TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
What is your citizenship?
What city and state are you from?
How old are you?
What is your education level and background?
Master's Degree or Higher
Have you traveled abroad in the past?
Some international travel with friends, family, business, etc.
If you have traveled abroad in the past, where have you been?
Italy and Ireland
What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad?
I love to travel and both times I went to Europe, it wasn't long enough. I thought the only way to really see Europe was to live in Europe and teaching English has provided me that opportunity.
What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad?
Quitting my job, selling my furniture,car, and other things, and being able to support myself.
What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad?
My parents were initially upset, but they realized how much I wanted to do it and were completely supportive. My friends were all excited and envious.
TEFL CLASS INFORMATION
Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy?
I felt that by getting the TEFL certification I would be trained to be able to teach and would also have the resources to find a job at the completion of the course.
Which TEFL certification course did you take?
Spain - Barcelona TEFL Class
How did you like the course?
The Barcelona TEFL course was great. I came out feeling confident that I was ready to teach; even not knowing the native language of the country.
How has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position?
It has helped me prepare lessons plans, elicit information, and think outside the box to communicate words.
TEACHING ABROAD IN BARCELONA, SPAIN
Which city and country did you decide to teach English in and why?
I chose to teach English in Spain because I wanted to learn Spanish and chose Barcelona because of all the great things I had heard about the city.
How long have you been in this country and how long do you plan to stay? I have been here almost six months and I plan to stay at least through the end of the year, if not longer.
How did you secure your English teaching job?
I found many different teaching positions on job postings.
What school, company, or program are you working for?
I am working for multiple schools and companies.
Tell us about your English teaching job!
I am working about 25 hours a week for an average of 15 Euros/hour. I am saving, but not much. After expenses, my money goes to weekend excursions and traveling. I have every range of students from 7 years old to business professionals in their 40s. I teach beginners to very advanced. I have vacation when schools/businesses have vacation.
How did you find somewhere to live and what is it like?
When I first moved here, I found an apartment through AirBnB.com. Now I am living with a local and it's been great to practice Spanish.
COUNTRY INFORMATION - FUN!
Please explain the cultural aspects, public transportation, nightlife, social activities, food, expat community, dating scene, travel opportunities, etc...
In Spain, the culture is a little more laid back than what I am used to but it has been refreshing.
The public transportation is great. I use the metro, buses, and trains to get everywhere; it is very easy to use and navigate.
I do not participate in the nightlife but from what I hear, Barcelona has one of the craziest nightlife scenes. I've found many groups on meetup.com that I've joined for social activities including hiking, weekend excursions, language exchanges, social gatherings, etc. I've met a lot of similar people through these groups and have made some good friends.
You can find every type of food in Barcelona. My personal favorites have been the Middle Eastern foods. There are travel opportunities through the meetup groups, but from Barcelona, it is easy to get to most places in Europe and I have traveled every opportunity I've had.
COUNTRY INFORMATION - MONEY
What are your monthly expenses?
My monthly expenses for rent/utilities are about 300 Euros.
How would you describe your standard of living?
I am living minimally and it has been great and very liberating.
In your opinion, how much does someone need to earn in order to live comfortably?
Maybe 1000 Euros a month?
ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE ENGLISH TEACHERS
What advice would you give someone planning or considering teaching abroad? Would you recommend teaching English in Spain?
If you are reading this, then you must have some interest in teaching abroad and you need to go! Any doubt you have will disappear when your feet hit the European ground. It's been the best decision and I am having the time of my life. Remember, you can always go back home. Spain has been a great country full of culture and great people. I would definitely recommend teaching teaching English in Spain.
For more on Jennifer's adventures, check out her blog: www.lifesatripwithjen.wordpress.com