ELT – So Much More Than Just Work…

This guest post from Daniela Petrovska looks at some of the advantages to English language teaching, other than the warm fuzzy glow we get from imparting our knowledge.

Skopje – Barcelona – Moscow – Prague

It looks like an itinerary, doesn’t it? That is the case for me and could be for anyone interested in teaching English.

My major in translation would not let me go for anything else back in my university days, but my inner coach guided me to my first voluntary teaching position. Having no expectations whatsoever, the students took to me right away, which opened my eyes to what I am cut out for. – interaction with people while feeling appreciated and able to give students what they need to reach their goals.

You are probably asking yourselves ‘Can it get any better?’ It sure can. This is when travelling steps in, greets you with a big smile and introduces you to a whole new world of ever-growing opportunities. Not only it does take you to different places in the world, but it also gets you see your worth by pushing your limits just as much as you are ready for. It might sound scary, you might think this is something you wouldn’t be able to cope with, but once you start meeting colleagues in the same boat as you, you immediately have someone to lend you an ear and cater to your needs. No matter how overwhelmed you might feel living alone in a foreign country, you can always turn to your social life.

If you find yourself living as an expat in my hometown Skopje, you will be invited to a local’s house, I guarantee. Your host will ask if you are hungry and trust me, saying ‘no’ will not spare you from getting fed. Not only do we assume, but we are sure, guests are just too shy to admit they are hungry, so you better go for a visit with an empty stomach. You might want to take a bag with you in case the host does not have one for the food they will give you for you to eat the following day(s).

What about Barcelona? Hmm, imagine waking up to the soothing sound of the waves, strolling on the beach after work to recharge your batteries, laughing with passers-by and most likely getting a hug from a good friend you almost certainly will run into. And you thought Barcelona is pricey, right? Not once you realize the best things in life have no price.  

How about spending time with some of the warmest people in the world in freezing cold weather? No matter how much it sounds like an oxymoron, the paradox it reveals adds to the unfolding rewards an English teacher can get. Snowflakes leading you to the next restaurant, having a drink or two with compassionate people while watching the world go by are some of Moscow’s treasures. Seeing men carrying flowers for their women will make you think every day is Mother’s Day in Russia.

Have you ever wanted to work on your time management? Eager to test the water to see how well you can juggle between work and night life? Prague has got your back. Slowly becoming a melting pot, this city selflessly offers its local businesses, impeccably set in captivating architecture, decorated with cobblestones and something for all taste buds.

Having gone through the whole post, I feel like I have reviewed my travel experiences, not work life in foreign countries, but hey let’s be honest. When you work in what you love, it really doesn’t even feel like working. All of this could be just round the corner for you.