Establishing a Home Away from Home in Suzhou, China

By Amanda Barrows

Establishing a sense of “home” in a new country is a challenge every ESL teacher abroad will face. It can be daunting at first, and it all starts at the airport. When I arrived in China, I remember stepping off the plane with a suitcase or two and finding myself back at ‘square 1’. I had started a new life abroad in various countries, so this time should have been no different. Yet, when I struggled to find my boss at the airport, I came to a sobering realization: until I could find my boss, I was essentially homeless and knew no one in Suzhou, China. It all felt disorienting and alarming, until I managed to eventually find my boss in the masses of people looking for incoming travelers.

Creating a Home Away from Home in Ras al Khaimah, UAE

By Katie Ayers

Upon accepting my position to teach English in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Ras al Khaimah (RAK), I immediately acknowledged that I was one of the lucky ones. I accepted a position with a salary similar to what I made as a full-time teacher in Chicago, but with an additional perk, free housing.