching English overseas has long been an option for adventure seekers who need a little help feeding themselves while exploring new countries, and travel in South Korea is not as expensive as a backpacking trip through Europe.
Second, remember all those credit cards you thought would be a good idea to have because while in college you got a free t-shirt if you signed up for a Visa? Now you can pay off that debt. Teaching in Korea, you are provided with a furnished apartment – rent-free, a generous monthly stipend, vacation pay, and reimbursement for your flight to and from South Korea, just to name a few.
Thirdly, and definitely most important, Teaching abroad offers a true cultural exchange. While you are sharing your English skills, you are immersed in an entirely new culture and community. Not only are you able to be on the adventure of a lifetime, you are building a resume and learning invaluable life lessons on how to relate to people, open your mind to new perspectives and probably learning a new language along the way.
This last point is very important. The potential to save money, pay off debt, have the funds to travel and still be able to eat and enjoy yourself mean nothing if your heart isn’t in the idea of learning about a new culture. There is also a lot of work involved, lessons to plan, children (or adults) to try and educate and language and culture barriers to maneuver through. And to me, the value of this experience far out-weights the idea of paying off all four of my credit cards.