It was simply a change of lifestyle. And feeling a sense of self-gratification from a job that also allowed me to grow as a person, as well as a sustainable wage. Plus, having a qualification which will allow me to open a whole new spectrum of doors. You could start off as a teacher and end up doing something even more diverse, once you get your foot in the door!
Umar has lead an extraordinary life. But never in his wildest dreams did he imagine ending up living where he is! Nor doing what he's doing!
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
Ninja Teacher provided me with the TESOL certification and also guided me through the step by step process of having it authenticated. I did have to get a copy of my degree, arrange the tourist visa and get the criminal record check done myself, but Ninja Teacher guided me the whole way.
Also, accommodation was booked by myself, but I was advised of areas to scout out for. The most important thing I was assisted on was the job placement and arranging job interviews.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
You will enter the course as a stranger but leave with a family.
There's a strong sense of comradery and a sense of belonging. Everyone will give you different advice about the course, but it is for you to witness on your own. You will also gain strong alumni who regularly meet throughout the month.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
It is a highly intensive course. And is manic from the get-go.
You have observations by the end of the week or the start of week 2. You have continual activities, and then your own group and peer assessment by week 3. But it manages to stay fun along the way.
Daily the classes tend to be structured from 9-5 like a school.
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 was not managing to settle in and feeling homesick.
I definitely have settled in as it was just a matter of getting my bearings. You can not completely eradicate homesickness, but you will form a strong bond with your class-fellows, which will help alleviate it.
I also feel at home now!
Is there any other advice for prospective travelers?
Prospective travelers will definitely want to know that Vietnam is probably at a peak in terms of value for money right now. It is the best time to get the most from your currency back home.
I do not have one favourite story as there are so many. But, I would like to say it is funny how every ex-pat teacher seems to be connected to Ninja Teacher in some way or another!