5 Things That Surprised Me About Living in Costa Rica

Teaching English in Costa Rica

By: Caroline Chadwell

Two months in Costa Rica has flown by faster than any adventure I've ever undertaken. It's a strange feeling settling in one area, telling yourself that this is your new home for awhile, reminding yourself that even though it's a long time, to use the time wisely. 

I remember my first extended stay adventure in California thinking, "I'll be here for four months, and then I'll go home and look for a job." Those four months turned into two years and I have this sinking feeling that it could happen here as well.

A Day in the Life of the ITA Nicaragua Hybrid Program [With Video]

By: Chelsea Johnson

Participating in the hybrid program with ITA in León, Nicaragua, was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career. I had taken the online TEFL certification course, which worked really well for me because I was able to get TEFL certified while also working and saving up money to move to Nicaragua. One of my favorite parts of the course was the 20 required practicum hours, which I had to complete by observing, tutoring or student teaching. I completed my practicum hours in Fort Collins, Colorado, by observing several different ESL classes as well as designing and teaching my own class for two Saudi Arabian children who were in the U.S. for a month.

Even though I completed my required practicum hours in the U.S., when I found out about the hybrid program in León, I knew it would be right for me. I had already been planning on moving to León, so it was perfect that that’s where ITA NIcaragua (ITAN) is located. It was added practice with real EFL learners in Nicaragua, and I would receive feedback and assistance with my teaching. Also, it was something to do for my first week all alone in a new country where I didn’t know anyone or have any plans. In the end, it turned out to be all of those things and so much more!

Teaching English Abroad - Is It Really Worth It?

By: Kaitlin Emmons 

Don’t fight it. No goodbyes, only see you laters. Rip the Band-Aid off and coast.

I can’t tell you how to adjust to life abroad; all I can do is share my story with you. Everyone has their own routines on race day. Maybe you have heartfelt farewells with every human you know, or maybe you leave without saying goodbye, whatever works for you. I’ve lived abroad on five separate occasions and the worst part is the two weeks before leaving. Without fail, every single time I am devastated, I convince myself I am going to die. I don’t pack until the day before and I sob hysterically when I have to say goodbye to my dog. It’s to the point now where my parents just laugh at me when I cry at the airport.

And then suddenly it dissipates. As abruptly as the eff-it moment when you click the confirm flight payment button, the anxieties vanish. Bare feet shuffle into the daunting body scanner in airport security. The whirligig spins and I am free.

How Teaching English Abroad Jump-started My Career

By: Chelsea Johnson

Besides having traveled with my family, my first experience abroad was when I studied in Bilbao, Spain, for a semester of my junior year in college. I loved everything about it, and when I got home, I was itching to go abroad again.

I signed up for a three-week program in Chile through my university and earned a scholarship to participate. After studying abroad twice, I worked for the College of Business promoting education abroad in my peers. I loved encouraging other students to step out of their comfort zone and study abroad, but after a year, I was starting to get a bit envious! After graduating with two degrees and honors in December 2013, it was obvious to me that my next step would be international. Everyone around me in the business school would be joining corporate America, but I started waiting tables to save money and figure out how to get myself on a plane.

Fork in the Road: My Life After Teaching Abroad

By Ashley Strong

after teaching abroad.

life after teaching abroad will quite simply never be the same
as it was,
just before the expansion occurred.

What kind of expansion?

You know,
or you may be learning,
the expansion of wings.
Those ones that you took to leave your present
or now past life
to venture,
changing that of your path.
What am I saying with this “you?”
Because life after teaching abroad for you,
going to be different,
than that,
for me.

To get to my life after teaching aboard,
I think the beginning,
that time before teaching abroad is appropriate to come into view.
Not only that,
but bring it back into the I, the me, the my.
And let the you, the your, belong to you.
Fully to you.