TEFL summer camps are a great option for anyone who is looking for teaching experience but can’t commit to a longer contract. Most TEFL jobs come with yearlong contracts, whereas positions in summer camps generally last between 2 – 12 weeks (ideal for students looking for summer work). You won’t have to drastically uproot your life and sell your flat or car in order to teach English abroad. It’s also not the same commitment as accepting a TEFL job for a year in Vietnam – you won’t need the same amount of paperwork or visas and you aren’t as far away. Teaching English at a summer camp is also a great taster to see if TEFL is for you, or just for summer. Which leads on to our next reason…
For most TEFL teachers, starting your first serious job teaching abroad can be very daunting. Starting off in a language summer camp, which is likely to have a more relaxed atmosphere, is a great way to prepare yourself and gain experience before moving on to a longer contract and TEFL job elsewhere. You can test the water and see which lessons work and which don’t, as well as developing your own teaching style. For employers that only want experienced teachers, this is a good way to get a foot on the ladder and gain confidence in your teaching abilities.
Although the summer camps are aimed at instructing English, the children also want to have fun. You will probably be involved in organising other activities and an interest in sports and the outdoors will be beneficial. The turnover of children is likely to mean new faces every couple of weeks, so with this constant variety and you shouldn’t get too worried if you have an annoying kid in class, as they’ll be gone soon!
Meeting like-minded people
You will almost certainly be working in a team which gives you the opportunity to meet other TEFL teachers who are likely to be in the same boat as you. It should give you confidence to think that you aren’t the only beginner here and others are probably as nervous as you as well.
Teaching English abroad even for a short stint at a summer camp will provide you with some great transferable skills. At TEFL summer camps you will likely be put into a leadership role with responsibility looking after children. You will probably have to work in a team and organise and collaborate with other camp leaders. Your communication and public speaking skills will also be tested. Finally, having experience living and working abroad will convey to employers your independence and adaptability. Even if you don’t want to pursue a career teaching English, experience in a summer camp will look good on your CV and strengthen your application for jobs in other industries. So you can have a fun summer while also being thoughtful about your future!
Finally, you get to spend the summer somewhere lovely in Europe…
…which certainly beats the alternative of working in the rainy UK!