Alumni Spotlight: Lena Hunt

Lena Hunt is an English Language Teacher, who has been living and working in the Czech Republic for almost a year. She has a background in biology and science education from the USA, and enjoys creating dynamic lessons for children and adults.

Photos

Why did you choose this program?

At the time, I was seriously studying French and wanted to teach English in France. I already had teaching experience, but I still needed a TEFL certificate.

I had recently finished working at one job and had two months before my next job started, and decided it would be a good time to get my certificate. I looked at a few programs in Europe, but the Prague program was the only one that had an opening during my time off, so I decided to go there on a whim. I read reviews for The Language House and they were overwhelmingly positive, so I took a chance.

I am really happy with my choice. It was great to go on interviews after the program and employers comment positively on The Language House being on my resume.

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

I researched and organized my time abroad independently.

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

I wish I had known how much work it was going to be. I will admit that I like to do things well, so you could probably skate by without working quite as hard, but you get out of things what you put into them.

I had planned on doing all my sightseeing while taking the course, and it quickly became obvious that there was too much to see and do in Prague to try and fit it all in while taking the course.

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

An average day in the program starts at 9 am. At first, people would wander in late, but they take punctuality quite seriously, and it was made clear that we should be ready to begin class at 9.

We had one class on teaching methods, a short break, and then another class on teaching methods. Later in the program, you could take classes that specialize in teaching young children. There was a break for lunch and planning lessons, then we did student teaching usually from 5 pm to 8 pm.

It was a very intense schedule, and weekends were spent studying grammar for the major grammar test at the end, and working on our large homework assignments.

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

My biggest fear about going abroad was not being able to make ends meet. I had originally planned only to go for a short time (enough so that I wouldn't have to work abroad), but I fell so in love with Prague that I quickly realized I needed to find a way to stay there.

I hustled hard and lined up as many interviews as I could and eventually got enough work to continue living and working in my dream city.

What surprised you about your time abroad?

I have always enjoyed learning languages, and I have studied German, French, and Spanish.

I wasn't planning on learning Czech. In fact, most Czech people will tell you not to worry about learning Czech as the pronunciation is incredibly difficult and the grammar rules are maddening. But they are a bit smug about how easy it is to learn English by comparison.

My journey with the Czech language started just to prove to my Czech friends that I could say a few things, and morphed into a full dedication to trying to learn the language. I won't pretend that I am even close to understanding everything my friends say yet, but I love the challenge. And, when taking adventures outside of Prague, having enough Czech to communicate is pretty satisfying.