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…

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.

Teaching in Vietnam: Module Review

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flag_map_of_greater_vietnamBeing a fan of Asia; when I saw this module being advertised on the I-to-I TEFL website – I was excited! The Teaching in Vietnam module was amazing! I found the Culture section of the module the most interesting. This section inspired me to buy the Lonely Planet Travel Guide; which I have read and marked some pages I want to research more. I have also looked into the Vietnam Internship.

I did not realise that Vietnamese food is one of the most varied and delicious cuisines anywhere. It’s a melting pot (sorry, for the pun!) of influences from the country’s foreign rulers. I also did not realise that eating is a social ritual in Vietnam. Meals comprise a number of dishes, served in no particular order, placed in the centre of the table to be shared by diners. I will have to be careful with my Nut Allergy when I am out there.

If you are thinking about teaching in Asia; adding this module to your resume will be a good idea!

 

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.

Feeling a little down…

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Including today; I have 12 working days left of 2014…I should be excited, however; I am not. The last few days I have not been feeling my “100% positive” self; which is horrid. Not just for me; but for the people (both students and staff) I work with. I had sold one of my Trading Cards sets on eBay two weeks ago and it fell through as the payment was blocked at the buyers end. The payment would have been half of my first payment for the Vietnam Internship. I am desperate move on; I am not happy here. I need to start  my new life away from everything here. I have decided that I will not be spending much after the Holiday period. I know that I need to save as much as possible. I have worked out how to get to Vietnam when (or if) the time arrives. I just need to save some more Avios points; it is a shame that I cannot convert these Nectar points I have got. I may spend them on resources or things that I may need while I am away.

I also have not been well the last few days; chronic headaches and feeling nauseous. I think that is due to not fully enjoying my job. I have been thinking about my family more and what will happen while I would be away. My sister in law has a relative who has taught in China as a TEFL teacher and she said that he loved it. She was glad that the internet was available and she could contact them. This would be the same for me…I know that I can always send an email or chat on Skype. I really need to stop thinking about my family and what they would think and just think of myself.

I have no ties here; other than my family. I can always return to my current job (that is if I wish to return to it), my volunteering I can also return to – I have not really enjoyed it since my Mum retired from it in April – I can take my memories with me. That is all I need…

2014v2-buy-table-printed-headerI really need to sort myself out. I have ordered a workbook from Leonie Dawson. I have ordered the Life and Biz workbook. I need to sort it all out. Leonie is wonderful woman; she lives in Australia and runs her own business. She is one crazy arsed woman, but she makes me smile and helps me to think of myself more. I found her via Jen Saunders at Wild Sister; who is amazing too! I know that buying this workbook I have spent money and not saving it; however it will set me and my goals alive ready for 2015. I feel that this is what I need currently in my life.

 

I have been worried about the Vietnam Internship and if I will be able to afford to go. I need to save and sell a lot of my crafty items, eBay stock and have as many things on Vinted as I can.

Just another day…

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It is Sunday already and November is almost at its end. I cannot believe that the month has flown past; it has pasted me by very fast. I am still waiting to find out if I am able to have a Sabbatical for my current job. However; I will know more at the start of December. I would prefer to know now and then I get my place on the Vietnam Internship all booked and then I can save up for everything else; like Visas, spending money and buying some resources.

Talking about resources; I have been talking with one of the English teachers (not a TEFL teacher) about resources. It seems that we both useUntitled-1resources (which I am loving). It is a small world; don’t you all think? I have also told her about this blog (I love telling people about this place…); she mentioned about a Facebook Page that she runs – I will post the link when I find it. I have been a little down today; but that could be due to not knowing what is happening with my current job. I really want to know what is happening so I can get my life in order. I REALLY want this and I know that I am ACTUAL ready to go. I have been thinking about what I should pack and what I would miss while I am away.

I have also been researching about the currency in Vietnam and what the exchange rate currently is. The money I will receive on the Internship will be in Vietnamese Dong but it will be converted into US Dollars. It is interesting to see how far my money will get me. I wonder if I will have to get a Vietnamese bank account while I am there. I will have to email Rebecca and ask her.

Doing the Vietnam Internship?!

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Well, I am all excited (again!) about an Internship programme organised by i-to-i TEFL; but this time it it all about the Vietnam Internship it is cheaper than the China Internship; which makes life a little easier for me; as I will not need to save as much money. The lovely Rebecca; one of the Advisers at i-to-i, has been very helpful. I had so many questions about the Internship; from flights, accommodation, food and the actual cost. she answered all the questions bar one – the flights! I was wondering which airport to fly into; however, I would not know until I had been accepted onto the Internship. *Thumbs up*

AviosI have been very cheeky and I have already been watching some of the flights to Vietnam from the UK. I have been saving my AirMiles (they are now called Avios points) for a while and I am at 17,420 points. I just hope that I can use them to get to Vietnam. I want to save as much cash as I can!

Things to do

I have created a HUGE “Things To Do” List; which is a massive list of things I need to do to make this trip a reality. However; there is only one person I need to persuade (or tell) and that is my mother. I think that she is worried that I will not be able to cope; afford or even enjoy being away from her (and the rest of my family). I have also contacted the boss of my current job and inquired about having a Sabbatical for the time I would be in Vietnam; however, the place where I am working is about to go through a major re-structuring process and no one knows what it is going to be like in August 2015. I will have to wait until December this year to find out more. I will keep you all posted about that. I know that teaching English is the next step for me and I have to stop thinking about it and just do it!

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I have finally started the Teaching Business English module and surprisingly I am enjoying it. However; i-to-i have a new teaching platform and my new modules (Business English and Korea) are on this new platform whereas my ‘older’ modules are on the old platform. It gets very confusing sometimes.I am in two minds about doing the Advanced Grammar course as it is the next level after my Grammar Awareness Course (which I need to remind myself to re-read before I even start any teaching). I know that whatever modules I complete with i-to-i with increase my chances of achieving a teaching post; I just need the experience. I know that completing the Internship, I will gain the experience and confidence to teaching anywhere.

I am still a little down after the MEDDEAS application; but there is a silver lining (ooh…an idiom to add to the list) which comes in the form of the Vietnam Internship. I just need to get my arse in gear. The lovely Rebecca sent me an email with some links and I thought that I would share them with you.

Camilla went on the Vietnam Internship in 2012. Her posts on the Chalkboard are very interesting. She is also a Featured Writer on the i-to-i Blog

The Very First Vietnam Internship was a blog post; where Camilla was interviewed about her time in Vietnam.

TTV Vietnam Internship – What’s It Like?!; another blog post about the Internship. There is also a video on the post; but I thought that I would post it straight here:

Annabelle’s blog – Do They Have Earl Grey Tea in Vietnam?

Because I am SUPER EXCITED (sorry for the caps) I now need to work through my “Things To Do” list and get the pennies in! I am now wondering if any of you lovely people who are followers of my blog; could help me with this Vietnam dream of mine? Please can you all head over to any (or all) of these online shops and see if there is anything that takes your fancy. There are going to be many things being uploaded in the next few weeks.

Etsy: Handmade Crafts & Cards

eBay: Cards Of All Types

Vinted – here is where I am selling my ‘pre-loved’ clothes and accessories

Internships?!

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I recently applied for a job at my former University as a member of the teaching staff; my degree is in British Sign Language and I thought that this would be a brilliant opportunity to get some cash together and gain some teaching experience at the same time. Alas; it was not to be. I have not been short listed. So, back to saving for an internship. I headed over to i-to-i TEFL and had a look at the internship page; this is what greeted me:

internship info

How exciting right? I contacted i-to-i TEFL and I am waiting to hear back from them. I am wondering if this is possible; I would love to know how much the 50% is as the last time I spoke to i-to-i the price was about £995 (and something) for just the internship. This is due to me completing so many module…I really want this now.

You may have all noticed that there is a new banner here on my page – Forever Living; well ladies and gents I have started as a Distributor of their wonderful products. I will be able to take the business with me when I teach abroad.

Another income will not hurt me; will it?

Completed another Specialist Module…

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Well, I have completed another Specialist Module from i-to-i!! I have finished the Teaching in Spain Specialist Module; so I am now up to 110 hours (if I have worked it out properly). I have been thinking about what I am going to do when my mum retires…I want to save her as much money as possible and TEFLing around the world sounds like an amazing thing to do and save her money at the same time; as I will be living in another country.

As mum retires in April; I could apply for an internship through i-to-i. There are many places I would like to visit: China, Poland, Thailand and Vietnam. These are the places where i-to-i have internships in.

China is not until August 2014; the monthly allowance is 2,000RMB (which is about 202 GBP) but before I even start the internship I would have to budget 2,400RMB (about 242 GBP) for visa costs; however there will be a 2,500 RMB (about 252 GBP) bonus from the school at the end of the internship. So far so good…but I don’t know if I would work for 202 GBP each month. The cost of living is low in China and I would be all okay with that; as I would bring “British” things with me (like pain killers and tea bags) and only ask mum to send over some other items every now and again. However; I don’t need a degree for this internship, but if I was to apply for a job in China I would definitely need my degree then.

Five and half months in Poland sounds more my things; as it is a short flight and I could still talk to my family on the phone or over Skype. A living allowance of 7500 Polish Zlotys (which is about 760 GBP) split into 5 monthly instalments, and receive a 1000 PLN (100 GBP approx) bonus from the school at the end of the internship. I have been to Poland before with University and I would love to go back again. Five and half months away is not that much; I would gain experience and I would be able to apply for jobs further afield. I have been trying to learn Polish while I am working at my current job – it is difficult as I can only listen (“learn”) at the weekend. A private room in a shared apartment does sound appealing though…24/7 support in the country is also something that I would love as if I had any problems I would go straight to them.

 

  • A reputable teaching placement set up for you You’ll be placed with at least one other intern in your area
  • A monthly spending allowance for your living expenses You’ll receive a 12,000 Thai Baht every month as a living allowance. You’ll also receive a completion bonus of 5,000 THB at the end of the program
  • Accommodation provided You’ll live in a private bedroom in shared accommodation
  • Full in-country support With airport pickup and transfers, a full orientation upon arrival and a school contact to help you get settled, you’ll get all the support you need from the minute your plane touches down!
  • Fantastic 6-day orientation Your chance to mingle with other interns, enjoy a welcome dinner and a Thai cultural show, learn some basic Thai phrases and try some Thai dancing lessons!
  • City tour of Bangkok Visit some of the Key temples in this bustling city, combined with an afternoon in Khaosan Road

This is something more my thing; but I do not know if my mum could handle me being over there…I would be careful of the food but then that can happen anywhere…

  • A reputable internship setup for you 3.5 – 4 months teaching in Vietnam and heaps of practical teaching experience
  • In-country support + local support This is where you’ll see the benefit of travelling on an internship program. TTV are there to support you throughout your placement. You’ll also have a local contact at your school to help you with any issues
  • Monthly spending allowance You’ll receive a monthly allowance of 6million Dong + a further 6million Dong bonus from your school at the end of your internship. This allowance will be prorated (e.g. if you were to work half a month, for example, you’ll receive half a month’s allowance). It’s important to note that the cost of living in Vietnam is considerably lower than that in Western parts of the world – a bottle of mineral water can cost less than 10,000 Dong
  • Accommodation You’ll have a private room in a shared apartment with your fellow interns.
  • Comprehensive one-week orientation in Vietnam TTV will run you through the essentials of living and teaching in Vietnam, including in-depth presentations and workshops to ensure you’re ready to start teaching in Vietnam. TTV will also provide you with all of your meals during this period
  • 2 days of practical TEFL training When you arrive in Vietnam, i-to-i will provide you with the 20-hour Classroom Course during your orientation program – this way you can be sure that these essential, practical skills stay fresh in your mind!
  • Fun Vietnamese lessons You’ll have conversational Vietnamese lessons during your orientation to give you basic language skills to enjoy day-to-day life in Vietnam
  • Explore Vietnam – On arrival in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, you’ll go on a tour of the city with our TTV partners! After your tour you’ll also have one free afternoon to explore – use your time to discover yummy Vietnamese street food and explore the bustling Asian streets – or if you’d prefer you can join our staff on a visit to a local market. If you’re still not tired then get ready for the evening entertainment ‘Vietnam style’, it’s the perfect chance to get to know the other interns (and make some good friends)!
  • Airport pick up and transfers to your school
  • Visa assistance TTV will help arrange your visa.
  • A network of new friends You’ll be joined by interns from the USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Europe, and you’ll also definitely be placed with at least one other intern so you’re not on your own – unless you want to be!

Important Visa Information:

You’ll enter Vietnam on a 3 month single-entry visa, for which TTV will send you a letter of invitation from the department of immigration which you print off and bring with you.

You’ll present this letter upon arrival and pay between US-$45-$50 in cash for your landing visa.

After 3 months, your visa will be extended in-country through sponsorship by your TTV program in association with the Ministry of Education and each participating school. The visa extension and work permit cost is US $350. This is payable in cash on arrival in Vietnam during orientation week.

You’ll also need to budget US$150 – $200 to have your documents notarised in your home country before arriving into Vietnam.

Sadly; the additional payments are something I would not be fully happy about. I would sell a lot of my things here in the UK; which I have already done…

What do you all think??