Know Your Limits
Advice will vary from country to country and based on personality, but maybe the best advice is to know your limits and decide or at least give some thought to – in advance – how much you’d like to stretch them.
For some, living abroad at all is pushing a boundary, for others, standing up in front of a group of people and speaking is pushing a limit. TEFL is a great way to test your boundaries, I think, but don’t try to push them all at once. Each of us has different limits and goals, and those limits don’t make us weak, they make us individuals.
The TEFL Logue is no stranger to debt or the concept of wanting money for travel or other things like, say, graduate school or an ipod, and it has more than once crossed the TEFL Logue’s mind that Korea presents quite an option. It won’t surprise many people I know to hear that I do in fact push myself, but I somehow know that teaching thirty hours a week regularly is just not something I can do, even if it’s low prep. And after reading about the timetables of a few EFL teachers in Korea, I feel even more sure this is not for me.
I used to feel that even having a roommate would be pushing my limits too far. Yes, I have a lot to say here, but on my own, I like time to myself and I like to do what I want when I want at home and when I travel. Circumstance has in the past compelled me to have roommates and now, while I still prefer not to, it wouldn’t be a problem for me – so this is one boundary I have crossed or “overcome” with practice.
My point is, have some idea of what you’re up for, and follow your instinct. If you want to go abroad but you feel more comfortable using a program…do it. If you want to stick to a country you’ve already visited because you’re not sure if you’ll like a new place well enough to stay a year…fine. If you want to challenge yourself in additional ways…those additional ways exist! But do what’s right for you and don’t apologize for it.