The natural icons of Norway

By Dana Yu
@danamyu

The natural icons of Norway

By Svein-Magne Tunli – tunliweb.no (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Norway boasts beautiful women, wild reindeer, and the world’s highest consumption of frozen pizza. If that’s not impressive enough, the 324,220 square km-country’s wealth of natural wonders is sure to charm even the most resistant outdoorsman.

A road trip outside of Norway’s capital, Oslo, will introduce rich mountainous terrain and a well-preserved rural life. Norwegians have historically retained a unique connection to the raw nature that defines their country’s landscape. Several times a year, Norwegians break from their lives in the cities to spend time outdoors, sailing, hiking or climbing mountains. Many families own cabins in the countryside, sometimes even in the most remote areas with no water or electricity. As Norway continues to urbanize, though, more modern cabin homes are being built.

Continue reading

4 Steps for a Successful TEFL Career: Part 1 Getting Started – Taking a TEFL Course

By Eduardo Santos

You have decided to start teaching English as a career or as a part-time job but you’re not sure where to set about taking the first steps. Perhaps you want to work and travel during your gap year or go deeper into the career, but don’t know how to start. Do you feel you are ready to embark on this journey, even if it’s for a short period of time?

In this series of 4 posts, I will mention 4 essential steps anyone wanting to start their career in English teaching should take in order to achieve short-term and long-term success.

Continue reading

Teaching English in The Heart of Central Europe

By Tammy Reed

Teaching English in The Heart of Central Europe

By Lepeltier.ludovic (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

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary, and at the heart of Europe. It is sometimes referred to the as ‘Little Paris’, and it doesn’t take long to see why. Charming street side cafes and boutique restaurants (without the Paris price tag) make it an ideal place to while away your spare time!  The Neoclassical to Art Noveau architecture is an absolute eye-opener, with its astonishing beauty far-outreaching the city into the surrounding countryside.

Straddled by a river it may come as no surprise that Budapest is divided into two parts: Buda, (The hill filled West side) and Pest (The flat East side). It is a huge city that plays it part centrally in terms of not only location, but within commerce, industry and politics- to name a few.

Continue reading

Teaching English in Europe – Part IV – An Overview

By Daniel Cariello
BA Hons English Literature graduate

Teaching English in Europe – Part IV – An Overview

By Nikater (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

Europe is packed with an extraordinary wealth of sights. Taking part in a TEFL Europe course can provide you with the opportunity to meet interesting people, experience the incredible nightlife and appreciate the rich history and culture offered throughout the continent. So far in this series I have mainly covered France, Spain, Italy and Western Europe. But don’t think that this is the extent of the magnificent countries that Europe has to offer the keen traveller. Perhaps you would be interested in visiting the Scandinavian countries famous for fantastic landscapes, a great choice for any keen skiers. Alternatively, you might want to consider Belgium, a country with an amazing history, especially in cities like Ypres, and obviously a good choice for any choc-o-holics.

Continue reading

“How Do I Get To…?”: Tips For Travel Planning In And Around France

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or about.me/monikasalita

With late October holidays coming up for many teaching assistants, many of you may be thinking of how to spend this break away from your new city exploring a new one. Here are some of my tools for successfully creating an exciting trip in and around ever-captivating France, via trains and planes.

TRAINS

SNCF (France’s national railway company) runs a program called “Carte 12-25.” This is a card that people between the ages of 12 to 25 can purchase which allows them to then buy train tickets at a reduced cost, ranging anywhere from 25% to 60% savings. The initial fee of approximately 50 Euros pays for itself within your first few voyages if you plan to travel anywhere via train with regular frequency. Proof of age will be required, so bring something with your date of birth on it with you when you plan to purchase your card at your local train station.

Continue reading

An Introduction to Life in Sweden

By Dana Yu
@danamyu

From Stockholm, Sweden’s archipelago capital spanning 14 islands, to university towns Uppsala and Lund, Sweden offers a number of clean, safe cities to ground an unforgettable English-teaching experience.

The first thing you will have to accustom yourself to is the notable hike in the cost of living. To adjust, income in Sweden is higher as well. The Swedish form of currency is the Swedish krona, or crown.

Most Swedes can speak English, and those living in cities generally speak at a high level. In Sweden, children begin learning English in early grade school, and success in the global business world motivates professionals to perfect their English skills too.

Continue reading

Teaching English in Krakow

By Lindsay Varty

Teaching English in Krakow

By Lestat (Jan Mehlich) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and dark history of Krakow, Poland’s second largest city and former capital, situated on the Vistula River in southern Poland. Overflowing with tradition and entertainment, Krakow is the perfect place for any wide-eyed traveller or history buff looking for somewhere exciting to teach English.

Experience the Old Town, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, and filled with intricate gothic and renaissance architecture such as the Wawel Castle, which housed Polish Kings for over 500 years. You can’t miss the Rynek Glowny, an enormous 10-acre main market square, constantly awash with stalls selling local produce or Polish folk dancers frolicking in traditional dress. If you’re feeling romantic, take a late-night ride through the town in a horse-drawn carriage.

Continue reading

Teaching English in Europe – Part III

By Daniel Cariello
BA Hons English Literature graduate

Teaching English in Europe – Part III

By Mihael Grmek (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Looking to get involved with a TEFL Course in Europe? Perhaps in an area slightly more exciting/adventurous than Spain or Italy? Then maybe you should consider heading further into Eastern Europe, an immense region that is rich in culture and history. There’s plenty of glorious scenery to make any visit to Eastern Europe aesthetically pleasing. If all-encompassing mountains are your thing then visit Slovakia, Slovenia or Southern Poland for a truly inspiring view. If not, you could always visit the pristine beaches of Albania and Bulgaria or visit the beautiful islands of Greece and Croatia. Eastern Europe has a lot to offer the keen and exploratory traveller.

Continue reading

48 Hours in Barcelona: Explore Now, Sleep Later

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or about.me/monikasalita

48 Hours in Barcelona: Explore Now, Sleep Later

By Frank K. [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Vamos a Barça! Pack your bag and be ready to hit the ground running because your 48 hours in Barcelona, Spain will surely fly by in a whirlwind of energy and excitement.

SLEEP

Before you go, it’ll be wise to know where you’ll rest your head for a few hours each night. I researched my options on Hostel World’s website and made a reservation for Sant Jordi. My favorite feature of this hostel was that it was not located in the heart of the city, but rather in a more residential area of town, allowing for more observation of and interaction with local residents.

Continue reading