I kept the plan to teach abroad a secret for quite some time. Hope told her close friends that we were planning on doing this, but I didn’t tell the majority of people I knew until about 6 weeks before the move. I didn’t want to build up hype for it, JUST IN CASE something prevented us from actually going. For those that didn’t know, our original plan was to teach in Japan. A friend of mine, Jon Hogwood (@hollywoodhogwood) was teaching over there at the time, and it seemed like the best option for us. After applying for countless jobs, Hope had a few interviews while I had only been contacted by one school.
After more research about programs to help you get a job teaching abroad, we came across LanguageCorps. Their site looked promising and they offered training in the country of your choice. Not only do they offer TESOL programs everywhere from Spain, to Vietnam, to Turkey, to Peru, they also offer lifetime job assistance in any country that they offer a program in.
After weighing our options, Vietnam seemed like the best choice. We originally signed up for the course on August 11th, but decided it would be better to get accustomed to the culture flip in SE Asia before jumping right into classes. We settled on the August 25th for class and bought a plane ticket for July 21st.
Our LanguageCorps training started in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at the Marady Hotel. Some classes were at the hotel, while others were a Pannasastra University. I didn’t realize how much went into teaching English as a foreign language until this course, but was much more prepared for it after. They cover English grammar, local customs, classroom management, local language lessons, and many other helpful things for new teachers.
One thing that made the course even better was the excursions that were included. Our first weekend, we took a bus to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples. The trip was well planned, and even though the roads got bumpy, you can’t forget that you’re in Cambodia. Oh, and the temples were pretty cool too.
The next weekend, we took a trip to Sihanoukville, a beach town in southern Cambodia. By that time, we had sat in class all day with everyone for 2 weeks straight now, so that everyone knew each other pretty well at this point. It was a rainy weekend, but Hope and I have never been big on tanning so it wasn’t a big deal. If anything, it forced the group to hang out even more.
We had a good group of people, 8 of which were heading to Thailand, 2 to China, 2 were staying in Cambodia, and 8 of us came to Vietnam. When we got to Vietnam, it was all observed teaching from here on out. We would start our day with a Vietnamese language class followed by a period of lesson planning. After lunch, each one of us would teach a class of adults for an hour and a half a day.
Every morning before class we would eat breakfast in the alley. Everyone was about the pork and rice, but I live that Banh Mi life, so I just hung out with them. Hien Ngueyn and Linh Ho were our liaisons in the Vietnam-portion of the program and did a great job. Everyone was offered a job within a couple of weeks and now we’re all working residents of HCMC.
Hope and I made a great decision choosing LanguageCorps. We made great friends, and have already done things in our lives over here that we would have never done otherwise. For everyone that has asked me about teaching abroad or would just like to know more about it, check out their website: www.LanguageCorps.com for more information.