Thursday, March 29, 2012

Travel as a Teacher

Travel is a great teacher. Travelling as a teacher to be taught by travel is meta. Here's what some people said they learned from travel:

The Travelling Philosopher

Travel can be a vehicle for finding my true passions.
Technology has enhanced my travel experiences.
Traveling solo made me do things I wouldn't do when traveling with others.
The world is as beautiful as I let it be.

Everything - Everywhere

People are generally good.
People don't hate Americans.
You don't need a lot stuff.
Culture matters.
English is becoming universal.

The Conversationalist

Eat a bit of everything.
People want to share their stories, and hearing them is the best part of traveling.
Humor is one of my greatest tools to build trust.
It’s helpful to have a map.
When I trust, my trust will be returned.

Andean Drift

Good socks are important. And lots of them.
Slow down.
The language barrier isn’t that hard to overcome.
Pack light.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chinese Travel Phrases

Before you leave for China, you might want to make note of some useful phrases. These are provided in the form of video so you can repeat and practice them, while hearing them spoken to you.

The first place you will encounter is the airport. Here are some useful phrases regarding transportation. Once at the airport, you will need to clear customs. This process is slightly different in every country. Knowing what to expect will help you have a smooth transition. Since you are going to an address, you may need assistance with directions.

We hope this helps you to ease into Chinese culture easily upon arrival.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Perfect Candidate

What makes Valerie Smith a perfect candidate for teaching abroad and how do you compare?

“I always had an interest in China. It’s an up and coming country. Then I took a class in Chinese and found out I really loved it,” Smith said.
“I think if you’re going to learn about any culture you should learn their language. That reflects their culture in and of itself. If I do research on China I would certainly have to be in China or in Chinese-speaking countries. So it would definitely help to know Chinese,” the 22-year-old Smith said.
“She has a genuine love of learning, she’s curious about the world and curious about other cultures. She will make a wonderful geographer,” said Richard Hunter, one of Smith’s geography teachers. 
Smith is really flying outside of her comfort zone by winging to China. She has never lived off campus, doesn’t drive a car and has never traveled overseas. She acknowledged she is somewhat nervous about her trip. “I guess we’re all kind of watching the political situation over there. ... From what I’ve seen I don’t think there’s going to be any political upheaval, but who knows? I just have to expect the unexpected,” Smith said.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thinking About Teaching Abroad FAQs

If you're just in the Contemplation Stage of teaching abroad, these questions may help you decide if it is a good decision for you.

Q. Can couples teach or just singles?
A. Most schools prefer single adults but some will consider hiring a couple.

Q. How long is the job?
A. Jobs are usually contracted for a one-year commitment though teachers are often able to extend contracts with positive job performance.

Q. What are some characteristics of a person who is suited for this type of work?
A. Teaching abroad requires a passion to teach and openness to other cultures.

Q. What education is required?
A. At least a bachelor's degree though not necessarily in education.

Q. Do I need to be bilingual?
A. Applicants are not required to speak the local language.

Q. What can I do to make sure Allestra is a good fit for me?
A. Do research. Have your own criteria, read testimonies, check school websites and contact current teachers before signing a contract.

Q. How can I stay connected to my culture while traveling?
A. Look for ex-pat groups. Navigating a new language, culture and job at once can overwhelm. Utilize sites like to develop a social network and identify friends who can offer a dose of home.

Source: Carrie Schmeck,