Reports from the Field

7 Things to Consider Before Teaching Abroad

Cambodia-Teaching


By: Mikayla Colthirst-Reid | Posted on: 19 Apr 2019

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live and work in another country? Maybe you’ve got European fantasies or dreams of exploring the rich culture of Asia. Each year, many men and women pursue these dreams through teaching abroad internship opportunities. Although popular among recent college graduates looking for a gap year before planting roots and settling into long-term careers, teaching abroad can be an excellent option for anyone with a thirst for adventure, a love for travel, and a passion for working with and helping others.

For most teach abroad programs, interested individuals are asked to apply for a teaching position within the country they are hoping to work in. If you are selected, many teach abroad programs will help match you to a teaching job in your chosen country. Most programs typically expect a yearlong commitment. Much like a local teacher, individuals who teach abroad are responsible for lesson planning, grading, and interacting and communicating with students and families.

If you are interested in teaching abroad or undecided about whether or not this amazing opportunity is right for you, here are a few important things to consider:

Gain some clarity by volunteering as an ESL tutor

You’re looking for an opportunity to work abroad but you’re not totally sure if teaching will be a good fit? A great way to test the waters and see if you’d enjoy spending a year or two as an English teacher is to volunteer as an ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor in a local school district. Schools are always looking for more individuals to support their ESL populations in learning the language. This opportunity is a relatively low time commitment and will give you valuable experience working with children and stretching your teaching muscles before committing to a full-time, year-long program.

TEFL Certification is a must!

Obtaining your TEFL (Teach English As A Foreign Language) certification is a requirement for most teach abroad positions. TEFL programs require 60+ hours of course and classroom work where you learn the ins and outs of managing a classroom and teaching English as a second language. There are many avenues for obtaining your TEFL certification. Some programs offer in-person classes, while others allow you to complete the coursework online. Global Nomadic offers TEFL certification as a part of our Teach Abroad + TEFL programs. This allows you to obtain the certification you will need while exploring exciting destinations such as the jungles of Costa Rica or the beautiful city of Prague.

How much money are you hoping to make?

While most teach abroad opportunities offer salaries to their teachers, the specific amount can vary greatly depending on the country. There are also a number of startup costs, such as the TEFL certification course and travel expenses. It is highly recommended to consider your budget prior to applying for different programs. Are simply hoping to cover your living expenses while teaching abroad? Or do you have student loans or other additional payments you’ll need to make on a monthly basis?  How much weekend traveling and exploring are you hoping to do once you begin your program? Once determining your budget and how much money you actually need to make, you’ll have a better idea of which programs you should apply for.

Research many countries before choosing a program

Before selecting a particular program, take some time to look into several different countries and teaching opportunities. Each individual country and teaching program offers their own advantages, quirks, rules, and requirements. The International TEFL Academy offers country comparison charts that provide more information about the job markets in particular countries, VISA laws, average salaries and more. Choose the country and program that is the best fit for your needs.

Read your contract thoroughly…then read it again!

Before you sign your contract for a teach abroad position, make sure you read your contract carefully. Because you are contracting for a position in another country, there are many important details that you won’t typically see in a local contract. For example, is your program or new employer paying your travel expenses? If so, will they reimburse you or will they pay the upfront costs? Are you expected to find and secure your own housing or will you be living in community housing? The more carefully you read your contract, the better you will understand what exactly you are signing up for. This will likely result in greater satisfaction and appreciation of the whole teach abroad experience.

Connect with others

One of the best ways to prepare for your teaching abroad experience is to talk with others who have already done it. They can share valuable tips, such as what to pack, and other wisdom they learned through their experience and give you a better idea of what your typical day might look like. Not sure where to find people to connect with? Contact your program coordinator about an alumni network. Also, look for Facebook and other social media groups connecting TEFL teachers working in a particular country.

Brush up on English grammar rules

Most teach abroad opportunities are TEFL positions, meaning you’ll be teaching English as a second language. If English is your first language, you obviously know how to speak fluently, but do you remember all of the specific rules for sentence composition and punctuation? If you are like most adults, you probably haven’t reviewed the proper usage of a semicolon in quite some time. If you are going to effectively teach English to a group of children who are learning the language, it’s a good idea to review the basic rules and mechanics of the English language so you can truly be an “expert” when creating your lessons.

Teaching abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity! There are few other programs or internships that allow you to so fully immerse yourself in another culture. If you think you’d like the opportunity to explore another country, learn another culture, and work with some incredible kids, click here to learn more about Global Nomadic’s teach abroad opportunities.

 

Other Resources:

https://greenhearttravel.org/blog/in-france/teaching-tips-tuesday-how-to-prepare-for-your-teach-abroad-experience-before-you-go
https://www.internationalteflacademy.com/blog/bid/112400/what-are-basic-start-up-costs-for-teaching-english-abroad

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Mikayla Colthirst-Reid
Posted on: 19 Apr 2019

Mikayla is a Global Nomadic contributor of awesome and engaging content to help inform Global Nomads!

14 Budget-Friendly Travel Hacks for Millenials

14 budget friendly travel hacks for millenials


By: Mikayla Colthirst-Reid | Posted on: 19 Apr 2019

You’ve been bitten by the travel bug and you’re itching for an adventure. Maybe you’ve recently graduated and are taking some time off to explore the world before diving into your dream career. Or perhaps you’ve got some vacation days to use and are hoping to plan your ideal trip. If you’re anything like most people, there is no shortage in the list of places that you’d like to visit. There are plenty of destinations that sound appealing, but despite the dreams of faraway places and the desire to explore, you haven’t planned your trip yet…why not?

For many people, the logistics of planning, and yes, financing a trip can be overwhelming. You may be wondering, “Where do I begin?” or “Is my dream of traveling even possible?” This can feel especially daunting for young adults who probably aren’t making six-figure salaries yet and are slowly paying down student loan debt.

Although it may feel like an impossible dream, traveling in your twenties and thirties is not only possible but can also be affordable! Here are our top hacks to make planning your ideal vacation easier and more affordable.

  • Take Advantage of Travel Programs for Young Adults If you are interested in traveling with a group, organizations such as Under 30 Experiences offer travel packages specifically designed for young adults. The itinerary and budgets for these trips are created with the young traveler in mind. It’s a great way to meet new people, explore new places, and enjoy a fantastic vacation without needing to plan each detail yourself!

  • Apply For Paid Internships If you are looking to travel abroad, look into paid internship opportunities. Many internship programs cover your living expenses or even offer salaries, stipends or honorariums. For example, Global Nomadic’s Teach Abroad and China Au Pair programs offer paid placements that give you the option to spend a significant amount of time immersing yourself in another culture and exploring new cities while working for a salary.

  • Compare Flights It’s common knowledge that you should always compare flight prices before booking your ticket, especially if you are planning your trip on a budget. Sites such as momondo.com and skyscanner.com allow you to compare ticket prices from all major airlines, giving you the ability to book the most affordable ticket.
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  • Search for Airfare Using An Incognito Browser When using a typical web browser, websites are collecting cookies, meaning they record the information you search. When a particular flight is searched for multiple times, airlines begin to consider this flight to be in high demand. Consequently, airlines will raise their ticket prices. Using an incognito browser does not allow airline websites to track your searches and or raise their ticket prices based on your interest.
  • Use “Spot” to Find Restaurants and Dining Options While you are probably familiar with “Yelp”, a website and app designed to give you information about local restaurants, you may be less familiar with the “Spot” app. Unlike Yelp, which relies primarily on subjective customer reviews, Spot is a free app that combines information from Zagat and other expert publications in addition to customer reviews. This provides you with the most well-rounded information about local restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and more.

  • The “Gametime” App Makes Planning Activities Simple It’s all about experiences. If you find yourself with a free evening on your vacation and looking for something to do, Gametime is an app that allows you to purchase last minute and discounted tickets to local sporting events, concerts, and shows. It’s an easy and affordable way to fill your trip with fun activities and lasting memories.

  • Don’t Book Hotels in High Tourist Areas There is a reason they are called “tourist traps”. In most cities, there is typically an area that has the greatest concentration of tourist attractions and activities. For example, when visiting New York City, Times Square is filled with attractions to occupy the countless tourists that fill its streets. These areas are also where you will find the most expensive hotels. When visiting a popular tourist destination, book your hotel outside of the most touristy parts of the city. You’ll likely find a hotel with just as many amenities and luxuries as you would in the center of the main tourist area, but for a much better price.

  • Choose Restaurants Outside of Touristy Areas Just like hotels, restaurants found in the center of tourist areas are often significantly more expensive than those found just outside of the main area of attraction. When you choose restaurants outside of the tourist traps, not only are you getting better prices, but you’ll probably find yourself sitting the “local favorite.” In many cases, the restaurants favored by the local population have better food and a more enjoyable atmosphere than the expensive, touristy alternatives.

  • Create A Monthly Savings Goal The number one reason people don’t pursue their dreams of traveling is feeling intimidated by the upfront cost of travel. Once you’ve done a little bit of research on your ideal trip, you should have a pretty good idea of what the overall cost will be. Even when utilizing all of the budget-friendly tools and hacks, traveling costs money and it’s a good idea to save ahead of time.

Take your estimated total cost and divide it by the number of months you have to save.

For example, if your trip to Ireland is going to cost you $1500 and you have 12 months to save, your monthly savings goal would be $125. $125 can feel like a more manageable and less overwhelming number, making you less likely to give up your plans before you’ve even started saving.

  • Travel Over Long Weekends If you don’t have the vacation days or can’t afford to take a full week or two for traveling, take advantage of long weekends. There is a lot you can see and accomplish in three or four days. Choose a destination and top five attractions or activities you’d like to experience on your mini-trip. Traveling over long weekends also allows for more frequent trips throughout the year, as you aren’t requesting as much time off work.

  • Travel During The “Off-Season” Many destinations have a peak travel season when they welcome the majority of their visitors. During these times, activities and restaurants are more crowded, hotels are harder to book, and just about everything is more expensive. Instead of traveling during peak tourist season, avoid the crowds and save some money visiting cities during their “off-season”.

  • Stay in Hostels Popular throughout Europe, these dorm style rooms give travelers a cheaper option for traveling. Hostels offer more affordable prices than most hotels, rental homes, and condos. They are also an excellent place to meet other like-minded travelers.

  • Skip the Souvenirs Although the idea of purchasing t-shirts sporting famous landmarks, or Eiffel Tower snow globes for each of your family members and closest friends may sound alluring, for the sake of your traveling budget, forego the overpriced souvenirs. Instead, take lots of photos and splurge on an experience or two that you’ll always remember.

  • Book In Advance Whether considering plane tickets or searching for hotels rooms, the prices for each component of your trip are likely to skyrocket as you approach your departure date. The earlier you are able to book your trip, the better. You’ll find better deals and be able to create a more seamless travel itinerary if you give yourself some time to arrange the details.

These travel hacks should give you a starting place for planning a trip that is both exciting and affordable. If you’re someone with a desire to travel and a list of places you’d like to visit, choose a destination and get planning! Check out Global Nomadic’s open project opportunities for destination inspiration: https://globalnomadic.com/project-search/

 

Resources:
https://articles.aplus.com/a/travel-hacks-for-20-somethings
https://www.under30experiences.com/blog/how-to-crush-travel-goals-a-guide-for-millennials https://www.hostelworld.com/blog/travel-on-a-budget/
https://www.under30experiences.com/trips/starter-costa-rica

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Mikayla Colthirst-Reid
Posted on: 19 Apr 2019

Mikayla is a Global Nomadic contributor of awesome and engaging content to help inform Global Nomads!

Five Ways International Work Experience Can Help You Land a Non-profit Job

5 ways international work experience


By: Mikayla Colthirst-Reid | Posted on: 19 Apr 2019

For those with a passion for a cause, a career in the not for profit space might be a clear cut and obvious path. In fact, in recent years, the desire for meaningful positions in nonprofits has been on the rise among new graduates. The trouble is, with so much competition in the for profit and charities alike, it can be difficult to stand out in a sea of resumes from qualified applicants.

So when it seems like thousands of people are vying for the same jobs as you, what’s the best way for you to stand out and shine as a candidate that’s a cut above the rest?

At Global Nomadic, we’ve noticed that gaining international work experience through volunteer placements and internships can help boost a CV and something not for profit employers love to see.

Here are five reasons why gaining work or volunteer experience abroad can help strengthen your job applications and secure your chances of a great start in a not for profit career.

  1. You’ll have a more Global Perspective

Even if the position you’re applying for is in your home country, many NGOs operate in multiple countries around the world (E.g. World Vision, International Justice Mission, and Doctors Without Borders just to name a few). For this reason, your charity of choice might look more favourably on candidates who have some travel experience under their belt and have had an opportunity to be exposed to different countries, cultures, and customs. To work with clients and colleagues around the globe, one needs to be globally minded and have an appreciation for different perspectives. (Bonus: You’ll likely pick up some basic proficiency in a foreign language during your stay!)

Get one step closer to being a model global citizen with an international placement opportunity! Search and apply here: https://globalnomadic.com/professional-internships/

2. You’ll Be Able to Thrive in New and Uncertain Environments

Travel Journalism in South Africa

Packing up and moving to an unfamiliar place (even if just for a few weeks or months) is the ultimate exercise in adaptability and a great way to demonstrate to any potential non-profit employer that you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone. Just make sure to include this on your resume in a way that highlights how you overcame the challenges of a new environment and how this experience is transferrable to any hurdles you might face in your potential new role.

Want to thrive outside of your comfort zone? Explore an international internship with a Global Nomadic project partner! Apply here: https://globalnomadic.com/professional-internships/

3. You’ll Have Cross-cultural Networking Skills

HUman Rights project in Guatemala 00

A huge benefit of travelling abroad is meeting other people from all around the world. Having a global network of colleagues at your fingertips can not only add to the value you bring to a non-profit organization and provide you with the skills you need to manage relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders, but those global connections will serve you in your career in the long run. Just be sure you’re contributing to these relationships equally so that the network remains mutually beneficial. This means taking the time to share valuable resources, offer referrals and stay in touch on a regular basis instead of only reaching out when you need a favour.

Ready to build your global network? Take the first step with an international volunteer placement: https://globalnomadic.com/professional-internships/

 

4. Employers Like Well-Rounded People

Nicaragua-paid-teaching

Even if your internships aren’t all directly related to the positions you’re applying for, having experience working abroad can demonstrate to potential employers that you’re open-minded and able to integrate well into a variety of work environments– ideal for many non-profit positions that typically expect their employees to be multi-faceted, wear several hats on the job and pitch in wherever is needed. Being willing to go beyond the status quo and jump headlong into projects that may not be exactly what you’re officially trained in is a highly valued trait in the not for profit world!

Enrich your life and CV with a diverse global experience! Search and apply for a Global Nomadic placement abroad today: https://globalnomadic.com/professional-internships/

5. You’ll Be More Resourceful

Guatemala: Medical and Healthcare Project

Travelling abroad for an internship or volunteer position– especially as a recent graduate or summer — often entails figuring out logistics such as financing and budgeting– skills that are critical in any full-time job. Many not-for-profits rely on grants and donors to keep operations moving, and are often far more limited with their resources than their for-profit counterparts. Being able to think creatively about problem solving (even if that problem is figuring out how to survive a move across the globe with just one bag and a passport) will win you major points on your job applications.

 

Want to cultivate more resourcefulness and creativity for future employers? Learn to think outside the box with a challenging international placement! Apply today: https://globalnomadic.com/professional-internships/

Whether you’re just starting out your career or pivoting from a previous vocation, breaking into the not for profit world can be challenging if your applications blend in too easily with the rest. As careers in non-profits become more desirable (i.e. competitive), completing a volunteer placement or internship abroad can help you get the exposure you need to stand out as a candidate when it comes to landing a role in a not for profit that is both fulfilling and tailored to your area of expertise.  

Ready to start your journey abroad? Check out Global Nomadic’s opportunities page for current internships and volunteer placements: https://globalnomadic.com/project-search/

 

Sources:

https://casefoundation.org/blog/pros-and-cons-working-nonprofit-sector/

https://idealistcareers.org/top-nonprofits-look-job-applicants/

https://talentegg.ca/incubator/2009/07/09/what-travel-means-for-students-and-new-grads-in-the-current-job-market/

https://talentegg.ca/incubator/2012/12/19/prepare-career-nonprofit-sector/

 

 

 

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Mikayla Colthirst-Reid
Posted on: 19 Apr 2019

Mikayla is a Global Nomadic contributor of awesome and engaging content to help inform Global Nomads!

8 Unique Environmental Internship opportunities to take advantage of Right Now

Re-wilding Namibia


By: Mikayla Colthirst-Reid | Posted on: 19 Apr 2019

If you’re a new graduate with a passion for saving the planet, an environmental internship or volunteer placement abroad might be the right next step for you. Global Nomadic partners with some incredible organizations who are working diligently to protect the earth’s resources. Here are seven of the most exciting environmental and conservation internship opportunities you can take advantage of right now:

  1. Malawi: Environmental Conservation Internship

Veterinary Internship in Malawi

 

There are many incredible reasons to visit Malawi– friendly people, stunning scenery, rich culture. However, Malawi is also home to poverty, deforestation and a degrading environment. This internship will provide an opportunity for participants to work with one of our trusted NGO partners to address issues of both social welfare and environmental conservation. Apply to this project to build a range of skills across several conservation disciplines and gain both “sanctuary and “field” experience.

2. Ecuador: Amazonian Forest Foods and Culinary Arts

Ecuador-Amazon-food-internship

Got a passion for the culinary arts? Learn first hand in this unique culinary internship how to make the most of mother nature with sustainable food and farming in the Amazon rainforest. You’ll be placed with a farming family in a community that is working to bring traditional forest food into the mainstream so that locals and visitors alike will come to appreciate the natural abundance that the Amazon has to offer. Bonus– You’ll also be able to participate in traditional Amazonian activities, like trekking waterfalls and making chocolate from fresh cacao!

3. Costa Rica: Conservation Education and Research Internship

Costa Rica environmental development programme

Located on a private nature reserve in rural Costa Rica, this project is a great match if you’re looking for a more challenging and immersive experience. The Conservation Education and Research Internship is part of a project dedicated to teaching visitors more about the local wildlife and environment. Your placement will provide hands-on academic research training, will give you the opportunity to not only support studies by respected scientists from around the world, but also a chance to potentially take lead on your own smaller projects.

4. St Eustatius (Caribbean): Botanical Garden Environmental Conservation

botanical-garden-Internship

Everyone loves and appreciates the Caribbean for it’s stunning beaches, year-round tropical climate, and lush landscapes. Caribbean ecosystems are critical to the well-being of island economies and local populations, yet they are under threat and many are in decline as a result of water pollution and climate change. Join a team of experienced professionals at St. Eustatius National parks for a short term project that will give you the opportunity to help preserve vital land and marine protected areas for the benefit of future generations.

5. Peru: Renewable Energy Development

renewable energy internship

In this sustainable development internship, you’ll be working with an NGO partner that is committed to investing in and improving the quality of life for poor Peruvian coastal communities that have fallen prey to uncontrolled tourism for over a decade. Through projects focused on education, infrastructure, environment and sustainability, you’ll gain valuable insights and learn first-hand the foundational principles of managing a non-profit in a developing region.

7. New Zealand: Off-grid Environmental Conservation

New-zealand-project

Looking to experience that minimalist, disconnected lifestyle? Unplug with this off-grid environmental conservation project in Northland, New Zealand. You’ll work with a partner organization built on sustainable principles and help to protect, monitor and restore the lush surrounding forest and monitor the wildlife that call the forest home. Volunteers help to create access trail, protect native forest species from invasive species. With the internship option, you’ll also learn how to set-up a similar non-profit from design and accounting to marketing strategies.

8. Namibia: Re-wilding Environmental Project

Re-wilding Environmental Development Project in Namibia

Discover southern Africa with an exciting project that offers exposure the vast wildlife of the Namibian ecosystem and the opportunity to work alongside a team to protect and conserve it. The project site is home to some of the most iconic species of plants and animals– the African leopard, the Greater Kudu, Caracal, Hoey badeter and quiver tree to name a few! If you’re an aspiring and adventurous naturalist who wants to focus on science, conversation and leadership skills, this wilderness experience might be the perfect opportunity for you!

Looking for amazing internship or volunteer opportunities around the world? Check out the rest of our available projects at https://globalnomadic.com/.

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Mikayla Colthirst-Reid
Posted on: 19 Apr 2019

Mikayla is a Global Nomadic contributor of awesome and engaging content to help inform Global Nomads!