Is it safe for single women to teach English abroad?

Yes, it is safe for women to teach English abroad. Not only is it safe, it is also extremely popular as around 150,000 women work as ESL teachers in countries all over the world at any one time. Of this number, most will live and work in modern, cosmopolitan cities that have a similar level of infrastructure and amenities as they would find in their home countries. Whether in Europe, Asia or Latin America, first time teachers will usually be able to find an expat community of English speakers who are able to provide local knowledge and information that will help them to settle into their new community. It is impossible to say that any particular place will be 100% safe all of the time, but by employing some simple precautions single women can confidently head overseas to teach without any undue concern.

Where should I teach English abroad as a single women?

Before deciding on a teaching destination it is advisable to do plenty of research to help you choose the right location. In some countries women do not enjoy equal rights and there may be restrictions on what you are allowed to wear and how you can interact with the opposite sex. For some women this is not a big issue, but for others it is something they are not willing to do. In order to make an educated decision on where to teach it is important that you are fully aware of the cultural norms of each individual country on your potential list of destinations. One easy question to ask yourself is would I be happy to go to this location on vacation? If the answer is yes then it is fair to assume that you would feel safe living and working there. It is worth remembering that the majority of places that have a strong demand for ESL teachers are peaceful countries with well developed economies and not impoverished nations that have been ravaged by war or other violence. When you have made a decision, you can then research the individual areas of the city or country you have chosen to find the best place for you to set up home.

Where can I get advice on the local area?

Wherever you choose as your teaching destination, you are almost certain to find other teachers have already made the move to live and work there. By utilizing the local knowledge of these teachers you should be able to quickly get your bearings and start to settle in. Work colleagues will be a mine of information on issues such as using public transport and any local areas that you might want to avoid. As well as your new work colleagues, it is also wise to get to know people in the local community. Generally speaking, foreign teachers are warmly welcomed by local people and by getting involved in the community you are likely to feel safer living within it.

What else can I do to stay safe?

One of the most important aspects of staying safe when teaching English abroad is simply to use a bit of common sense. If you stick to a few simple rules you can usually avoid getting into unwelcome situations. Any areas that are known to be unsafe should be avoided, particularly at night. On nights out, never accept drinks from strangers and avoid getting overly merry in public. Obvious signs of wealth, such as expensive jewelry, electronic gadgets, or large amounts of cash should either be left at home or well hidden. Finally, in the unlikely case that you find yourself in an unpleasant situation, it is important that you know how to contact the police and other emergency services.

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