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Facing New Challenges in My TEFL Adventure: Leaving Barcelona
Written by: Amanda Torres
Last Updated: July 19, 2021
I’ve been living abroad for 10 months now and by the time I head home I will have visited 15 new countries on this journey. I left San Francisco in August; I quit my amazing full-time job to fulfill this desire I had of living abroad. I decided to make Barcelona my home base and took the in-class TEFL course with ITA. I even almost dropped out a few weeks before, because I had second thoughts about teaching English, but I am so happy I stuck with it. Since my course ended in September, I’ve been teaching English online and traveling the world!
Teaching English Online
Teaching online has been great for me and my schedule- I’ve had the ability to teach and use the money I earn to travel! But, my time here abroad is coming to an end. I’m wrapping up my online teaching this month and saying goodbye to my regular students. It’s a very bittersweet ending; I never thought I would enjoy teaching the way I did, but the kids can’t help but make you smile. As I get closer to my end date, I am slowly starting to pack and move home.
I currently work for VIPKID, so I luckily am able to just stop teaching whenever – no contract, and if I choose to work from USA, I do have the option. For now, I am reaching out to the parents of my regular students, to give them a heads up that I will not be returning. I am planning on sending my regulars a post card from Barcelona before I depart. I think it’s a nice gesture, and it could potentially lead to a pen-pal opportunity for my students, which is fun and easy for everyone!
Preparing for Return
I have already reached out to my landlord in Barcelona and given my notice of departure. I decided to give myself a few weeks off to enjoy my time here, work free, before going home.
As I’m preparing for the return, I’ve decided I want to return to work full-time to pursue the career I left behind. I’m aware that finding a job is a full-time job itself. So before I dig in and start on the job-hunt, I’ve decided to reach out to my inner circle for any referrals. I prefer to start with close friends and family because they have your best interest and will help you if they can. I’ve reached out to a few people to get the inside on whether there are available jobs at their companies- that way they can benefit from a referral bonus if applicable.
If no job comes out of friends and family, I love to dream big and start with the companies I would love to work for. I usually start with the apps and companies I use in my every day life, and look on their career pages. If I’m going to work full time, might as well be for a company I absolutely believe in and love! This worked out in my favor before; I like to take my chances, the worst that can happen is you get a rejection, which happens.
My last resort, which I’m aware is very likely to happen, is fully commit and search online for jobs. When looking for jobs, I try to set a goal per day or week with how many jobs I apply for. This takes a lot of work in my opinion because I always try to personalize my resume and cover letter for each position I apply for.
As of now, I do not have a job lined up, but I do have a ticket home so I plan to enjoy my time at home until I find a position. I’ve decided to move back home with my parents, as my previous home is no longer available. I know sometimes people don’t like to move home, but I’m excited! I haven’t seen my family in almost a year, and I can’t wait to have home cooked meals, and spend quality time with them. The location is also prime for me in the Bay Area, its centrally located and easily accessible to major cities where companies are located.
I think teaching abroad in a foreign country has helped me in ways I didn’t know I needed improvement on. I enjoyed challenging myself in the course and putting myself in an uncomfortable position where I had to get in front of a group of strangers and teach them something I had recently learned. I feel much more confident in my public speaking abilities and I look forward to challenging myself in the future. Teaching abroad has been a rewarding experience and something I think everyone should do at one point in their life!
Amanda Torres is 27 years old from San Francisco, CA. She moved to Barcelona in August 2017 to teach English, and since moving abroad, she has visited 13 new countries in Europe and Asia. She also has a newfound love for sangria since moving to Barcelona.
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