Remember that kid in school who always knew exactly what they wanted to do with their life?
Yeah, I was never that kid.
I don’t think I ever knew why until quite recently, when exploring career options online led me to my answer to that dreaded question: What are you going to do with your life?
Because I grew up in a small, rural community, I believe that I was only presented with limited options for my future when I was younger. I could only imagine a cookie-cutter career as a doctor, lawyer, or teacher. I thought that, for me, teaching sounded almost right. As I grew up, however, I became exposed to much more of the world than just own small community. Through television, the internet, movies, and music, I learned that there was so much more to the world than I had previously known. From a young age, I’ve always been attracted to the idea of exploring that world. Soon, I realized that my goals were at odds with the answer that I had chosen for my future.
It feels completely like fate to me that I was able to find and research the answer that feels fully right to me: TESOL. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. That is what I want to do with my life. I want to travel the world and teach English, the language, grammar, and literature. No one I had ever known had practiced this profession and I had never read anything about it before. But that is the beauty of exploring the internet, it brings our global community and all our unique experiences as individuals closer together than ever. Now I’m able to connect through e-mail with TESOL educators all across the world who have been able to answer my questions and advise me about my own future within the field.
Without the ability to explore the internet, I might have never discovered the opportunities available for me in a career in TESOL. I would have never made the decision to apply to join the Peace Corps after graduating college, which is a step that many who study TESOL take in their careers.
I feel like the internet is an especially helpful tool for people who are researching careers and job opportunities outside of the United States, because the internet allows us to explore other cultures in order to make educated decisions on our own abilities to assimilate into those cultures.
While nothing will replace the actual experience of living in a new culture, technology today allows us to visualize and engage with other cultures in ways we have never before been able to do. I’m able to learn so many things about a culture: the language, the recipes, and the social norms, without ever leaving my own home in the Midwestern U.S..
I encourage everyone to explore their world, both in real life and online, in order to fully engage with their world. Knowledge is a key tool in order to become a member of and participate in the global community.