I am teaching in Kuwait. The experience has been everything I expected and more. The educational culture is much different than in the USA no doubt, but deep down the goals are same: To provide an education that will give every student the best chance to succeed later in life.
I decided to teach abroad because I wanted to immerse myself in a new culture, adventure the world, and expose myself to new pedagogical thought. I always wanted to become fluent in another language and I knew teaching abroad would be a productive way of forcing me to practice and use my language skills. Furthermore, I knew living in a more globally central location would make my dreams of exploring the world much easier, especially on my bank account.
I have nothing but good things to say about Edvectus and the service they have provided me. Edvectus, and most notably my contact Jordan, were open and honest with me about the availability of jobs, the quality of the schools, and life in prospective countries. They did all the heavy lifting when it came to connecting prospective schools and interviews and even acted as my own personal advocate. It’s safe to say that it would have been much more difficult to find and obtain the job I currently have without them.
I found the information on Edvectus’ site very helpful, most notably the videos on prospective countries. It’s one thing to read articles and blogs about a place, but the visuals perhaps did the best job of preparing me for what to expect once I stepped off the airplane. Teaching abroad can be a potential scary thing, especially for those who have never lived outside of their home country, mainly due to the prospective of the unknown. Edvectus did a great job of clearing away that fog and allowing me to see that this far off place could be my home too.
First and foremost, I love my fellow teachers and administration. When transitioning to a new educational culture you never if the values that you hold so dear about education will carry weight in this new setting, luckily those concerns were put as ease very quickly here. I also enjoy the fact that even though you are restricted on the content you can cover and discuss here, there is an openness toward the process through you cover the approved material. Meaning, I have been able to experiment with new educational techniques on a frequent basis, further growing my pedagogical skill base.
My best advice for those going abroad is just to accept and embrace the differences in your new culture from your old one. For example, I came from a high school, university, and teaching training program which all emphasized a sense of urgency which simply isn’t present in my new country. It was very tough for me at first adjust to this paradigm shift but once I embrace I came to understand its value in this culture and for getting most out of my students. In short, when transitioning to living abroad there will inevitably be differences in which your new culture thinks about the world. There is no need to stress over this difference, because more often than not things can and will get done despite the seemingly strange route to get there.