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…

HiOffer – a new beginning?

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Hello everyone!

I am sorry that it has been two months since my last post – life has not been good to me. I have been trying to stay focused on my current job to save the funds I need to go abroad and teach. However, while I was on Facebook one day I saw an advert of an online teaching platform – HiOffer. It is very exciting as I can set my own hourly rate.

You may have noticed that I have also added some “services” to my Facebook page – [add link]. These services are not just for people who do not speak English as their first language, but also for any student who wishes to improve their spoken and written English.

Some job news…

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Every now and again I apply for some jobs on the i-to-i TEFL Jobs Board; sometimes I get an interview and sometimes (well, actually most of the time) I do not get a response.

However, recently I applied to three schools in China and one in Portugal. I thought that I would keep my options open just in case, I cannot save enough money for the Thailand Internship.

I have had emails from all four schools. How exciting? I have replied to all and two days ago I had an interview with Fun Language Viseu in Portugal. Sadly, I had been called into my current workplace, luckily the girls were fine for half and hour when I had my interview over Skype. I am now starting to find the Skype interviews easier and I am not as nervous when I am carrying them out. I try to be myself and answer the questions truthfully. I did not have to carry out a mock lesson like the last time I had a Skype interview. All that I was asked were the standard teaching experience questions. I have also replied to the three Chinese schools with some questions. Hopefully I will hear back from all four of them soon.

I am now an official Jamberry Nails Consultant. You may have seen the image appear upon the sidebar of the blog. It is very exciting. I am one of the first people to have this opportunity here in the UK; I hope that you all have a look at my website; just click the image and it will send you to my site. I may not be a ‘girly girl’ but the Jamberry nail wraps are amazing. I have never seen anything like them ever. I was introduced to them by my long-time friend, Amy, who I have known since 1999. She was in the Girl Scouts (the same area that I am going to camp with this summer) and she was my Host for the camp. She is a ‘sister from another mumma’! I am going to see her too this summer, can’t wait! Jamicures will be taking place when I am there for sure! Here are some examples of the wraps; they are cute right?

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.

MASSIVE update…

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I cannot believe that I have posted anything since August 13th. I feel so bad! So many things have happened and changed! Since my situation had changed, I have attended a local Girl Guide camp and fell for Teaching in Malaysia.

Anyway; back to my MASSIVE update! Since all the problems with my current job (yes I am still working in a school), I am still planning on going abroad September/October 2016. I have AirMiles (okay, okay they are called Avios now!) that I can use! I have signed to collect more by doing surveys for Avios. It only takes up a little bit of time each day! I am aiming for the Thailand Internship. I feel that I will enjoy it better than China; I can always head over to China after the five months?!

However; I have decided to go and visit my “family” in America for a few weeks – I know that I will use some of my points but as it is getting closer to Christmas (I cannot believe that I just said the C-word!!) I am hoping the “Santa and family” will give my US Dollars or even buy my some Avios. I have volunteered myself for a camp while I am in the USA. It will be good to see the camp from the “working” side as the last two times I have attended the camp I was a participant. I am REALLY looking forward to seeing them all again! I am excited about using my American Sign Language at the SIGNS restaurant in Canada.

As well as my job stressing me out; I have been trying to keep myself relaxed by crafting a lot more. Handmade Crafts & Cards has been doing better than I expected. At work; I have been working with one of my students who is originally from Albania, who happens to be Deaf. In theory, she is Tri-lingual! British Sign Language, Albanian and English. Her English is the thing that is suffering as she does not use it enough. I have been using the English Banana Elementary course; which I love! However; last week I was pulled off timetable to support another student and now she is suffering. I am still giving her homework though; I just hope that all is okay with her.

I am currently undertaking the Advanced Grammar TEFL Certificate; the last module I can do with I-to-I TEFL. I have also been listening to The Budget Minded Traveler; Jackie is an amazing blogger and she also does a Podcast. I have been listening to it during my commute to work. I am a little behind as Jackie has been producing the Podcast since 2014. I am loving her tips and hints and I have been inspired to save my pennies much more than I am!

I have written my reviews of my Teaching in Italy and Teaching in Vietnam modules. I will be posting them soon.

How exciting?!

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On Friday morning I had a chat with Monica of New Life ESL. It was lovely to finally get together and meet face to face. I am glad that I finally sent off my CV to Monica and her company. I have been following them on Instagram for a few months and there have been adverts for positions all over China. However, some of the positions wanted either experience or to be a certain age. So, I never applied. Until Claire and Anthony said on a comment about the company; I thought what the heck – and I sent them off a copy of my CV.

During the chat, Monica mentioned about a place that her friend was in a particular school that I would like too and with in minutes of receiving an email from Monica saying she has sent my details over to this partner school I had an another email. It was from Charlotte from Beanstalk International Bilingual School (BIBS) – an interview was booked for today at 8am GMT/3pm CST. However, there were connection issues and it has been moved to tomorrow at the same time. I have looked round the website. It looks amazing!! I have even checked the island (yes, the school is on an island!) out in my Lonely Planet travel guide. I am pretty excited. Smiles here at the moment.

Visa Applications…

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I have been contacted by Monica from New Life ESL; as I stated in my last post and I have been researching how much the Visa procedure and about the price for the Medical exam from the Doctors. I really need to find a time where Monica and I can talk. I have also been contacted by Derrick; another member of the New Life ESL team and I have let him know about being contacted by Monica.

I have been thinking about Visas a lot since my second interview with Star Teachers and I was shocked about the price for the Visa. I looked on many websites where I can apply for the Visa. The sites were:

  • Chinese Visa Direct; they multi entry (which is what I will possible need; as I want to pop over to Hong Kong) price is £255.
  • The Chinese Embassy here in the UK; their price is £180. The actual service is with Visa For China; but the website did not load properly. I will keep trying to see how that goes.
  • Visa For China.org.uk state that there multi entry visa is £308. However, that is for the Express Visa Fee. The Regular price is £171.
  • There is another site called Visa HQ which I also looked at and their visa price is £131.19 however; that is only for a single entry and is for 90 days.

I do not know which one to choose; I prefer to choose the cheapest one – will it be the right choice though? I am wondering if i-to-i TEFL would know who I could choose. Or who they would recommend?

Are they anyone who has or is dealing with any of the Visa Application Centres? which one do you think I can use?

Interviewing For China…

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Well, today I have just conduced my second interview for a TEFL Teacher Recruitment company in China. I was nervous at first and worried that my second interview would be similar to my first. The first interview went okay; I had to be in the upper part of my house to get a better reception and I was only able to see part of my interviewers face. I am wondering if this is common practice when interviewing for jobs in China.

Both interviews took place in their Beijing offices; which were a little noisy at the start. There is a large time difference between here in the UK and in Beijing. Beijing is seven hours ahead of me and I had to conduct both my interviews in the morning. The first interview took place at 9am GMT; which made it 4pm CST (China Standard Time). It was also the end of the day for them. I must remember this whenever I call home when I start teaching in Asia. The second interview was supposed to start at 7am/2pm but on the confirmation email I was sent 8am/3pm – which I preferred. However; this was not passed on to the person who called me (on Skype) at around 7am. I think that there was a confusion of the Time Zone converting. I use the clock on my laptop; I have set it up to have Beijing as one of the Time Zones. I will change this depending on where I move to.

UntitledI was sent some material to use for my second interview; two eBooks and some information on what I was to do. I found tis rather difficult as I thought that on the information I would be given an age group or level to work with. The books I felt were aimed at Elementary level and for young children. I had to create at least one activity to do and it should last for about 20 minutes. I could only use three pages from the book – I would have preferred to use the whole book as that would have made the reading exercise easier. I decided that I was going to pretend that the second interviewer was one of my current four year old students. When it was time for the interview; she asked me ‘how old I wanted her to be?’ – Elementary and around 4 to 5 years old. I chose the book “Visiting Grandma and Grandpa”.

I found this interview very hard; as the interviewer took her role seriously. Only one word answers and not much facial expressions. Working with younger children you want to be able to get them to hold and see the book better or even reading it with them. Only using three pages was hard. I ended up using four – I had turned them into flash cards to help with the “having the book experience” . Fingers crossed it worked!

At this very moment in time; I have not received any information or details about if I was successful or not. After my first interview, the person who had organised the interview with me contacted me and told me that I had passed and would be moving onto the second interview. It has almost been an hour since I finished my interview and I have had nothing. I have this feeling I will not hear anything until tomorrow now. As the office in Beijing must be closed for the day. I’ll keep you all posted with this.

 

Wordle Wednesday: Chinese Calender

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It is will soon be the Chinese New Year; which is the 19th February and it will be the Year of the Goat. I am from the Year of the Pig (now you all know how old I am?!) So, I thought that it would be a good time to do a Wordle Wednesday all about the Chinese calender. I know that there are only twelve of them but it will still make a pretty cloud. Just see below…

Which year are you?

Chinese Calender Cloud

Word List:

  • rat
  • ox
  • tiger
  • rabbit
  • dragon
  • snake
  • horse
  • sheep
  • monkey
  • rooster
  • dog
  • pig

On a bit of a hitatus?!

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Hey everyone; sorry for the lack of the “themed” posts this week – I have been doing a lot of soul searching and researching about moving abroad. I have been leaving hints around my house to see what my family will say or do…I will post Idiom of the Week and Wordle Wednesday next week!

As of yet; nothing has been said! I have borrowed a book from the local library by Lonely Planet.

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As I have been thinking about the China Internship; it may only be about £700 (plus flights and visas) to go over to China and there is a deposit scheme to reserve a place. I just I do knowing paying that much money is a good thing to do.

I can work in Spain; a country I like very much. It is not too far to get back if anything happens. I REALLY need to send my CV off and add it to the i-to-i TEFL job board!

What do you all think?