Teaching in Colombia

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Teaching in Colombia

My name is Jack and I'm 25 years old. Before venturing into the world of TEFL, I was working a bland 9 to 5 job in Preston (a modest city up in the north of England).

Whilst I could've travelled without a TEFL, the teaching was the icing on the cake.

It was September 2015 when I made the decision to complete the TEFL course. The reason for this was that I had long-term plans to start a PHD in September 2017 and I felt that I would have ample to time to achieve my dreams of exploring Colombia before getting settled in the 'real world'. I'd heard great things about The TEFL Academy, so they were a natural choice for me, particularly as they offered a combination of both face-to-face and online learning.

Over a year later since September 2015, I sit here back in Preston having completed the TEFL course and have fulfilled my dream of travelling and teaching in Colombia for the past few months. An experience I will never forget. Whilst I could have travelled without a TEFL qualification, the teaching was the icing on the cake. From getting comically growled out by the school dog in the middle of teaching a class, to judging the local schools karaoke competition, there were so many unforgettable classroom situations. I now plan to teach English in Vietnam later next year once I have saved up a bit more money.

Now for a brief summary of Colombia. The culture out there is something that has to be experienced, as words cannot describe how warming, yet (overly) laid back the Colombian culture is. There were times when I was scratching my head contemplating why I had travelled to Colombia: delays, delays, delays are a common feature as Colombians usually operate on what is commonly known as 'Colombian time'. This was no different in the classroom as students, and even teachers, were late or did not show up. Nevertheless, the charm of Colombia certainly outweighs the chaos. The helpful and happy locals, the wonderful landscapes, the shorts weather, and salsa-filled nightlife were all characteristics of this unique country.

My advice for anyone wanting to teach English overseas would be to do your research on where in the world you want to teach as this will make it easier to narrow down the specific teaching job you want. Another piece of advice would be not to worry about 'age'. People on the same cohort as me in Colombia ranged from aged 19 to 55 years old, so age is certainly no issue. And my final and most important piece of advice would be, quite simply, just do it. You will not regret it.

Whilst I could've travelled without a TEFL, the teaching was the icing on the cake.

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