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…

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!

 

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.

Common Practices in Thailand and a bit more…

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I have been in contact with a Thai Language school about joining their ranks; I was very excited as I had been “staking” them on Facebook for a while and noticed that there were getting new teachers – welcome pictures etc on their feed. I asked if there were looking for staff this September; as this will be the only time I can get out to Thailand. He would only take people who were willing to go through his “programme” and be unqualified. I asked if I would take me as a fully qualified TEFL teacher with some teaching experience on; sadly he said no. I felt quite upset by this. I am wondering if it common practice for language schools in Thailand, to turn away willing and enthusiastic teachers? Has anyone else had any problems like this when applying abroad.

Today, I am at school “supporting” a student with her coursework – currently she not need me; so I felt that a post needed to be written. The joy of having internet access at your place of work. I have also downloaded the Talkman app onto my Android tablet. It is amazing! It is only the Starter Pack but I am enjoying what I have got. I am wondering if it worth getting the whole course; I’ll keep you posted with that.

I am still listening to Jackie’s The Budget Minded Traveller podcast; I am catching up slowly. Jackie is so inspiring. I am so happy that I have found her blog, podcast and Facebook group. I have found many ideas for my budget while I am in America, this summer. It is only 160 days to go! I am very excited! I have even signed up to Workaway; which I can do when I first arrive in Thailand (China or Vietnam) – it depends on where I go! Sadly I cannot go on the China or Vietnam Internships as they both start on 20th August; the day after I come back from America. I would have to land in the UK and fly straight out. It may be a little impossible, so Thailand it may be. I am waiting for the new intake dates for October to be released. The May Internship for Thailand is still in the processing/applying stage. I am working on the date of October 17th that I will need to be in Thailand. Becoming a Workawayer may be a good idea if I can get into Thailand earlier.

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.

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!

Where do I go from here?

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Hey everyone; I thought that I would blog about my TEFLing adventures other the Zero To Hero assignments (which I am enjoying more than I thought I would). I am currently at 130 hours of my i-to-i TEFL qualification; therefore I am 10 hours over most of the job opportunities that i-to-i are advertising on the Jobs Board.

I have been sorting out my CV ready for my applications TEFL jobs; I have seen so many different examples on how to present my TEFL CV. I know that I can just add my TEFL qualification to my current CV as it is linked to Education (mostly Deaf related education though).

I have been job hunting on the i-to-i job board and I thought that doing a Summer Camp in Europe this summer to gain some teaching experience. I have printed off the information for a Summer Camp in Italy with Lingue Senza Frontiere. A part of the application I have to plan what activites to do with them using last year’s camp theme. Fantastic idea, right? However, this Summer camp involves acting. Drama is good; I like Drama but I don not have much experience in it. My colleagues at work have told me go for it; especially the Drama teachers. They tell me that I have a flair for Drama…to be honest I don’t fully believe them!

I have also seen an advert for teaching in Turkey with Teach to Travel Ltd; free housing is a plus though.

The internships in either China or Poland are what I really want to do. Poland is “Sold Out” and China is a little too close to the closing date to pay the required amount and book flights with; if you all remember the post I wrote about how much I would have to save each month to achieve the amount?! Even with my 130 hours; I will have to do an extra 20 hours in the country as a part of the internship. I am happy to do that! I am also looking into the Thailand internship.

Flight wise; I have decided, if I have enough Avios points I will travel by British Airways but if I do not I will be using Skyscanner for all my flying needs!