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Is it safe for single women to teach English abroad?
- Yes, not only is it safe for women to teach English abroad, it is also extremely popular. Every year there are somewhere in the region of 150,000 women working as ESL teachers in countries all over the world. Of these, the majority will find themselves living in modern, thriving cities across Europe, Asia and Latin America that have a similar level of infrastructure and amenities to what they are used to back home.
- Whether in Rome, Beijing, or Santiago, new teachers will almost certainly find there is an expat community of English speakers who are more than happy to provide local knowledge and information to help them settle into their new life overseas. Unfortunately, nowhere is 100% safe all of the time, but with a few simple precautions single women can head off to teach English abroad with little need for concern.
- Before you make a final decision on your destination for teaching English abroad, it is a good idea to do some research to ensure you choose a suitable location. For example, the role of women in society varies across different cultures, as does what is seen as acceptable interaction between the sexes. To decide whether you would feel comfortable living long term in any particular country, it is important to be familiar with the cultural norms so you can make an educated decision.
- A simple question you can ask yourself is "would I be happy to go to this location on vacation"? If so, it is reasonable to assume that you would feel safe living and working there. Bear in mind that most of the biggest markets for ESL teachers are located in peaceful countries with well developed economies, rather than in war-torn and impoverished regions. Once you have decided on a city, the final thing to do before heading off is to research its different neighborhoods to find out which area is best to live in.
- Whatever your choice of destination, you are certain to find other like minded teachers who have also made the decision to live and work abroad. These colleagues can be a great source of local knowledge when finding your feet in your new home, particularly when it comes to staying safe. From how to safely use local transport, to contacting the police and emergency services, your new colleague?s knowledge is invaluable. If they suggest there are certain parts of town or particular establishments that are best avoided, it is wise to assume they know what they are talking about.
- It is not only your new colleagues that will want to look out for you, as most people worldwide are happy to welcome foreign teachers into their communities. By making a conscious effort to engage with local people, you should find that you become accepted into the community and are therefore safer living within it.
- Common sense is also an important part of staying safe while living and working abroad. By following a few simple rules you can dramatically reduce the chances of getting into any kind of trouble. Always avoid any areas that are seen as unsafe, particularly at night. When socializing, never accept drinks from strangers, and avoid getting drunk in public. Avoid flaunting any sign of wealth such as jewelry, electronic gadgets, or wads of cash. Finally, be clear on how to contact the police and other emergency services.
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