Continuing with the theme of teaching English in Europe, today we are happy to share an alumni interview with Allison. Allison is currently living out her dream of living and working in Spain, and teaching abroad was her means of accomplishing that goal. At the time of this interview Allison was living just outside of Barcelona, teaching English to young children and organizing private sessions on the side. Great to hear from a participant that is making the most of her experience and loving life in Spain! And in case you missed it, don’t forget to check out our last alumni interview with Taylor in Florence.
Leaving It All to Teach English in Spain
by Lauren Hartley
I never imagined that I would leave home to teach English in Spain, but my desire to live abroad began after my friend and I visited Europe together for the first time in 2007. Between the summers of 2007 and 2008, we’d traveled to more than 10 European countries, the last of which was Spain. I loved every country we visited, but Spain was the place that I loved the most with its sunny weather, beautiful beaches and palm trees (something we don’t get in Ohio!), and the perfect place to improve my Spanish. I told myself from that moment that I would return to live in Spain after graduating college.
The time has come to announce the 2014 LangaugeCorps Media Contest!
If you previously participated in a LanguageCorps Program (TESOL Certification, TESOL Plus, Flagship, TeachChina, TeachTaiwan, Volunteer or Online TEFL), or are currently participating, then you are eligible to submit (just please don’t reuse work from previous contests). We have a couple different categories this year to switch things up, so check out the details below and send us your best stuff. You could win some cash and have your work featured on our networks across the web!
2014 LANGUAGECORPS MEDIA CONTEST
1) Video Testimonial
Submit a short (under one minute) video about your LangaugeCorps experience, and how teaching abroad has changed your life.
First Prize: $200
Runner Up: $100
2) Photo Contest
Submit your best photos from your time teaching abroad. Get creative!
First Prize: $150
Runner Up: $75
3) Writing Contest
Submit 500-1000 words about how teaching English abroad has changed your life.
First Prize: $100
Entries must be received by November 30th, 2014. Winners will be announced by December 15th, 2014.
We have a blast reviewing your submissions every year, and we’re excited to see what you come up with this time around! Please share this email with any teachers who might not see it, and let us know if you have any questions.
(LanguageCorps reserves the right to link to any/all videos and albums submitted for consideration, to use the content for marketing purposes, and to limit prize distributions if the quality and/or volume of submissions is lower than anticipated.)
PLEASE EMAIL SUBMISSIONS (ORIGINAL FILES OR HIGH QUALITY LINKS) TO STEVE.PATTON@LANGUAGECORPS.COM.
Today we’re happy to bring you an interview with LanguageCorps alum Taylor Crowley. Taylor spent about seven months teaching English in Florence following the LanguageCorps TESOL Certification Program. We thought that her story would be interesting for those of you that are also considering teaching English abroad, whether in Italy or elsewhere!
Taylor is one of many LC graduates who transitioned from teaching abroad to a teaching position in the US. It’s always great to hear from participants that have found their experience teaching abroad useful in further developing their long term career goals.
We’ll be posting more alumni interviews throughout the fall, so keep checking back for more stories from current and former LanguageCorps teachers around the globe!
Teaching English Abroad? These language learning apps can be a life saver!
Going overseas to teach English is an exciting experience, but many who embark on this opportunity aren’t familiar with the local language in the area they plan to teach. In the classroom, it’s not usually a problem as your employer will most likely tell you that they only want you to speak English to your students in order to totally immerse them in an English-only environment.
Of course, it’s a different story when you’re outside of the classroom and want to make friends with locals, utilize public transportation or order dinner in a restaurant. Having an app to turn to for help can be an important resource that will help you make the most of your experience as well as to smooth out any bumps that might occur while you’re there. If you’re concerned about the cost of international data usage, consider that services like T-mobile offer unlimited international data so that you can take the app with you without worrying about huge bills when you return home.
In the film Dead Poets Society, starring the late Robin Williams as Professor John Keating, one of the students asked his teacher, “You can go anywhere. You can do anything. How can you stand being here?”
Keating replied, “’Cause I love teaching. I don’t wanna be anywhere else.”
Where Do You Want To Go?
It’s the first question you really have to think about if teaching English abroad is on your radar. There are a lot of options! Europe and Latin America are always popular choices, but for a number of different reasons, teaching English in Asia also has great appeal for many people. High salaries, strong demand and a low cost of living are just a few factors that make Asia stand out to English teachers, so make sure that you put these five locations on your list of places to check out!
Over the last decade, Vietnam has emerged as one of the most popular teach abroad destinations in the world. With one of the fastest growing economies on earth, opportunity abounds in both major urban centers like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, as well as more rural destinations throughout the country. And with a consistently low cost of living, English teachers in the region can live a comfortable (even luxurious) lifestyle, while still setting aside enough money to travel extensively.
But Vietnam’s fascinating culture and beautiful scenery are equally appealing to prospective English teachers, and it’s become an increasingly popular tourist destination for everyone from backpackers to retirees. Grab some Pho at the night market in Ho Chi Minh, lounge on the beautiful beaches of Nha Trang, or bask in the wonder of Ha Long Bay. You really can’t go wrong in Vietnam.
Before moving to Thailand, I wish someone had given me a solid run down of his or her day. Do you have access to coffee? What kind of shoes do you wear? Do your students know how to even say “Hello” in English? Where do you eat lunch? Do your coworkers like you? Do you have a desk? What is grading like?
By Amy Lum
When I graduated from Wesleyan University in the spring of 2010 with a degree in East Asian Studies, the economy was still suffering from the financial crisis of 2008 and the prospect of finding a job in the states was daunting, to say the least. I also wasn’t sure about what kind of job I wanted, so for me, teaching abroad was an easy decision to make.
In the fall of 2010 I completed my LanguageCorps training in Cambodia and Vietnam, and started a job in Ho Chi Minh City a few weeks after finishing the course. I stayed in Ho Chi Minh for three and a half years and moved back to America a couple months ago. I can’t say enough good things about my time in Vietnam. I traveled to over 15 countries, ate a lot of delicious and cheap Vietnamese food, made a great group of friends who I still see and keep in touch with, and learned a lot about Vietnam and Vietnamese culture from my students. Also, if you go to Ho Chi Minh you get to meet the two program trainers there, Hien and Linh, who are two of the best people you will ever meet. I never thought that I would stay there as long as I did, but there were always more places I wanted to go and things I wanted to do. Vietnam was basically a fantasyland!
Alas, there came a time when I knew it was time to return home. I really enjoyed teaching and it instilled in me a grave respect for teachers all around the world, but as a career, it’s not for me. About a year before I returned to the states I decided that I wanted to go to graduate school to earn a MBA (Masters in Business Administration). I completed my application, took the GMAT, and did a Skype interview all while I was still in Vietnam. When I was accepted into my program I was thrilled, but also terrified. Vietnam was my home for almost four years and I had become so accustomed to my life there. I was also scared about starting Business School. I’ve taken no business classes and being an ESL teacher has been my only occupation post college. I felt very intimidated thinking about how much more relevant work experience my classmates would have than me. I even started to question whether I had spent too much time abroad.
Now that I have finished orientation and am set to start classes at Rutgers Business School next week, I have no doubts about my decision to spend almost 4 years teaching in Vietnam. Throughout my orientation I heard from my school’s Office of Career Management, experts on networking and personal branding, professors, and executives from a number of major companies. They all had the same thing to say about how to present yourself to prospective employers. It’s not necessarily about what you did before you started business school, it’s about how your past experiences have shaped you into the person you are today. It’s about connecting the dots. It’s about why whatever you did in the past will make you a successful employee in the future. This notion really stuck with me. I spent a lot of time this summer worrying about having no “business” background, but now this anxiety has almost disappeared. There are things that you can only learn, observe and experience while living and working abroad that can be applied to any future career.
So if you are questioning spending time abroad and away from a more traditional career path, don’t! If you are on the fence about taking the leap and leaving home, just do it! Whatever is at home will be there when you return. You will not only come back with great memories and new friends, but also have a set of experiences that will be relevant to you in the future.
And who knows? Maybe you will move abroad and want to stay. A friend of mine, and fellow LC grad, met his wife in Vietnam, got married last year and he and his wife are now expecting their first child. (Congrats Paul and Huong!)
Taking time to travel and having an adventure is something everyone should do. LanguageCorps offers a great platform to start that adventure. I’ll leave you with a great quote from Mark Twain that will hopefully seal the deal and persuade you to go abroad:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Brandon is 20 something guy from Florida, and a self proclaimed Ginger.
This August, he packed up and headed off to Southeast Asia with his girlfriend Hope, to teach English in Vietnam with LangaugeCorps. They arrived a few weeks prior to the start of their TESOL course in Cambodia, so that they could explore the area a bit before starting class, and Brandon was kind of enough to send over a couple epic videos from their initial travels in Thailand. Certainly looks like a good time, and it makes me miss Southeast Asia!