Alumni Spotlight: Joanna Twardowska


She was born in Poland and always wanted to become a teacher like her mother and teach English with passion, because her father always had lessons with Specious ones. After finishing the teacher training college and MA in English Philology, she started living her dream 9 years ago, and it still goes on.

Why did you choose this program?

After many years of teaching practice in many schools, I have noticed that the world has changed and some of my methods have become outdated. Neither I nor my students didn't know what is missing in my classes; that is why I have decided to come back to the basics and my old dream: to do a new international certificate. One of my schools showed me your program and I knew I couldn't wait any longer.

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

I had an opportunity to do my teaching practice at my school with some students from Europe and I didn't have to organize it on my own. I have received a nice discount to do two very good courses and they gave me so much time to finish them. I really wanted to finish the theoretical courses ASAP and they allowed me to do it too.

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

I wish I had done this course years ago instead of putting it on my "to-do list". If your dream is to teach abroad, you love working with people and you need very practical experience, just do it. It is a good idea to start a new experience away from your environment. I feel like I have learned a lot from my students.

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

I guess that it really depends on your program provider.

Some schools offer remote teaching practice; you just have to be in front of your computer at peak hours.

Going overseas is the same: you just live in that particular timezone for some time and have face to face contact with both other teachers and students.

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

Homesickness, because you miss your friends and family members when you are really far away. It was the same feeling when I started living alone just after my BA in teaching.

The times changed and now you can stay in touch with your loved ones through Skype, WhatsApp, etc., and involve yourself in local activities to keep your mind busy.

Was culture shock really that bad experience?

I have always admired my English teachers for having an open mind when they were telling us about meeting new people. Interacting with locals made me super nervous in the beginning, but then I tried to be curious, not judgmental and it turned out making friends abroad is not different than in my own city.