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Adventures in Overseas Teaching: Part 3
By Dr. Arron Grow of City University of Seattle’s School of Applied Leadership.
This is the final part in this series on Overseas Teaching
Another area to consider when pondering an overseas teaching assignment are the benefits that come from experience. Having recently returned from another such adventure, here are four benefits that stand out in my mind.
The first benefit that you find, as soon as you return home, is that you are able to take these experiences, what you learned from them, and apply them to your own teaching. No matter how much you might read about a new culture or country; there’s really nothing like first-hand experience to learn what that new country or culture is like. With personal, first-hand experience, your illustrations in class become all the more lively and relevant.
A second benefit that you will discover after returning from an overseas teaching experience is the opportunity to see how schools work in different places. You might find something that works well in the school you are visiting and take this back to your home school to implement or at least discuss in an effort to improve operations where you regularly work. Seeing educational administration practices in other cultures/ countries can also help you to look at your practices with fresh eyes.
A third benefit is the fostering of a network of international colleagues – people to bounce ideas of off, ask for ideas from, give advice to. Developing new contacts is never a bad idea. Developing connections with colleagues around the world can be an even better idea.
The forth benefit of a teaching abroad experience is that, in a way, you get a bit of a break from your normal work life. Yes, you are there working, but in your off hours, you get to experience a new and unique country and culture. Some refer to this as a working sabbatical. Other teachers I have spoken to about this usually come back from these trips rejuvenated, energized, and ready to continue their work in their home countries with new insights and understandings.
Thank you for hanging in their with me for this 3-part series. It was written over two overseas trips to China in less that 12 months.
Enjoy the video I created as I wrapped up a recent teaching assignment in Beijing. After seeing the video, I find myself, once again, encouraging others to go after the same experiences. If you have a sense of adventure, or feel that it’s time to foster one, this is the way to go!