When I tell people about my “future” job profession, I always get asked these questions: How many languages do you need to know for that? Are you sure want to teach one of the most difficult languages known to man? (My eyes roll every time I hear that one) How do you teach English to beginners? However, my favorite question that I get asked, and love answering has to be: What countries do you want to teach in? I always reply with the response “anywhere and everywhere. “
Maybe it was the travel bug that bit me in 2012 after spending a month in Costa Rica, but I love changing my daily “American” routine and experiencing how things are done in other cultures. Unlike most travelers who only experience the culture briefly when they reach their destination, I get to fully experience it. I have been teaching English in Romania; however, I teach at a Hungarian school. The other night I was invited by one of the English teachers to attend an end of the school year performance. Unlike your average school performance, there was not only singing, but also beautiful dance numbers, which included tango dancing and traditional Hungarian dancing. It was inspiring to see young adults still be true to their culture’s traditions and their desire to continue it for years to come. This is hard to come across with today’s modern society, especially in our future generations. Each time I am abroad, the experience changes me and shapes into a better person than I was before I left. It’s not only just the country and its culture that helps shape me into the person I am today, it’s the people I encounter that have the most impact on me, especially my students. My students inspire me to learn more about this world and travel to places I never considered before teaching them. If you’re a traveling ELL teacher too, you’ll know it’s better to ask your students where to visit when you’re new to a country. They’re better than any travel guide source you’ll come across. Besides being a great resource of destinations to travel, my students challenge me to think outside of the box and help me to become a better teacher. I am always coming up with new ways to make English language learning more meaningful and creative while still being respectful to their culture. I find that the uniqueness of your own culture is better put into perspective when it is compared to that of a foreign society; this allows you to more fully realize who you are and where you come from. Home will always be home, but the world is too big for me to stay in one place.