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Teaching English in Monduli, Tanzania: Alumni Q&A with Joshua Budd
Written by: Joshua Budd
Last Updated: December 18, 2020
What is your citizenship?
What city and state are you from?
How old are you?
What is your education level and background?
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?
Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Europe: The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Wales, Great Britain, Northern Ireland
What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad?
My desire to see the world and meet new and interesting people from fascinating cultures that spread across the globe.
What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad?
My main concern is finding good positions where I can teach and educate.
What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad?
They were very supportive and excited for me to get such wonderful opportunities.
TEFL CLASS INFORMATION
Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy?
I choose to get TEFL certified about a year or more ago. And I chose the International TEFL Academy because from doing my research, it seemed like one of the better options out there.
Which TEFL certification course did you take?
How did you like the course?
I really enjoyed the course. It was an all of the above positive experience; from instructors to the practicum; a very positive experience.
How has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position?
My training gave me a lot of insight and best practices that I use often.
Which city and country did you decide to teach English in and why?
I chose to teach English in Africa in Tanzania. I work in the city of Monduli, near Arusha. I've always wanted to go to Tanzania since my undergrad days and found a job opportunity there when researching, so I jumped at the chance.
How long have you been in this country and how long do you plan to stay?
Three months and I plan to stay approximately two years.
What school, company, or program are you working for?
With the Indigenous Education Foundation of Tanzania (IEFT) at Orkeeswa Secondary School.
During which months does your school typically hire?
Throughout the year
Did you secure this position in advance of arriving?
How did you interview for this position?
What kind of Visa did you enter on
My residency visa is in process
Please explain the visa process that you went through.
Still in process
What are the qualifications that your school requires for teachers? Please check all that apply
- Master's Degree/Ph
- Bachelor's Degree
- TEFL Certification
- Native English speaker
The requirements vary depending on the position.
What is the best way to apply?
Tell us about your English teaching job!
Hours: 55-65 hours a week
Salary: Annual salary (can give further details at a later date if desired)
Ability to save: Yes, but not much
Vacation time: Time off during June with additional breaks of a week in the spring and fall, as well as some Saturdays and most Sundays off. Tanzania is gorgeous and the people are wonderful. You don't need to be a fluent Swahili speaker to get around (English is good to go).
Only other thing is we need more representation from other International TEFL Academy graduates here in East Africa.
How did you find somewhere to live and what is it like? Do you have roommates?
The organization provides the housing and I love it. Can send pictures upon request. No roommates; I have a little house all to my own.
Please explain the cultural aspects, public transportation, nightlife, social activities, food, expat community, dating scene, travel opportunities, etc...
Cultural aspects: First off, Tanzania is an amazing place with some of the kindest people you'll ever meet. There is an overall conservatism about the culture. Meaning no thong bikinis, but overall it's not anything that would or should stop a person from coming to teach in Tanzania.
Public transportation: The public transportation in interesting. There are mini-buses called 'dala dalas' and they aren't necessarily dangerous, but sometimes they get stuffed. The motto being, there is not a max number of people that can fit on a dala. There are also taxis, but they cost more, or course. For a singular person to get around in a quick and unencumbered fashion there is a 'boda' - which is like a motorbike. These are safe as well, but caution drivers in general in Tanzania are a bit crazy; so always think safety first when on the road.
Nightlife: In Monduli where I live, the nightlife is scarce. You mainly hang out with co-workers. However, in Arusha (the metropolis just 40-45 minutes away) the nightlife is lit, as they say. You can rock the dance parties at some bars until 5 am. There is also a variety of locations, from large to small, that one venture too.
Social activities: The social activities, when not mingling with co-works or locals, is all about the outdoors. There is some epicly beautiful country and landscapes here in Tanzania. I've been to waterfalls, up mountains, swam in hot springs, and gone on safari at a couple of the many preserves and national parks. As well, the Arusha Airport is close so you can travel anywhere across the country for a nominal fee; like ZANZIBAR :) In addition, there other countries of close proximity, so they are easy to travel to as well (examples being...Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda).
Food: The food is super tasty, but be careful that the food is prepared appropriately and that you don't drink the water if your plate or cup is wet when being served. The water is certainly something to be cautious of. They say to let water boil for 20 minutes before consuming; I let it boil for 30 minutes and am always keeping a watchful eye. But beyond that, there is plenty of variety and some good homegrown meals if you know where to find them.
Expat community: The expat community is amazing here. Everyone is beautiful and adventurous and smart. Most are either teachers, doctors or want to be one.
Dating scene: The dating scene is there if you can find the time after work or on the weekends, but not as easy as say New York or some other large American metropolis. The expats are obviously different from dating a native Tanzanian, but there are certainly opportunities if you apply yourself.
COUNTRY INFORMATION - MONEY
What are your monthly expenses?
Most of my expenses are for food or fun (i.e. drinks and travel). I don't pay rent or utilities; the organization does. But when I stay in Arusha at a nice hostel/hotel, it's very cheap. Not cheap as in dirty and inefficient, but cheap as in it doesn't cost much. Nothing really costs much in Tanzania; not the rooms, transport, food, or brews; and the beers are HUGE too, by the way. Half again the size of a normal beer in the USA. You COULD blow everything on these, but you don't need to.
The phone is easy, once you get it figured out. You essentially just get a new Tanzanian sim and load credit for calls or internet. How much you purchase this credit depends entirely on how much you use it. That being said, in the cities there are more than a few options for free WiFi or WiFi hotspots.
How would you describe your standard of living?
My personal standard of living is high. I mean, I don't have running water, sometimes the electricity goes out, and internet can be spotty, BUT most anything I want is accessible. There are no Lamborghinis driving and some of the indigenous families are impoverished, but I (as a expat coordinator) am living quite comfortably without having to worry about excess. Living is good.
In your opinion, how much does someone need to earn in order to live comfortably?
Not a ton to be honest. That certainly depends on the person, but I would say $500-$800 would be sufficient, if you wanted to save a little for 'bigger' travel opportunity once or so a year. You have to be smart and highly adaptable while, of course, being responsible. If you do these things, you'll be, very much, able to live comfortably.
ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE ENGLISH TEACHERS
What advice would you give someone planning or considering teaching abroad? Would you recommend teaching in your country?
I would highly recommend anyone teaching in this country!! The children are the best kinds of students and everyone is positive and supportive. The quintessence environment for anyone to blossom.
My best advice is to get lost. There are so many wonderful places to see and wonderful people to meet. Don't get caught in your own safety nets, so go and get lost. Follow this ethos and your time will not be ill spent: Stay Safe, Be Smart; Have Fun; and Share Love.
Joshua is 35-years-old from Jasper, Indiana. He had done occasional international travel prior to taking the plunge and teaching English overseas in Tanzania.
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