Photos of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Barcelona has always been one of our most popular TESOL Certification locations.  And with good reason!  Who wouldn’t want to live in this fantastic city?  From the mesmerizing architecture and design of Gaudi, to one of the best food and nightlife scenes in the world, Barcelona is truly a one of a kind city.

A LanguageCorps Spain participant recently sent us over some photos from a stop at “La Sagrada Familia“, one of the most famous landmarks in a city full of famous landmarks.  This Roman-Catholic masterpiece was designed by Antoni Gaudi, and although construction commenced in 1882, the project has yet to be 100 percent completed.

That doesn’t make it any less impressive though.  From the incredible stained glass windows, to the dizzying views from the rooftop balconies, La Sagrada Familia is an absolute must see if you ever find yourself in Europe.

Check out the photos below for yourself, and if you think that teaching English in Barcelona might be the move for you, feel free to get in touch anytime!

La Sagrada Familia Altar

Amazing Gaudi Architecture 

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You Need to See This Time-Lapse of Vietnam

Brandon Hurley, one of the winners of our 2014 teach abroad Media Contest, recently shared this excellent time-lapse video of Ho Chi Minh City with us.

Brandon’s video does a great job of capturing the look and feel of one of the most exciting cities in Vietnam, and we’re really excited to share it with you!

Check it out below, and bask in the (sometimes chaotic, not always pretty) awesomeness that is Ho Chi Minh.

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TESOL 101 - Intro to Teaching English Abroad

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Winners of the 2014 Teach Abroad Media Contest

Another year has gone by, and we are pleased to announce the winners of the annual LanguageCorps teach abroad media contest!  We want to sincerely thank everyone that sent in their photos, videos and writing.  We were once again blown away by the quality of the submissions we received, and picking three winners was very difficult.

While there were plenty of submissions that could have have just as easily made the cut, we felt like the work below provided great examples of the diverse range of experiences that our participants share during their time teaching English abroad.

But enough talk, let’s get to the winners!

1. Video Contest:

Brandon Hurley – Cambodia 2014/2015

Thanks for a really fun video Brandon!  Check out more from his experience teaching English in Asia on his YouTube Channel.

2. Photo Contest:

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Why Did You Teach English with LanguageCorps?

The following is a piece by Caroline Spall, winner of the 2014 LanguageCorps writing contest.  She waxes poetic about why she decided to teach English abroad with LanguageCorps, what freedom means, and more.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

When I was younger, we lived by the sea.

In those days, as the sunlight seeped down the street signs and lit upon the palms bent over the alleyways as it does only in the death of the afternoon, my brother would hang onto the bars of the old umbrella clothesline behind the empty apartment building at the end of our street and I would spin it as fast as I could.

To be young, I have heard, is to live free of the concept that you will one day be less free than you are right now.

The twilight would rust and fail quietly in these days. We would walk back up the street the way we came as the moon draped our cleft of the universe in red wine, and everything was slow and warm; men biked down the middle of the road in their business clothes, a baguette in one hand and loafers in the milk carton strapped to the handlebars. We would sneak cherry tomatoes from our neighbor’s garden sprawling into the sidewalk as we passed. We would crow Hello! to Penny Lane, the three-legged street cat as she sniffed at our feet. We would spray the garden hose between each other’s toes, crusted with the salts of the Earth. These were the urban sundowns of my youth.

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Posted in Teach English in Asia | 2 Comments

Happy New Year From LanguageCorps

Some of you might have already celebrated, but no matter where you are, we wanted to wish you a happy new year from everyone here at LanguageCorps!  Stay safe and enjoy yourselves tonight, and we wish you the very best for 2015.

For LanguageCorps, it’s been another great year of helping people teach English abroad. We look forward to adding some new locations in 2015, and we will continue to strive to bring our participants the best possible TESOL certification and teach abroad experience that we can.

Of course, new years can also be a time for reflecting on the year that’s passed, setting goals and making resolutions for the year to come.  So if you think that teaching abroad might be the change you’ve been looking for, we’re always happy to help.  Give us a shout anytime – we’d love to hear more about your goals and plans!

So, happy new year everyone…here’s to a great 2015!

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Five of the Best Places to Teach English Abroad in 2015

Five of the Best Places to Teach English Abroad in 2015

Feeling restless at work or in your day-to-day life?

Perhaps you’re a recent college grad who isn’t quite sure what the next step is?

Do you dream of losing track of time in an exotic locale and immersing yourself in a foreign culture? Do you want to feel like you actually make a difference when you show up to work every day?

If that sounds like you, then maybe you should be thinking about teaching English Abroad.

No matter what your situation is, it’s never too late for change!  So with that being said, let’s take a look at some of the best places to live and work as an EFL teacher in 2015.

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TESOL 101 - Intro to Teaching Abroad

 

1. Vietnam

Teach English in Vietnam

Along with much of Southeast Asia, Vietnam has been experiencing a boom in tourism over the past several years.  Add to that Vietnam’s ever-increasing economic importance, and demand for EFL teachers has never been stronger in the region.  Teachers are always a sought after commodity in Ho Chi Minh City, but secondary markets like Da Nang (The #1 Emerging Travel Destination of 2015 according to TripAdvisor) are popping up throughout the country too, presenting teachers with a wide variety of prospects in both urban and rural communities.  Salaries are high compared to the cost of living, so you can comfortably cover expenses while still saving a significant chunk of your paycheck every month, which makes it easy to travel throughout the rest of Southeast Asia while teaching in Vietnam.

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Reflections on Teaching English in Bangkok

Reflections on living and teaching in Bangkok

by Kaytia King

Teaching English in Bangkok

 

When I had the time to truly reflect on my experience teaching in Thailand, I felt, above all things, confused. Yes, I was a teacher, but the fact is, we are all students. Always. We never stop learning and Thailand never stopped teaching me; even when I asked really dumb questions. It comes down to this. Bangkok is the most beautiful and serene, yet calamitous place I have ever known. There will never be anything quite like it. People ask me all the time what was it like living in Thailand. First, I tell them of the variety Thailand offers and how different the North and the South are from one another. Then instead of giving them a list of adjectives that can never tackle the enormity of the question, I describe to them a scene I witnessed that in my mind is truly Bangkok.

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5 Thanksgiving Traditions Around the World

Thanksgiving is approaching, and here in the US, most people are already well into the process of making travel arrangements and concocting plans to eat copious amounts of food with friends and family.  However, the holiday season has also the potential to be difficult for people that are celebrating far from home, including LanguageCorps participants currently teaching English abroad.  But just because you’re away from home this year doesn’t mean that you can’t still celebrate the Thanksgiving season.

Of course in the US, we have our own idea of what Thanksgiving means, but most cultures throughout the world have their own fall/harvest celebrations, and many of them have been around much longer than the American Thanksgiving tradition.  When Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday, commemorating early American settlers and the Native Americans that came before them, he was really just cementing the tradition of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest that had existed in many cultures for centuries.

So, we thought that this would be a good time to take a look at some different “Thanksgiving” traditions and celebrations around the world.  If you’re spending this year abroad, perhaps you can find a way to incorporate some of these ideas into your own local celebration.  Instead of feeling homesick, create your own tradition and bring the party to your new home.  Because wherever you are, I guarantee you, there is plenty to be Thankful for!

1. China: “Chung Chiu” Moon Festival

Similar to the US holiday, the annual “Moon Festival” in China is a time to gather with families and loved ones, and give thanks for a successful harvest and plentiful nourishment.  The festival typically falls on the 15th day of September or October, when the moon is said to be at it’s brightest.  Thus, one of the customs marking the festival is mooncake, a flaky pastry with creamy filling.

mooncake

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruocaled/8046402099/

2: Vietnam: Têt-Trung-Thu Festival

The Têt-Trung-Thu Festival in Vietnam also typically takes place on the 15th day of September or October, and is sometimes referred to as the “mid-autumn” festival or the “lantern festival.”  The festival is marked by gathering with friends and families to give thanks for blessings, and is also a time when families pray for success in the upcoming year (pregnancies and marriages especially.)  Lanterns and masks are also an important part of the festival, with towns and cities often displaying hundreds of paper lanterns of various colors, shapes and sizes while parades of costumed children and adults wind through the streets.

Têt-Trung-Thu

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/b1nhb00ng/407928410/

3. United Kingdom: Harvest Festival

In the UK, people give thanks for the year’s harvest on the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, usually occurring late Sep or early Oct.  Like the US festival, it’s a time to feast with family and friends and enjoy a break from the day-to-day work grind.  Marked by singing, hymns, and decorating local churches with fruit baskets or food, this celebration has been taking place in some form since Pagan times.

Harvest Festival

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anemoneprojectors/10491679693/

4. Brazil: Day of Thanksgivings

Inspired by an ambassador’s trip to the states in 1949, the Brazilian tradition was officially renamed “Dia de Ao de Graas”, or day of thanks giving.  Brazilian Thanksgiving also takes place on the fourth Thursday of November, and is marked by a turkey feast and a Mass at Church.  Carnivals and parades are also common!

Brazil

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonycunha/

5. Korea: Chuseok

Taking place on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, Chuseok is a major harvest festival that earns Koreans a 3 day holiday.  Families gather and celebrate with traditional Korean food like Japchae, bulgogi and songpyeon, and perform traditional rituals to remember loved ones that have passed.  Visiting tombs and memorial sites of family members is also common, where surviving relatives will make offerings of food, drink and crops.

Chuseok

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rowan_peter/

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Moving Abroad: Get Your Finances in Order

You are about to embark on a life-altering journey teaching English abroad. There is no “right” way to leave your life behind and start fresh in a new country. But if you get a few of the important things, like finances, sorted out up front, everything else will fall into place. Here are some essentials to cover before you take off:

Automate Finances at Home

Moving Abroad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sure, you’ve got your apartment subletted and you sold your car on Craigslist, but between student loans, credit cards, insurance and other miscellaneous bills, you’ve still got financial responsibilities back in the States. Instead of relying on your usual Google Calendar reminders to pay your bills on time, set up auto pay on all of the accounts that offer it. It’s going to be challenging enough to get adjusted to the new time zone without having to do business in your home time zone to pay everything on time. If the individual companies don’t offer an auto pay service, see if your bank does or switch to one that does before your departure to streamline your financial responsibilities while away.

Have an Emergency Plan

From medical issues to robbery and identity theft, no matter where you are in the world, sometimes unexpected challenging circumstances arise. Do you know how you would handle this type of emergency? Do you have identity theft protection? Do you have access to some quick cash or know where to get money wired to you at your destination? If you need to replace stolen bank cards or your passport, do you know where you could do that? Always have a contingency plan in place for any worst-case scenarios to ensure you’re prepared for whatever life throws at you.

Avoid High Banking Fees

When traveling abroad, many people do all they can to avoid high foreign transaction fees. This becomes even more essential if you’re living abroad. Find out the foreign transaction fees (if any) from your current banks and credit card companies. If your financial institutions charge foreign transaction fees, then sign up for another card that doesn’t and do your best to only use that card while living abroad. Do your research before signing up for another credit card so that you can find something with maximum benefits, like earning points that can be used for air travel or hotel stays for weekend trips exploring this new area of the world. ThePointsGuy.com is a valuable resource to help determine the best card for your needs, as he has built an entire brand around how to maximize credit card points to travel the world.

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54 Years Old and Loving Teaching Abroad

54 years old and loving teaching abroad

“Is teaching abroad just for recent college grads and young people?”

It’s a common question we receive at LanguageCorps, but the short answer is no, teaching abroad is not just for “young” people.

Age restrictions vary by location, and many of our teachers ARE in their 20s or 30s, but we’ve also had people in their 60s and beyond participate in our programs.  If you are enthusiastic and young at heart, in many countries, the only limits are those that you place upon yourself!

Today’s alumni interview with Pat in Turkey is a prime example of just that.  Pat began his adventure teaching English abroad at the young age of 54, and it has been awesome hearing about his experience!  Check out Pat’s story below:

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