One of the company founders, I was the longtime Director of Student Affairs and Operations.
My “how did I decide to live overseas” story? Well, it’s a simple one and it starts with me sitting in a bar in Portland, Oregon on a, most likely, cold, dark, rainy night.
So there I was sitting in the Cheerful something in SE Portland drinking a “mancran” with my friend Darin and a random guy talking to us about coffee plantations in Central America. Before this coffee conversation started up Darin and I filled out a Keno ticket and watched the balls drop on the Keno screen out of the corners of our eyes. Next thing you know we won the jackpot, which honestly wasn’t that much money, but nonetheless we won!
We cashed in our winnings the next day at the Oregon Lottery Office and drove off with a car filled with balloons (apparently this was a big deal to them) and our winnings. Well, I assume you can guess where the story goes from here…I took my cut of our winnings, signed up for a four-week TEFL class in Chile, told my parents I was moving overseas, listened to their advice, got rid of my things, bought a plane ticket, and, as someone once said, “the rest is history.”
I’m originally from Long Grove, Illinois where we “raised” sheep, cats, horses, chickens, rabbits, a dog, and a goat named Curly. But, after years of spending their lives dealing with cold Illinois winters, my parents eventually moved us out to Arizona where they traded in a backyard full of animals to a backyard with a pool. I got my BA from Portland State in Oregon prior to heading overseas to get TEFL certified & to teach English in Chile.
Australia, Fiji, Mexico, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Panama, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Belize, Guatemala, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia.
In no particular order – Morocco, Vietnam, the whole world.
I worked as an English teacher in Chile for 2 years. I spent the first year and a half teaching adults in Santiago working at different language schools throughout the city. For the last few months I was in Chile I taught English at a copper mine in northern Chile in the middle of the Atacama Desert close to a town called Iquique.
My best advice for anyone going to live abroad is to learn about the country and the people where you’re going to be living before you move there – read books on its history, culture, etc. and be able to have conversations with the locals and your students about their country.
Books: Really depends on the mood – right now I’m reading “The Wright Brothers” so I guess my current mood is flying.
Films: Can never go wrong with a scary movie.
Music: Give a man a guitar and I typically like the music.
TV: The Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy (yes, it’s still on the air and yes, I still watch it)
Mexican… I can literally eat it every day.
Because we’re constantly motivated to work out to burn off all the cake that the president of the company constantly brings to the office.
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