I’m 99.9% certain you’ve heard of the likes of eco-tourism, hedonistic tourism (which is kind of redundant because that’s the default mode of travel), business travel and even medical tourism, but what about educational tourism. Conceptually it’s very easy to understand because what edu-tourism is, is exactly what it says on the tin – it’s visiting places for educational purposes. There is a different kind of edu-tourism though, which goes beyond the usual form of conducting research wherever it is you’re visiting, perhaps sponsored by an institution of higher-learning such as a university or research facility.
Edu-tourism is now so widely practiced and enjoyed at the same time that the pursuit of something like a TEFL Course in Argentina for instance hardly appears to be pure edu-tourism. This is the approach to edu-tourism in which you actually visit a specific country or region to acquire your qualification, not necessarily to further one you already have through conducting research or anything like that. So you visit the country and pursue a certain field of study, but most likely a specific skill which takes no more than six months to two years to master.
For those of you who don’t know by now, TEFL courses are educational programmes people take up to qualify as English teachers to non-first-language speakers of the tongue. This is the case because unlike is the case with people who pursue English-teaching in some of the most popular places around the world like in Southeast Asia (and perhaps the entire Far East region), when you learn to teach English in the likes of Argentina, you’re mostly destined to work in and around the tourism sector.
This is not to say you’re definitely going to work in the tourism sector, but that’s normally where the most amount of opportunities lie. Take the 2014 FIFA World Cup for example – some of the TEFL qualified teachers who completed their course in Argentina were scooted over to neighbouring Brazil to collaborate with Portuguese teachers who were giving Portuguese classes to tourists and students visiting the country for the global showpiece and those who were seeking to pursue economic opportunities in the country. So you wouldn’t necessarily be targeting a traditional teaching job, that would have you say teaching in a classroom in Buenos Aires upon the completion of your TEFL Course. However, that definitely is one way of making use of what will be your newly-minted qualification – a very common way, at that.
Pretty much the same would apply in the case of completing a TEFL Course in Madrid – you have plenty of options beyond joining the ranks of a traditional institution of learning. Naturally these are some opportunities you have to think outside the box a little to secure, such as how you might need to be the one to contact the football club and offer up your services to teach English to foreign professional players of that pro football club who don’t speak it. You’d think that if we speak about Spanish-speaking countries there would be a rise in the need for Spanish language teachers, but English is the predominant language of the world and certainly the business language of the world, chosen to be the official language amongst professional sporting structures such as continental association football.
It is because of opportunities such as these that we see this witnessed rise in edu-tourism.