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…

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.

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?

Didn’t get it, but there is a sliver lining…

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On Wednesday morning via Skype I received confirmation that I didn’t get the position with the recruiter. I was not told why; I was wonder if they had read the post I wrote after the interview. However; there is a other position they think will be good for me. I need to think about it as I don’t know if I want to apply or not as it is just one interview with a person from HR. If it I’d like the first interview, I was not looking forward it! I However; I had the interview on Thursday morning. It was not as bad as I thought it would be. Very relaxed and the conversation flowed better than my first (first!) interview. The position is for a Public School placement in a District of Beijing. I am going to see how much everything; as in Medical Report and Visas are before I decide.

The sliver lining is that after Claire and Anthony’s reply to “Interviewing for China” I headed over to New Life ESL and had a look around to see if its for me. I decided to send them my CV and they contracted me on Friday morning saying to give them call. It will be an early morning call; well it will be for me as Monica is only available at 8.30-10.30 CST – it will be 1am-3am for me. I am excited! I have contacted Monica stating that I am trying to find the time to contact her. I just hope that all will be okay!?

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.

 

Life Update! I’ve got some good news!

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Yes! Everyone it is true! I have had some good news about my current job here in the UK. As you may all know; I volunteered to be made redundant from my job with the local County Council and I have now been told that it has been accepting. After Half Term; which is only two weeks away, I will be having a meeting to discuss the payment and what the next stages is. I have also been discussing the matter with some of my work colleagues about the payment – will it be taxed on and will we still get paid until the end of August? I have found out that it will not be taxed and I will still be paid until August 31. This is fantastic news for me; as this is the last booking date for the Thailand Internship with i-to-i TEFL. I could pay some of the deposit and then pay the rest of the payment on the 31st – this is hoping I will receive the payment on (or even before) this date. I will find more about when I should get the money at my meeting after the holiday.

Josh is now my Advisor at i-to-i; lovely lad and very helpful. I have been in contact with him about the Internships. I know that I will miss the closing dates for China and Vietnam due to the confusion and the completion of the re-shuffle. I have asked Josh, how much the internship fee would be for me; as you all know I have completed over 155 hours of TEFL training. I have worked out that it will be around £850, but that does not include my flights. I just hope that I can get a place and pay for it all by August 31st. At this time; I can only apply for the Internship in Thailand *waves at Kylie*; but if I miss the dates for the late 2015 internships, I can apply for the early 2016 internships would leave the UK around February time.

I have been doing a lot of “Spring Cleaning” and starting to throw and sell items I do not want nor need anymore. I have items on my selling websites and I am going to be going to weekly Car Boot sales where I live! My craft items are also becoming more popular!

I am feeling very positive at the moment; I just hope that I will stay that way! I’ll keep you all posted!

I am so sorry! Please don’t hurt me!

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I am so sorry that My TEFL Adventures has been a little bare recently. I have not been well, my laptop needed to have minor surgery and therefore I had problems accessing to the internet. A lot has been happening though; when I have been able to access the internet, I have been following new TEFL accounts – both here and on other Social Media platforms.

For example; Claire and Anthony; who run the blog – To Love, To Live, are currently on the China Internship with i-to-i TEFL and ImmerQi. There have created a YouTube channel and I have been watching their experiences. There are also on Twitter and I am following them there too! I am love hearing (and seeing) what they are both doing while on their Internship. I bet live out there is much better than it is here?!

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I have also been ding a lot of job hunting in the papers; I have not found much but it seems that people are hearing about me. I had an email from i-to-i TEFL asking if I would allow them to give my details to a new contact of the organisation. Of course I agreed and I am now waiting to hear from the contact. Also I applied to Pequebabies in Northern Spain in March; I did not hear anything. I assumed I was not what they were looking for; however a couple of days ago I heard something. 53273b418303e-135x135 I was very excited as I have been working with ‘Reception’ children since September 2014 – ‘Reception’ children are aged 4 to 5 years old – I am enjoying working closely with the children. I have been looking at Spain as well as Asia to start my TEFL Adventures properly. I am now waiting to receive some answers to the questions I asked. I will keep you all posted on that front.

I cannot believe that we are almost at the year of the 2014-2015 academic year. Officially we are now in the Summer Term; however have not seen much “summery-ness” about it. All the older students I am currently working with are stressed with their exams and revision. This in turn; has made myself and the other Support Staff stressed. Because of this I am not well, which I am not enjoying one bit! I hate being ill; especially as it has gone to an awful cough.