One of the most understated aspects of teaching abroad is the profound learning curve that can come from it – an education which you could not discover elsewhere. Whilst it may not have been their final destination, here are 5 celebrities who have taught abroad and carried the lessons they learnt with them on their journey to superstardom.
Now renowned for his prowess as an actor in blockbuster movie franchises such as Marvel and Star Trek as well as his most recognised role as the title character in BBC crime drama sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch also once taught English abroad. During a gap year at university Cumberbatch volunteered abroad teaching Tibetan monks English in Darjeeling, India. He regards the experience and the people he met as having taught him more than he could have ever taught them crediting his ability to remain cool, calm and collected, in part, to his experience.
J K Rowling
Likely the first person to come to mind when you started reading this article, J.K. Rowling taught English as a second language in Portugal. J.K. Rowling’s story is well documented including her career as an ESL teacher in Portugal. Her abilities in English language, however, extended past her rewarding ESL teaching job abroad as she would go on to write the hugely popular Harry Potter series.
Wilfred Owen is one of the most highly regarded war poets whose work is a painful reminder of the tragedies of war but as well as his service as a soldier he also taught abroad. Wilfred Owen moved to France in 1913 as a language tutor before returning to England in 1915 to enlist in the army. He was awarded the Military Cross for Bravery in 1918 but was killed later that year, one week before armistice day, when leading his men across the Sambre Canal at Ors. Wilfred Owen’s poems such as “Dulce Et Decorum Est” and “Anthem For The Doomed Youth” are studied in schools today as both pieces of literature and history.
Australian born Hugh Jackman taught Physical education in the UK before reaching international stardom on the big screen. Jackman’s teaching career came to the attention of the media in splendid fashion when he recognised a reporter as a former student during the Zurich Film Festival. Jackman’s teaching career was short – one term as an assistant housemaster of which he spent much time teaching physical education as well as tutoring in English and drama. Only 18 himself at the time he managed to forge some fond memories which he recalled at the red-carpet event with his former pupil.
Whilst studying in Switzerland during the 1960s, Sylvester Stallone worked as a gym teacher as a way of making some extra money. Now he is known for working out to incredible lengths to create a physique he flaunted on the big screen in big movies such as Rocky and Rambo.
These famous figures all have great stories, journeys they went on to become as widely recognised as they are today and teaching abroad was a part of all their stories. Make teaching abroad part of your story and see where it can take you with Astute Education.