We interviewed Kamdine, a great teacher based in Turkey now, who has been in touch with our TEFL school for over 5 years, to share his valuable teaching English abroad experience with you!
I’ve been teaching abroad for a little over 12 years. I enjoy the fact that I got to know two countries very well, I’m able to see other countries and, because of the nature of the job, the students are always different.
Honestly, I first decided to leave the USA and then researched how I could do that. Being an English teacher was the most interesting and easiest way to do that for me. So I got my TEFL certificate and moved abroad.
I was lucky that a school in Prague hired me after a few emails, even though I had no experience. I did a TEFL course and moved to the Czech Republic. My course was actually online and I had to write numerous essays and read quite a lot. I like to think that my real training actually started when I began teaching. To be fair, looking back on it now, for a month or two, I don’t think I was a great teacher (although my students actually told my employer that they really liked me)!
Make sure it’s what you want. The culture shock and distance from your family is not easy at first, for some. It can sometimes get too much and some people leave after a few months. Make sure you thoroughly research the country, the city and the school you’re going to (especially the school you’ll be teaching for!). Other than that, everybody is different, but be sure you really want to do that, be sure you are responsible enough to teach. Many people think it’s a fun job you can do easily. It can be fun, but it’s not always easy, the hours are often not great and, at the end of the day, it is a job that you should take seriously. You are imparting the knowledge of a language to people who are genuinely interested in learning it. Take it seriously, but have fun with it, too!
I loved being able to walk everywhere, to always discover some hidden detail in buildings. Being interested in modern history, I also loved being able to see first hand some sites that were important in WWII and after. And, of course, I also loved the night life!