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…

Hello July!

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Yippie! It is July and soon it will be the end of the school term. But; what I am going to do in September? Well; I have been told that on Thursday I will be finding out where I am going to be placed – I have a few days off as of end of play on Friday (nice little sporting reference for you all!) and I will be popping into the office to have a meeting. I am nervous as I am having this feeling that I am not going to be placed in Secondary, however; I still have until July 31st to make my decision. I do have some options, that will enable me to teaching more online and save my cash for moving abroad.

As well as making decisions; I have been planning my trip to the USA. I am pretty excited as it is only 28 days until I fly out there! A year of planning has been amazing! I have created a TripIt itinerary, so all my friends (here in the UK and in the USA) know where I am going to be and when. I felt that this would be a good idea, as I am travelling by myself and using public transport. I have also been sorting out what I am going to pack; I have already done a “dry pack” and I am currently underweight (Yippie!); which is good as I am travelling for 22 days – which 7 are Girl Scout camp and 4 are at Disney.

I have decided that I will do some VLogs of my trip and I will upload them onto my YouTube Channel – My TEFL Adventures – as I will be using A LOT public transport

Sorry that it has been a while…

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Hey everyone, I am sorry that it has been a while since I last wrote. I have been a little down in the dumps (a quick idiom for you there!) about my TEFL career recently. As you all remember, I have been applying for jobs all over the world as well as thinking about the internships.

I have been feeling a little let down, that the jobs I have applied to in Europe have not come through or that the companies have not contacted me about the positions I applied for. If, I am to start my TEFL adventures properly in September I need to hand in my resignation by July 31st. That is not that far away…I will need to keep hurting!

I am going to look on other TEFL jobs sites; like Dave’s ESL Café for example.

Is there anywhere you think I should look? If so, add it to the comments below!

 

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!

What will I pack? I need some tips!

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Image from Frugal Frolicker – many thanks!

Being a Guide (yes, I am still in the Girl Guides) I am always most of the time ready for anything; being a teacher abroad I will still be prepared for all that will happen abroad. I know that I will need to pack a lot of things; here is what I would pack in my suitcase (or cases):

 

 

I will definitely need some of this in my bag;

  • Aloe Vera Gel – I swear by it! Excellent for everything!
  • Factor 50+ Sun Screen – You can never know how strong the Sun wherever I go to teach; also I do burn even though I am a brunette.
  • My Jamberry Mini Heater, some wraps and Plug Adapter – I have got to have pretty nails wherever I am!
  • All my TEFL teaching resources – I have QUITE a lot of items; from lesson plans to Register Books and stationery.
  • Solar Chargers – I love my solar chargers; one of the best things I have ever bought as they work even in low light. However, I would to love to have more!

I found some posts called “Ways to save space, what not to take!” and “8 Essential items to pack when moving abroad” written by Amy of Teacher Traveller Money Saver. Both posts were very interesting and I have taken some tips from the lovely Amy – many thanks for sharing! I also read Claire and Anthony’s (of To Love, To Live) post – TEFL: packing for every eventuality and I watched their video TEFL: Travel Preparations.

I have been researching what other people have done when they have been moving abroad. I found Her Packing List; which is a travel blog/site that is aimed at women and gives us girls tips about traveling. Brooke and her team area amazing and I have saved it to my ‘TEFL Bookmarks’. I will spend some more time and work my way through the site. Of what I have found it is very interesting and informative. Another site I found was Frugal Frolicker; another female traveller, called Lindsey, who blogs about her adventures. The image at the top of this post is what she packed for one of her trips in Asia. I have also been using Jackie’s website – The Budget Minded Traveller and all of tips and itinerary lists for some ideas. Not forgetting her amazing Podcast that have hints and tips!

I know that packing “my life” into my 70ltr backpack and my “daysac” is going to be hard. I have already decided that my “daysac”; which will be my carry on, will have my Laptop (as it is designed for laptops), passport and all my paperwork (tickets, visas, cash etc.). I cannot go anywhere without them; in theory. Talking about paperwork; I know that I will be including the following:

  • copies of my passport – at least two copies.
  • medical prescription (as am an EpiPen carrier – Nut allergy) – at least two copies
  • a letter from doctor – I am thinking of doing a medical check; but as usual with the NHS here in the UK, there will be a charge.
  • copies of any visas I have – some will be in the passport but I will photocopy them just in case.

However; what about my things that are staying back here in the UK. Currently, I am still living with my mum and as time goes on my things are reducing. I know that what things I do have left will be okay; as hopefully my family will look after them. The house is fully insured as is the contents of it. I know that it will be mostly Guiding items (my camp blankets etc.). There are other options to be; for example putting all my things into self storage. However; I am a little nervous about that as you don’t know who has the Master Key and have access to your belongings. I have already started to reduce my clothes; I have been losing weight for the last year and a half – lost two dress sizes – and therefore most of my clothes do not fit me anymore. There are products in the market that can help myself and others protect their homes – for example like a Wireless Alarm System from Simplisafe; an American award winning company. With the Simplisafe Free Apps for iPhone, Android, & Windows smartphones we can take control of your security with a more sophisticated personal Command Centre. A fab idea right?

While I am abroad, I know that I will have to keep myself healthy and safe. I do some self defence moves and I am willing to learn the language so I am able to communicate with the locals.

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?

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!