Meet The International TEFL Academy Staff

 

Paige Lee

Admissions advisor

Alumni Department

 What is your role at international TEFL Academy?

I’m primarily a Senior Admissions Advisor. However, at ITA we all wear many hats. I'm also a member of the Alumni and Charity departments, the ITA Innovation Committee, and even the office Nutrition Committee. Last but not least, I'm a three-time ITA Throwdown Champion!


What's Your Story?

My insatiable curiosity has always been a guiding light. As an adolescent it often got me into trouble, but as I grew older, it became the thing that got me out of my shell and exploring the world. Nearly everything I do comes from a deep need to understand the WHY and HOW of people, cultures, things, flavors, sounds, etc… This makes me that girl who trips over everything because I’m ogling at something rather than looking at where I'm going. 

Paige taught English in China!

11206659_10101654953551915_2753212923605804330_o-2.jpg

 

Where are you from, where did you go to college & what did you major in at college?

I'm from the 'burbs of Chicago. I got my BA/BS from Western Illinois University...Sociology major, Human Resources minor. No, I did NOT have a background in education before I taught English in China!

What countries have you visited?

China, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Poland, Germany, France, Belgium, Mexico, Canada, Nicaragua, Iceland, Panama, Denmark, Colombia, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Dominican Republic, The Netherlands, South Korea, and The Bahamas. 

What's next on your list?

Egypt, Chile, Canada (don't overlook it!), Tanzania, Russia… 

Where have you lived, worked or traveled abroad long-term?

I worked in Shanghai, China for 1-year teaching English and traveling around Asia. I actually did an interview with ITA about this experience! After living in China, the world seemed so much more accessible. Two years after I returned from China, I quit yet another lack-luster job and backpacked the coastlines of Australia for nearly a year.  

What was one of your most memorable travel experiences?

While traveling in western China, my friends and I heard about a hidden valley called Ba Mei that could only be accessed via boat through a cave. We spent an entire day hopping on/off buses, flagging down drivers, bribing locals for information, etc… to find this place. And the payoff was huge! It was easily one of the most rewarding experiences, getting to see something very few other people had visited before and was truly off the beaten path.

Best travel advice?

Best Travel Advice: Stay open minded and flexible. It’s that simple. Some of my favorite memories are from the times I just said “sure, why not”.

Worst Travel Advice: Stick to the plan...see above! 

Helping Others Teach Abroad

Paige hard at work

Paige teaching in China!

Teach English abroad in China

The Thrill of Travel

Paige-dumplings.jpg

Name some of your favorite literature & media:

A Long Way Round, A Long Way Round (two BBC series that involve driving a motorcycle from London to NYC and then from London to Cape Town), anything written by Bill Bryson, following NatGeo on Instagram, watching An Idiot Abroad. I also admire the tenacity of the chubby kid and prickly old man in UP.

What is your favorite international cuisine?

Ma La Tofu, Chinese dish, it’s basically a special blend of spicy tofu. I love Indonesian street food. And, of course, gallo pinto!

 

Why do you like working at International TEFL Academy?

Everyone I work with loves to laugh and make others laugh, which means coming to work is something I look forward to each day. As for the job, talking to prospective TEFL students means that I get to engage with people who share the same passions as me: travel, exploration, understanding new cultures and ideas, getting outside of your comfort zone, and so on. On top of all of that, we’re that work place that has a beer fridge.

"I’m happy to share my story in hopes of helping other
International TEFL students connect to the world."

Teach English abroad International TEFL academy