So you just graduated high school and you’re trying to figure out what to do next with your life.
Or maybe you just finished up college and you’re thinking about possibly getting a master’s degree next.
These are big moments in your life and it’s a great idea for you take some time off to celebrate your success and think about what to do next.
These are the perfect times in your life to take a gap year and go do something new and exciting.
Taking a year to do something different will allow you to evaluate where you’ve come from and where you’re headed – while giving you a valuable and fun experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime.
When you decide to take a gap year, there’s lots of places you can go and things you can do. However, teaching English in China is by far the best way to spend a gap year, and here’s a few reasons why.
See The World While You’re Young
Lots of people spend their entire adult working lives dreaming about what it’s going to be like when they can finally retire and see the world.
While traveling in retirement is great, the problem is traveling when you’re young is so much more fun!
There are lots of activities you simply won’t be able to enjoy when you’re older, and you’ll likely have far more responsibilities to worry about in life once you reach retirement age.
Getting to see the world while you’re young is one of the most valuable things you can do with your life, and it will shape your future in ways you can’t even imagine before you jump on that plane and go.
Take Time To Figure Out What You Want To Do With Your Life
A lot of times life can feel like you’re just taking one step after another down a path that has been predetermined for you. If you just finished high school, surely you have to go to college immediately right?
The truth is, there are lots of path you can take in life, and we each have different roads we want to walk down.
If you aren’t quite sure what you want to do with your future yet, taking some time to live overseas and experience the world can help you figure out where you want to go next.
Besides, college will still be there if you choose to go next year!
Get Real World Experience You Won’t Get In School
Another reason why going to college right after finishing high school may not be optimal is that you’re missing out on an opportunity to gain real world experience.
There are so many things you learn about the world once you get out there and try to make it on your own.
Earning a living and experiencing a new culture thousands of miles from home will teach you all kinds of things that you’ll never learn in stuffy lecture halls full of hundreds of other students with the same type of experience.
While what you learn at school is certainly helpful on your journey through life, it’s the things you learn from experience that really make you the person you are.
Expand Your Social Skills And Grow As An Individual
Those real world skills you’ll gain from teaching in China are too numerous to list all of them here, but there’s a few crucial ones that will have a lasting impact throughout the rest of your life.
The first is expanding your social skills and learning how to be able to communicate with absolutely anyone that you meet. Moving overseas will stretch your social skills in ways that you’d never get back home.
You will have to learn to communicate in a new language, understand a new culture, and make friends in situations that you’re not used to. This will make you much more confident in yourself and you’ll leave China knowing you can make friends with just about anyone.
Get A Chance To Learn A New Language
Another major skill that you’ll gain from your time in China is the ability to learn another language.
Sure, you could try to study Chinese back at home, but you’ll likely make very little progress unless you’re immersed in the culture and have daily exposure to the language.
When you’re in China, you’ll be able to speak and read the language daily, as well as meet many new friends that will be happy to speak their native language with you.
As China is quickly becoming the world’s largest economy, being able to speak Chinese will be a skill that will lead to many benefits for you in the future.
In fact, it may just be the ticket you need to land you a high paying job in the future!
Gain International Work Experience
The world is becoming more and more connected by the day with the expanding role of technology in our lives.
International business is becoming the norm and many companies are now placing great importance on international work experience when they look to hire people for high paying jobs.
Having international work experience on your resume will show an employer that you are willing to take risks and get out of your comfort zone in order to find success in life.
These are exactly the kinds of qualities that potential employers will be looking for when you go back home and start searching for jobs after your gap year.
Develop A Network Of Friends From All Over The World
One of my favorite parts of being an expat is getting to develop a network of great friends from all over the world. It’s easy to make friends with expats, as you’re in a unique situation that only they can really understand.
These friends will be able to help you learn more about the world and yourself. It’s also really easy to make connections that may lead to you landing good jobs, or finding potential business opportunities overseas.
After all, life is about who you know and how you can help the people around you.
Networking is so much easier and fun when you’re meeting with other people thousands of miles from their home and sharing that awesome experience with them.
Explore Business Opportunities Overseas
Another amazing benefit of being an expat overseas is all the business opportunities that are available to expats. Many people come to China to teach English and end up staying and starting their own business.
In fact, this is exactly how New Life ESL was born.
When you move to a different country, you bring all the experience that you gained in your home country with you. You’ll be able to see opportunities that may seem obvious to you, but simply aren’t available in China.
Maybe you’ll open an American craft beer bar, or a burger stand – or one of the countless other ideas that will come to you as you walk around China.
There is opportunity everywhere around you as an expat, and you can take advantage of it!
Earn A Good Living And Save Some Money
One of the things you’ll love most about living and teaching in China is the incredibly low cost of living.
You will have a free apartment and very expenses that you have to pay, so you have the opportunity to save a lot of money during your time spent in the Middle Kingdom.
You can use this to pay down any debt you have, or save up lots of cash that you can use to go back to school.
You’ll finish your year in China with a lot more money than you came with, and have way too much fun along the way. You can also easily travel around China and throughout Asia while still managing to save money.
It’s hard to imagine what kind of job someone straight out of high school could get themselves in the Western world that would allow you to live the kind of lifestyle you can live teaching in China!
So, now that you’re convinced that taking a gap year to teach in China is just about the best deal ever, I’ve got some great news for you!
We have a new Apprenticeship Program that’s absolutely perfect for you!
Apply today and let’s get your new life in China started ASAP!
(photo credit Flickr CC: Héctor García)