Reading the i-to-i blog…

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Over the last few days, after writing “HiOffer – a new beginning?” I have found that I am truly missing out on the TEFL/ExPat lifestyle. So, to persuade my mind even more, I have been reading the i-to-i blog. It is full of testimonials, tips, hints and real life experiences of current or former i-to-i graduates. This also does not help that I was speaking with an British man, who had just returned from over years in the Philippines. He was passionate that I should go and live my dream (as he put it). ‘Go, teach in China’ – that is all he said as he left me thinking.

I have been focusing on the the internship posts – Internship in ChinaInternship in Thailand and Internship in Vietnam

There are many posts about the three internships; but this one struck me the most –  5 Reasons to go on the Vietnam Intership – I was surprised on what i-to-i classed as the five reasons to go. Being a bit of a culture junkie; I would have written about the culture and the food – however, I am always thinking of food. It is what gets me through the day.

Currently i-to-i are having a “Save 50% off Paid Internships” sale. Vietnam is £595 and both China and Thailand are £971.25 – however, this is only until 28th April.

It is a shame that I do not have the cash ready to pay for my spot…

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Applying For MORE Jobs…

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Did you know that I-to-I TEFL have joined forces with Love TEFL? Amazing news right?! Congrats to everyone on this amazing merger!

I am wondering if the Internships that were available at Love TEFL will be coming to I-to-I? I will need to ask about that next time I send an email over.

 

Anyway; back to the actual post! After the my last post about job hunting (Some Job News…) I had my interviews for “schools” in china. However; even though I had applied to schools I was actually going through Recruitment companies – which I have heard some bad things about the companies out in China. I felt under a little bit of pressure and I did not fully understand if I had been offered the jobs or not. This is due to them not actually saying “Congratulations Jemma; welcome to the team!” Confusing right?! I decided to decline all three of the jobs and keep my options open.

This is the reason why I have been doing some more applications. I have applied to Tree House, My English School and LearnEng in Italy and EIS in Spain. All four schools sound very good and seem to be legit.

I have been researching about flights to Italy and Spain and they are very reasonable compared to flight to Thailand and China. One-Way flights vary from £66 to £75; depending on where I fly from. I prefer Birmingham as I can use the train to get there and East Midlands as it is a direct route from my home.

I have emailed Fun Language Viseu and asked if there is any news, but there is nothing yet. I am getting nervous; a I need to let my current workplace know when I am finishing!

Planning my trip to Thailand…

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Yes everyone; I have made a decision! I’m going to Thailand in October. I have found out hoe much the Thailand Internship with i-to-i TEFL will be for me and how much I will need to pay for my flights – I’m aiming to go for the beginning of October (as the dates have still NOT been released on the site!) and do some volunteering. I just need to save LOADS of cash now! Car boots and my eBay store here I come! I have too many LP Travel Guides; so I have put all of them (expect the Thailand one) into my store. I have also advertised them on the LP Thorn Tree forums.


As you know, I joined Workaway in the post “Common Practices in Thailand and a bit more…” and I have been looking at what I can do before starting the Internship. There are many placements in Thailand; but I have decided to stay in Bangkok and the surrounding areas. It will be cheaper for me to get to the hotel etc. for the Internship. I have saved only a few Hosts (100+); that is what the people looking for Volunteers (or Workawayers) are called. I cannot believe that I could just contact the hosts and tell them when I am in Thailand and I could work (and play) with most of the time, Bed and Board free. How cool is that?  I cannot believe if I had not found The Budget Minded Traveller, Jackie I would have never found Workaway!

Workaway says that:

Workawayers typically are interested in cultural exchange and learning and will help out for a few hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation, with visits lasting anywhere from a few days to a few months.

Travel cheaply and stay for free, whilst making a difference to the communities you visit. Put your existing skills to good use, or try something new you‘d never normally get to do and pick up new skills along the way.

There is an ever growing list of 1000s of active hosts in over 155 countries offering all kinds of places to stay.

Have a look at their YouTube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrQ0zZ23BEk

I am super excited about this now that I have finally made the decision; so please feel free to head over to my eBay store and see if there is anything that takes your fancy!

 

Supportive Family?!

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Today I have been talking to my family; it is my sister in law’s birthday and we were spending some time together, about about doing the internship with i-to-i TEFL to Thailand. Firstly, they were all happy for me that I had *finally* (in their eyes) a decision. Then they asked about how I would get into the internship…I explained the process and the price. This was when they thought that i-to-i was not a legitimate company because I was paying to go on an internship. I directed my brother to the website; as I do with any inquiry about the company or any of the programmes that they have created. He saw the price for the current intake for Thailand and was shocked. I explained that I would get a reduced rate as I was already qualified (I am hoping that is still the case?!). I would need to pay the price given time and then I would need to organise my flights.

This was when he began to fully understand what was happening. However, my mum not so much. All she had to say was that I needed to pay off all my debts before I went! What does she think I have been doing for the last four/five years while I have been studying?!

On a brighter note; I have given up on Vinted as nothing was selling. I am going to donate all the items I had on there to a local charity. My Starbucks card collection is slowly going; which is a relief as it was taking up too much space (there are still some cards there if you are a collector?!). I am now reading more as it is now the Easter holidays here in the UK. I want to read as many books as possible and then I can sell them on (or BookCross them on, I haven’t decided on that yet!).

Also on April 1st, the first Camp NaNoWriMo of the year starting. I have currently decided to write more of my novel that I started in 2011; but recently I have been thinking about creating a book or resources for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Has anyone else done this? I have looked around on Teachers Pay Teachers and seen what people have created and what they charge – it could be a possibility in the future. I will need to do some more research.

I just want to know that dates for the October intake now for Thailand. So, I know how much I need to get sorted as I don’t want to be rushing at the last moment!

Learning the Lingo…

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I have been thinking about what I can do while I am on my TEFLing adventures. I have come to the conclusion that learning the lingo would help me the most in whatever Country I go to work in. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am a user of Sign Language – currently fluent in British Sign Language and I am brushing up on my American Sign Language ready for my upcoming trip to the States.

I have been doing some research on the languages that are used in the three counties that i-to-i TEFL offer – Thailand, Vietnam and China. Sadly the Vietnamese and Chinese internships both start on the same day (20th August 2016) and I am unable to go, as I will have only just returned from America. The Thai internship does not start until October (I still don’t know the actual date; as it is not on the website yet!) and the May internship is still being advertised. I wonder if there has not been enough interest in the internship. I want to get all my finances in order; if it means I have to do some extra work either online or with my “real life” jobs, I will do it!

logoI have been looking at learning Thai when I am on the internship; we are going to be given some Thai Language lessons that GES will provide me with some basic and fun Thai Language training to help you with your day-to-day life in Thailand. However, I want to learn Thai Sign Language (TSL). I know that I would have to have the basic understanding of the “spoken” language before I could fully understand the Signed Language. I wonder if GES could point me in the direction of being able to learn TSL when I am out there. mtsl2balphabet2bthai2bsign2blanguage

I have a very basic knowledge of Nepalese Sign Language (NSL) and I would if I will be able to pick up TSL as quickly as I did NSL. It has been a few years since I did any NSL; as I was at University.

Has anyone else learnt the lingo of the country that they are working in? Would you recommend that I do learn the language?

I’ve finally extended….

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I have finally got round to extending my TEFL course (once again!) I was halfway through the Advanced Grammar course and I had just received my Checkpoint feedback from the tutor. I cannot wait to get back into the swing of things.

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As for my Internship/Job hunting; I have been looking in Europe and focussing on Thailand as my Internship choice. Sadly, both the China and Vietnam Internships both start on the same day – 20th August 2016. This is the day after I return from my trip to America and I would have to leave on the 19th to arrive in China/Vietnam on the 20th. I do not think that I would be able to get all that I needed for six months (or thereabouts), leave the airport and return within three or fours hours. So, fate has given me only one choice – Thailand. I am excited about this and I am just waiting for the closing date to arrive for the May intake to come and then I will start applying! I need this in my life. At my current job; I do not know where I am going to be based in when September arrives. The worst case scenario will be one Signer and one Teaching Assistant (TAs). There are six TAs and about 15 Signers; where will our jobs be? I think that it is time that I stop thinking of others and get myself happy. I am never going to achieve anything unless I push myself.

Getting to the airport…

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I am going to visit my “American Family” in July 2016 and I am looking forward to it. It will get me all prepared for the travelling I am aiming to do in October 2016. I have been thinking about I am going to get to the Airport. I know that my family; well definitely my Mum will want to see me off. However; I have been wondering if I got there on my own and it would save my family money – as they would have to drive to whichever airport I will leave from. I know that mum will be fine while we are driving down but she has admitted to me that she will probably get lost on the way home. My brother will be working and possibly be unable to take me.

The example journey is from home; the nearest town is Northampton to Heathrow T5 – this will be for more expensive trips. I have also only priced for the single fare; as you don’t know if I will come back or not. I may enjoy life abroad too much.

Firstly, I thought that the train would be a more direct route; however, I would have to change at least twice – depending on the train company I would use – and the price would be around £60/£70.national_express_7102_caetano_levante_fj08_knw_metrocentre_2009_pic_1

panthermegabuswebThen, I thought about using National Express – it would be a long drive and could cost between £12 and £20. I thought of Megabus; and currently that is the cheapest and quickest option. However, I would need to buy an Underground ticket to get from Victoria Station to Euston Station – this would be around £6. The Megabus itself would only be around the £5 mark; if I booked it early enough. At the moment, that is my best option.

Sadly, I would have to leave on the Megabus from Milton Keyne, which I am not a far of getting to. The National Express goes straight to the Terminal of Heathrow; also I can get discount as “I know some people”.

How would you get there?

When I get to America, I will be using the US Megabus from NJ to my friends in New York  state. However; I am volunteering with the Girl Scouts in New Jersey for a week at their International camp. So, I will be working out how to get from the airport – which will be Philadelphia. commuter3

I am nervous about this part; should I? If you have any experience of using any of the modes of transport, please let me know!