I am a Student Affairs Advisor and I focus on job search guidance for Asia. I answer questions and provide guidance for our students & graduates to help them gain employment teaching English in Asia. From interviews, visas, & document requirements to cover letters & resumes, I help ITA students with all aspects of the job search process.
When I was a child, I remember hearing of all the stories of my aunt traveling around the world and teaching in Italy. I decided I was going to learn Italian in school and be just like her, but when it came to high school, Italian wasn’t offered. So, I went for the next best thing – French – since France is right next to Italy. Little did I know I would end up loving it and after a high school trip to France, I was hooked and decided to study French at university with hopes of teaching there one day.
My dream came true and I got into the TAPIF program and taught English to middle school students in France in a small town near Lyon. The program was only for a year and to show my parents I was being a responsible young adult, I randomly applied to a teaching position in Hong Kong, not expecting to hear anything. Sure enough, I found myself moving to Asia a month later to teach young learners! I spent three wonderful years in Hong Kong teaching, creating a curriculum, and eventually hiring and training teachers before deciding to move back to Illinois to be closer to my family!
Rockford, Illinois. I attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (I-L-L!) where I studied French and minored in Teaching English as a Second Language.
Belgium, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Macau, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, Vatican City, Jordan, Egypt.
My first ever trip abroad was with my high school French class when I was 17. We went on a 10-day tour throughout France, seeing Paris, the châteaux of the Loire Valley, the coast of Bretagne, and ending in Monaco and Nice. It was such an amazing and eye-opening experience, seeing as I had never left the country before! It was while I was walking around the streets of Nice that I decided I was going to switch from studying Political Science to French so that I could one day live in France, and voila! The rest is history.
I studied abroad for a spring semester in Paris, France during university. Then, I worked in a small town called Bourgoin-Jallieu, France for the TAPIF program, but lived in Lyon and commuted. Finally, I moved to Hong Kong to teach young learners from 2-12. I became a Head Teacher then moved up into the Head Office to write a curriculum before finally becoming International Recruitment Manager and hiring and training all teachers coming into the company.
While studying abroad in Paris, a group of five of us decided to go to Sweden because myself and another girl have Swedish lineage (who me? Tall, blonde girl – big surprise!). While waiting to board the flight, we bumped into a young couple from Sweden who had been visiting Paris. We asked them for some tips on what to see in Stockholm and they spent the entire plane ride planning an itinerary for us! They proceeded to give us their email addresses in case we wanted to me up with them during our trip, which we of course did. The guy ended up meeting us out a bar and invited us to a friend’s home – which from parenting advice 101 you are never to go to a random person’s home especially in a foreign country, but did we listen? We instead devised a plan that a few of us would go up to the apartment first (European elevators are tiny!) and if anything was wrong they would scream bloody murder and the two of us remaining would call for safety. Needless to say, everything was fine and I had absolutely one of the best nights I have ever experienced while abroad! The guy and his friends even helped us catch our 4am bus to the airport the next morning. I still talk to the guy and that night my group and I made friends for life! DISCLAIMER: I don’t suggest you do this everywhere you go!
Well, I am quite new but I love the fact that I get to help people have the same experiences I have had. I have been so fortunate to travel and teach English and if I can spark that interest in at least one person, then I will be a happy person. It is extremely rewarding and something you will never forget. Also, the staff here are pretty darn awesome – feels like a family and that is something I look for in a working environment!