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3 April 2012
Whilst you are teaching English abroad, you will get to know many local people and see how people live in another country. The allure of big worldwide chains that remind you of home may be hard to resist but the overall EFL teaching experience will be all the richer for getting heavily involved in the local community. Often the countries you will be teaching in are developing, and the people can be quite poor. Every bit of money you spend in that country will end up improving the economy of the country, and the lives of the people there. Here's a few ways you can help the local community (other than your valuable teaching, of course!):
Towns with English schools will often be growing and developing very quickly. Often there will be community events going on around town, so go along and lend a helping hand! This will be a great way of meeting the locals, learning about the local community and will also give you even more satisfaction than you'll already be getting from teaching.
Whilst in another country, it's an ideal opportunity to sample local cuisine and get involved in local customs. The best way of doing this is to shop and visit local businesses and restaurants as much as you can. Ask your friends or co-workers in the town where the best places to go are. You can often get fantastic bargains by building friendships with local shopkeepers or by knowing how to haggle at markets. Often the local restaurants offer the highlights of trips abroad, whilst you sample the culinary delights of your new home country. It'll be a great part of your experience abroad and it will mean that more money is going into the hands of local people to develop the region.
One of the best things about teaching abroad is the chance to become enthralled with another culture from the one you know so well. Learn as much as you can about local history by visiting museums, galleries, or even local elders. All three can wow you with fantastic tales that you will remember long after you return home. If you are in to sport, go down to a local match. If you're in to music, go to a local gig. You will be in for an experience you will never forget, and you will be glad you did.
We hope this has given you a little guide to how you can give a little more to your new home.
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