Alumni Spotlight: Janelle Litos

Janelle studied Philosophy at New York University. In her 4th semester at NYU, she lived in Abu Dhabi where she was studying abroad. Thanks to Teaching Nomad, Janelle has found a job teaching English to children in southern China. She absolutely loves it! In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking, reading, watching t.v. shows, and exploring new places.

Riding a bike in China

Why did you choose this program?

I chose Teaching Nomad because of the plethora of places around the world they work with and because of their apparent willingness to help ANYONE find a job suited for them and their comfort level. They reached out to me immediately after I expressed interest and put me in touch with my own personal representative.

In addition to the fact that Teaching Nomad seemed so helpful, I also liked that they have their own TEFL course that, if you accept a teaching job with them, you will be refunded for. Pretty cool.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My program provider assisted me with everything as far as getting a job with an English school abroad went. My representative, Priya, walked me through the interview process, assisted me in signing up for a TEFL course, and collected all the materials needed for my applications.

She presented me with several schools in a couple of different locations that she thought would be good for me. Once I interviewed and received offers, she was there to help me make my decision. When I accepted a job, I primarily worked with the school I accepted a position with in order to get my visa and to prepare for my move.

However, Priya continued to check in with me via e-mail, and I know I could have reached out to her for anything I needed help with, and in fact still can reach out to her. Now that I am living and working in China, I still hear from her and would feel comfortable reaching out to her if I needed.

Additionally, I get invited by Teaching Nomad to teacher get to togethers in Shanghai. Though I am in a city south of Shanghai, I very much appreciate the invites and know I would be welcome if I ever decided to bolt up to Shanghai for a couple of days.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Honestly, everything went so smoothly for me.

Between Teaching Nomad and the school I am working for, securing a job and preparing for the journey was a walk in the park.

To anyone thinking about teaching English abroad, do your research, find out where you think you'd like to be, and the rest is easy. Don't worry about the process of finding a job and the interview. Once you know you want to go abroad, just go for it! You won't regret it.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

At the school I am working at, I work Wednesday through Friday 4 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. About 15 hours of that is teaching and the rest is planning. The rest of the time I can completely devote to exploring my city (shops, restaurants, bars, parks, and so much more) and hanging out with new friends.

All the teachers at all the branches of the school I work for are on the same schedule which means it's really easy to make plans together. We usually ALL get together at least once on the weekend for drinks or karaoke, or even just dinner., and the teachers at my branch get together at least a couple of times a week.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was actually the teaching. As much as I loved working with children and even had experience doing it, being responsible for teaching them the English language seemed like a challenge. The training provided by my school, however was amazing.

They started me off super slow. I was given time to observe classes as well as team teach, and there were a ton of reading resources given to me on my first day. In addition to that, my coworkers are incredibly helpful, and happy to give advice or ideas when I'm planning classes.