ITA Alumni Ambassador, Ryan Cook, shows us what an adventure-filled weekend you can have while teaching English in Czech Republic.
My name is Megan Cape, I am a 26 year old female with the dream of traveling the world. After graduating 3 1/2 years ago with a bachelors degree in Communication, and still no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I decided to set out on an adventure of teaching and living abroad.
Once I arrived in Berlin, and got over the shock that I was actually living my dream, I began looking for an English teaching job. After a couple of months of searching, I stumbled across an ad on Craigslist for camp counselor positions at an organization called the Language Farm. While reading the ad, I could not believe how much I felt this job description was written for me. It was searching for native English speakers who enjoy sports, outdoor activities, art, cooking, and much more. I applied for the position immediately, got an email for an interview a couple weeks later, and was hired on the spot and I couldn't be more ecstatic.
I had always talked about teaching abroad. It seemed to be the only solution to my restlessness.Teach and travel. However, jobs, money, and weddings put any concrete plans on hold. Then, thankfully, one of many quarter-life crises forced me to get my online TEFL Certification from the International TEFL Academy. I was one step closer to reaching my goal of moving overseas and teaching English abroad.
I’m going to lay it out for you as clearly as I can: I moved to Spain and quickly became unbearably insecure about being American. To be honest I wasn’t all that proud of it before I came either. However, this is my attempt to confess how being American continues to change my life in all sorts of unexpected ways; ways I didn’t understand until recently. These are the confessions of a confused yet determined 23 year-old woman living nearly 4000 miles away from convention.
Making the decision to do what I’m doing now didn’t happen overnight. I was in contact with TEFL for a good 4-5 months before I finally decided to take the plunge and become certified to teach English as a foreign language. 1000 dollars and one 4-month certification course later, I boarded a Scandinavian Air flight through Oslo to my old haunt, Frankfurt am Main, to try my hand at teaching English to non-native speakers.
Sitting on the stoop of my soon to be Italian apartment, I surveyed my new neighborhood and attempted to sort out my bearings. Within the span of four hours, I left Budapest, flew into Milan, hopped on a train to Florence and hailed a taxi to my new home. I was meant to meet my landlord, Maurizio, at 11am to get into the apartment and it was now 1pm. Just as I was about to search for a café with wifi, a vespa screeches to a stop right in front of me and my name is being called out from underneath a shiny helmet.
When I first met Valerie, she was taciturn
and sulky. When you teach private one-on-one English lessons, this is your worse nightmare: a student who won’t talk. When it’s just the two of you, and the student refuses to take interest in the lesson you’ve so carefully prepared, what do you do?
This past September, I decided to go for it and enrolled in the online TEFL course from the International TEFL Academy. I think the best way for me to relate to others my experience so far with coming abroad is to talk about the difficulty I have faced, but explain how every struggle is beyond worthwhile.
To be completely honest, it is far from easy to figure out how to come here to teach English in Germany and get everything sorted out. There is a strange, somewhat illogical order that needs to be followed for getting a job, work visa, apartment, bank account, insurance, etc. Thankfully, Americans have three months to figure everything out, and the academy is always prompt in answering any questions.
Have you ever been on a first date that went really well?
So well, that you promised each other that one day you would backpack Europe together, and meant it?
That amazing girl is now my wife and more than four years after we made that promise, we are living in Spain as English teachers, and this summer we have plans to explore the rest of Europe.
“I Can Transform Ya” is a good and popular song by Chris Brown and Lil Wayne from a few years back, the unofficial theme song of the popular movie franchise Transformers at the time it came out. Little did I know that it would serve to be the theme song to my experience living out one of my dreams, a process that is ongoing as I complete only my fourth month (of a hopeful 11) here in Spain, thanks to the International TEFL Academy!