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  • Writer's pictureKrista the Explorer

Teaching and Travelling: Exploring Historic Treasures and Thrilling Adventures

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

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Better than most, teachers know that every day is a school day. Perhaps this is the reason why they are always eager to learn and to share their knowledge with others. And what better way to quench their unquenchable thirst for knowledge than by embarking on a journey through history?


History - with its tales of triumphs, tribulations, and transformations - has an unmatched ability to captivate the human spirit and imagination. Yet, its allure is magnified when we step beyond the confines of textbooks and classroom walls to witness the very places where history unfolded. In this delightful odyssey of teaching and traveling, we embark on a quest to explore historic treasures and embark on thrilling adventures, showcasing how educators can bridge the gap between the past and the present, and in doing so, inspire the future.


Colosseum in Rome on a sunny summer day.

Have you ever walked into the Colosseum in Rome? Or stood at the entrance of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris? If you have, you might recall the tingling sensation that pervades your body in the presence of historical landmarks of such importance. In each and every country across the globe, there’s so much history to discover and so little time - your standard two or three weeks off work a year won’t quite cut it!


Woman closing small suitcase full of clothing.

Fear not. By becoming a teacher of English as a foreign language, you can travel while exploring different countries. How? Here are two options:


  • Teaching online. Without the constraints of a physical classroom, you are free to teach from wherever you are in the world, as long as you have a fast and reliable internet connection and suitable equipment. This allows you to travel across larger countries, like Canada (you should definitely visit Stratford, Ontario), or entire continents, like Europe, without committing to a fixed workplace. With this option, you will also benefit from maximum flexibility, choosing to stay as long or as little as you like in each destination.


  • Teaching abroad (in-person). Spend a year (or as long as your contract lasts) in the countries of your choice to immerse yourself in the local culture and to better understand how their history developed. This time frame should give you enough time to visit the most fascinating landmarks and historical buildings with relatively shorter travelling times.


For countless individuals worldwide, mastering the English language is a significant step toward financial stability, expanded job prospects, and an enhanced quality of life. Whether it be teaching in-person or online, you'll have the privilege of interacting with a wide range of interesting individuals who, in return, will generously share insights about their cultures and homelands.


Teaching Online

Hand using keyboard and other hand holding phone.

You can enter the online TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) industry in two ways.


The first option involves establishing an independent TEFL teaching business, which demands more than just teaching expertise. It requires you to develop the suitable skills to perform tasks such as website setup, selecting a lesson delivery platform, and handling legal and marketing responsibilities.


The second option, allows teachers to work for well-established online institutions that offer language courses through their dedicated platforms. While this path provides less autonomy, it spares entrepreneurial newbies from the administrative burdens of starting their own venture from scratch. Each online institution comes with its unique requirements and support systems, which should be researched thoroughly to identify the most suitable fit for your lifestyle.


Teaching Abroad (in person)

Woman teaching older students in small class.

Teaching English abroad is an immensely gratifying profession because you can see how you can influence the lives of others through your work.


However, to embark on a career as an English teacher abroad, it's essential to recognise that the prerequisites for this profession vary between countries. Some nations hire only teachers who hold a university degree and/or citizenship from specific English-speaking countries, while others might impose age restrictions. Many countries, however, are much more flexible.


One thing is for sure: completing a 120-hour TEFL course not only unlocks doors to your desired teaching position but also equips you with the confidence and expertise necessary to start your teaching journey with a solid foundation.


Numerous training programs are available, but an accredited TEFL certification encompasses critical areas such as language proficiency (including grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation), teaching competencies (covering reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills), teaching methodologies (such as PPP, TTT, Dogme, TBL), and assessment techniques for learners.


Children listening to teacher inside a classroom.

Regarding teaching opportunities, a diverse array exists, contingent upon your qualifications, prior teaching experience, and personal preferences:


  • Many freshly certified TEFL instructors opt to join language schools or academies, which are private institutions offering language courses to various age groups and proficiency levels. These schools often recruit teachers as needed throughout the year.


  • Securing a position in public schools can be more challenging, typically requiring prior teaching experience. Different countries follow distinct hiring procedures, like Japan and South Korea, where international teachers are recruited through government-led initiatives such as JET or EPIK.


  • Private primary/secondary schools and universities provide more favorable employment conditions and higher salaries, making this sector fiercely competitive.


Teaching Destinations For History Buffs

Woman on escalator with suitcase at airport.

History is all around us. So, when it comes to choosing your teaching destination that allows you to explore the past, just take your pick. However, this is easier said than done, when you have specific preferences regarding the historic period you want to learn more about. Here are some suggestions:


Italy

Side angle of Milan Cathedral at sunrise on clear day.

Italy is a country rich in history, culture, and art. It has many famous landmarks and monuments that attract millions of tourists every year. Here are some of the most famous historical landmarks in Italy.


  • The Colosseum: Situated in Rome, it stands as the largest amphitheater ever constructed in the Roman Empire. This grand arena witnessed gladiatorial contests, public spectacles, and executions, making it an enduring symbol of ancient Rome and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.


  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa: This distinctive freestanding bell tower is associated with the cathedral of Pisa. Its world-famous tilt, a consequence of an unstable foundation on soft ground, has made it a beloved tourist magnet and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


  • Trulli: These are traditional limestone dwellings from the 16th century found primarily in the Apulia (Puglia) region of Southern Italy, particularly in the Itria Valley. These unique and distinctive buildings are characterized by their conical roofs, which are constructed using a dry-stone technique, meaning no mortar is used to hold the stones together.


  • Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano): Located in Milan, this Gothic masterpiece reigns as Italy's largest cathedral and ranks among the world's top five in size. Its construction spanned nearly six centuries, resulting in a breathtaking facade adorned with 135 spires and 3,400 statues. Visitors can also ascend to its rooftop terrace for panoramic views of the city.


  • Nuraghe (plural: nuraghi): These ancient megalithic structures are found on the island of Sardinia, Italy. They are distinctive stone towers or fortresses around 3500 years old and represent one of the most significant archaeological features of Sardinia's prehistoric past. Nuraghi are a testament to the advanced engineering and architectural skills of the ancient Sardinian civilization.


France

Side view of the Louvre museum in Paris on sunny day.

Just like Italy - and many other countries in Europe - France has many famous landmarks that reflect its heritage and identity, such as


  • The Eiffel Tower: Situated in Paris, this iconic structure is a wrought-iron masterpiece and a globally recognized cultural symbol. Originally erected for the 1889 World’s Fair, it held the title of the world's tallest structure at the time of its completion. Today, it remains one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city.


  • The Arc de Triomphe: Found in Paris, this monumental arch pays tribute to French soldiers who valiantly served in the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolution. Situated at the heart of the Place de l’Étoile, where twelve grand avenues converge, it also houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and a perpetual flame.


  • The Louvre Museum: Located in Paris, this colossal institution stands as the world's largest art museum and a historic monument. Once a royal palace and fortress, it was transformed into a museum in 1793. Within its walls, an extraordinary collection of artworks is showcased, including famous pieces such as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.


  • The Palace of Versailles: Situated in Versailles, this opulent palace served as the official residence of French kings from 1682 to 1789. Renowned for its magnificent architecture, sprawling gardens, and ornate fountains, it is also home to the Hall of Mirrors, where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919.


  • The Notre-Dame Cathedral: An iconic example of Gothic architecture, this cathedral in Paris traces its origins back to the 12th century. It is celebrated for its intricate façade, stunning stained glass windows, and supporting flying buttresses. Additionally, it is the setting for Victor Hugo's renowned novel, "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame." Despite suffering a devastating fire in 2019, the cathedral is currently undergoing a meticulous restoration process.


Needless to say, with so many choices, this country is a history paradise. To teach English in France is one of the best options for history-aficionados like you.


Discovering History and Teaching Abroad

Woman walking downhill toward coastal town in Italy.

Whether you decide to teach English abroad or online, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel and immerse yourself in the culture and history of the country (or countries!) of your choice.



If you have any questions about teaching abroad or what TEFL courses are right for you, please feel free to reach out via email or through Instagram, or you can get in touch directly with The TEFL Org and they'll be happy to help!


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