1. Job opportunities.
This is especially true for native English speakers as it is simple to get a job with no experience and very few qualifications. Although teaching jobs are abundant, there are other job opportunities that can easily be found too; among them, writing for English language magazines and newspapers, as well as travel blogging. There are some haphazard jobs that are bound to fall into your lap while in Asia. I’ve had the chance to be a teacher, an actor, a tutor, and I was once even offered pay just to be seen at a government party. The odd jobs may not be enough to make a living but they definitely are an experience you can’t get anywhere else.
2. Money! All the money!
Depending on your skills and degree, it may seem pretty impossible to find a job that pays a livable salary in your home country. In Asia, the copious job opportunities also come with a desirable salary. English teaching positions typically pay between $1,000 to $3,000 per month (or more depending on your experience and location), often including free housing and health insurance. As easy as it is to get a teaching job in Asia, it is even easier to supplement your income and find students to tutor, which has a going rate of at least $20 an hour.
3. The cost of living is WAY less:
The low cost of living is a game changer. Yet how this will affect your life is somewhat dependent on your location and your personal spending habits. In many countries like China you can spend less than $20 a day while still eating out, meeting friends for drinks, and taking taxis to all of your destinations. If you live in Southeast Asia, you can look forward to spending $10 or less each day. Point is: you can afford things!
4. There are better living accommodations:
Many English language schools will provide their teachers with fully furnished apartments for no cost. There are stories of schools giving teachers dodgy places to live but for the most part, the schools want to keep teachers around and, to do so, often provide beautiful accommodations. Usually teachers will be responsible for their utility bills but with the low cost of living, this can cost under $20 a month. In many Southeast Asian countries, the cost of accommodation is extremely affordable. Apartments can be rented from $200 to $500 a month in popular areas of major cities and the majority of them come with a weekly cleaner for no extra cost.
5. Affordable healthcare:
For many 20-somethings, the cost of health insurance is a daunting monthly expense and many people don’t have any at all. In Asia, almost all English language schools provide their employees with health insurance that is not taken out of their pay each month. If you are living in Asia and don’t have a job that provides insurance, seeing a doctor without any is incredibly affordable. A dentist visit could cost between $7 and $30 and most places do not even require appointments. Antibiotics and birth control can be bought over the counter for as little as $5 for a package. Doctors can be seen for as little as $10 and there are walk-in clinics everywhere.
6. Travel is cheap and easy:
People in their twenties are often torn between a career and giving in to their wanderlust. When living in Asia, it is no problem to do both. Countries that are close together lend themselves to cheaper flights and the general low cost of living makes spending money add up to almost nothing. Flights to an entirely new country can be as low as $100, and domestic flights are even cheaper. Hotels and hostels in many Asian countries can cost between $10-$50 a night and in Southeast Asia, accommodation for under $5 is pretty standard. Food is generally low cost and if you stick to small restaurants and street stalls selling local food, you can pay as little as $1 for a meal. Since countries are closer together, trips can be reserved for the shortest of weekends, which means getting the time off work to travel isn’t a hassle.
7. Exercise is more affordable:
Since living in these countries can be so cheap, people often have the extra money to finally join a gym or a yoga studio. Making more money also means that you’ll work less and may actually find yourself with more free time to fit in an extra workout and to keep yourself healthy.
8. Low cost of vehicles:
Many Asian countries run on motor or electric bikes. The used ones can cost you less than $200. And they’re not only cheap to obtain, but most countries do not eveb require any type of monthly auto insurance. The gas prices are extremely affordable as well. You may find yourself paying a measly $3 to fill your entire tank for the week.
9. Your cultural awareness will broaden immensely:
You are going to learn more than you ever imagined by participating in Asia’s daily life. New ways of living will start to make sense and you’ll find new foods that you can longer live without. Your understanding of history and culture will be shaken up with new perspectives and you will meet people who never would have crossed your path otherwise. This is a time for you to make new connections and to reinvent your sense of self.
10. The opportunity to learn useful skills:
Gaining skills is an undeniable benefit of life in Asia. These are skills that stay with you for decades and will certainly come in handy if you do decide to go back home. With all of the employment opportunities available to foreigners in Asia, it is almost inevitable that you will improve your ability to communicate with people, to problem solve, and to understand more of the business mentality of the working world. The types of skills gained in this part of the world are not always derived from work; they’re also learned from truly enjoyable experiences. In Asia, you can find countless retreats that focus on topics such as writing, yoga instruction, massage therapy training, and endless language lessons. Cooking classes and sports lessons are widely available and there are endless volunteer opportunities that allow you to give back while simultaneously building these valuable skills.