Archive | October, 2011

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Monika outside Lisbon airportI traveled Europe with a backpack during my eight month teaching séjour in France and I came home from my adventures unscathed.

Here are my top tips for being prepared and traveling intelligently, while making the most of your time in a new location, and doing all this alone.

 

1. Travel with copies of your important documents such as your passport, residency card, travel tickets and debit or credit card. Keep the copies in a safe location of your bag, separate from the originals. Keep another set of copies at home as well. These copies can be invaluable if you are ever faced with the unfortunate situation of being pick-pocketed.

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By Tammy Reed
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Teaching in Israel: An Experience of ‘Biblical’ Proportions!

By MathKnight and Zachi Evenor (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Israel has a deep, and arguably complex culture, with strong values, politics and faith.

Despite its biblical fortitude it is also a business and commerce leader in the Middle East, and is therefore most certainly not just of archaeological importance.  There is an increasing need for businessmen and women to speak the ‘universal language’ and English teachers are in great demand.  This has been propounded by the popularity of American media.  As a result, finding a job to teach English has never been easier, and it is a great opportunity for foreigners wishing to experience the Middle East.

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By Eduardo Santos

After having completed your TEFL course, you are ready to start teaching English – aren’t you?

Your initial TEFL certificate has given you the basis to start working as an English teacher and maybe it included some hours of teaching practice. Either if you have taught a few hours during your TEFL course or if you have taken it online, you will probably feel nervous on your first weeks teaching. Don’t worry, this is normal. Some highly experienced colleagues still get butterflies in their stomach on their first
day with a new group.

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By Lindsay Varty

Living and Teaching in Paradise: The Seychelles

By Tobias Alt, Tobi 87 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Close your eyes and dream up the ultimate vision of paradise: palm trees swaying in the wind as crystal blue waters lap against vast beaches of pure white sand. Hot summer sun and cloudless skies an everyday inevitability. Well, that’s where you could be heading if you choose to teach English in the Seychelles!

With an archipelago of 115 islands sprawled across the Indian Ocean, and a year-round temperature range of 24 to 31 °C, the Seychelles offer an array of tropical honeymoon-esque delights. Between classes, why not pop out for a spot of snorkeling or scuba diving and experience some of the world’s most spectacular marine life? With dolphins, whales, sea turtles and over a 1000 species of fish, these waters will transform any pale city-dweller into a veritable sea baby in no time!

Hire a boat and go sailing around the islands or try your luck at hauling in a dog-tooth tuna or giant barracuda on a deep sea fishing excursion. And don’t worry if you accidently hook a shark (apparently not too rare an occurrence) as they are a common delicacy in the Seychelles islands.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or  About Monika

Carcassonne old and new city viewMontpellier itself is a beautiful city in the south of France, centrally located between Paris, Nice and Barcelona, Spain – all of which are about four or five hours away by train.

Nestled even closer to Montpellier, only a few hours away, are a handful of outstanding UNESCO world heritage sites. Some of these historical cities and sites include Nîmes, Carcassonne, Avignon, St. Guilhem-le-Desert and Sète.

The aforementioned Paris, Nice and Barcelona are easy to research and learn about, so, let’s dig deeper into some lesser known gems.

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By Dana Yu
@danamyu

operahusetWhen it is spring in Oslo, Norwegians walk with a little more bounce in their step, most of them wear sunglasses even if it’s mostly overcast outside, and patios fill up with friends enjoying the first utepils of the year. Directly translated, utepils means “outdoor beer,” and though it refers to any beer enjoyed outside, the first utepils of the year has become an annual Norwegian rite, a long- awaited celebration marking the end of the long dark months of winter.

At Aker Brygge, a popular waterfront area to shop, dine, or gather for an utepils (half of Aker Brygge’s total restaurant capacity is outdoors), many of the restaurant servers are Swedish. Because Swedes can earn sometimes double the amount of money in Norway as they make working a similar job in Sweden, it is common for young Swedish people to spend summers or longer periods of time working in Oslo to save money for their studies or travels.

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By Roy Duffield

Argentina – Latin American adventure with a taste of Europe

By user:Sking (user:Sking) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Argentina. A country that blends the Latin American adventure with a taste of Europe, yet all the while retaining an unmistakably distinct identity of own. If you’re thinking of teaching English there, then you’ll most likely be based in the capital, Buenos Aires.

“The Paris of the Southern Hemisphere” has something for everybody. Walk the multi-coloured streets of La Boca. Peruse the quirky street markets and dusty antique shops of historic San Telmo. Party the night away in Palermos Soho, Viejo and Hollywood. Stumble upon a street tango. Fill your stomach with tender asados (steak) on La Costanera. Catch a football match between arch-rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate. Hop on the short ferry over to Uruguay. Share yerba mate with friends at one of Recoleta’s many ferias, or simply gorge yourself on the wealth of delicious Argentine snacks, from pan relleno and empanadas to dulce de leche filled alfajores.

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By Will Peach
A site editor at Gap Daemon, the gap year community website for backpackers and gap year travellers.

Supplementing Your Teaching Income: Finding Private Students in Spain

One of the great perks of launching into a TEFL career is the amount of free time that’s on offer. Couple that with the ability to teach private classes, and some teachers are able to take advantage of a very decent income.

To the newly qualified teacher however, finding private students, especially in countries like Spain, can be intimidating to say the least. When things operate mainly on a word-of-mouth basis, as they do in smaller parts of the country, it’s tough to know how to get started.

What follows are a couple tried and tested formulas that I have found success with in gaining private students in my part of Spain, Extremadura. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t work for you!

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By Daniel Cariello
BA Hons English Literature graduate

Teaching English in Thailand – A life changing journey

Thailand is a country with magnificent scenery and amazing experiences to be had throughout. From the chaotic capital of Bangkok, a modern behemoth of frenzied traffic and gleaming shopping centres, to the all-encompassing islands that can vary from amazingly secluded to incredibly touristy and exciting. If you are considering getting involved with a TEFL course in Thailand then it is important to remember that Thailand’s cool season is the optimum time to visit as during this period it rains the least and does not get unbearably hot.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or  About Monika

When I first arrived in Montpellier, France, one of the most valuable things I did for myself regarding learning more about my new home base (thanks to the guidance of some kind souls at the prefecture) was to visit the Pôle Universitaire; otherwise known as the student center for the city’s three main university campuses.

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