Alumni Spotlight: Justin Cipriano Usle


Justin Cipriano Usle has been abroad for over a year and has enjoyed the ups and downs of this lifestyle to the fullest. He enjoys being a meathead, reading Cormac McCarthy, then finding a brighter happier novel to counter it, doing different voices in pursuit of a second career reading audiobooks, and jumping off of really tall structures into oceans, lakes and rivers.

Why did you decide to get TEFL certified with TEFL International in Barcelona?

I decided that I wanted to teach abroad in Spain after talking to a friend who had recently decided to spend a year teaching in Thailand.

She recommended the same program that she had gone through which led me to get in contact with TEFL Barcelona.

After a couple discussions with the managing instructor it sounded like the place for me, a good combination of knowledgeable instruction in a positive environment.

I knew Barcelona was very international and was on the coast, which sounded preferable to me over Madrid.

What made this teach abroad experience unique and special?

Well it is still continuing now. I have come a long way from Spain as I am currently teaching in Bangkok, but I am planning to circle around and teach in Spain again in the spring of 2015.

I think that is the beauty of this job that you really have opportunities all over the world, and when you find something that suits you it can really grab hold in a good way.I know now having taught outside of Europe that it truly had a draw for me and I look forward to having it pull me back.

How has this experience impacted your future? (Personally, professionally, academically, etc.)

It is the realization of a long standing desire to see the world, and I have found a profession I enjoy that enables me to do a good service whilst enjoying the simple pleasures in life.

It has also enlightened me and retouched my own inner student as I find myself writing and reading more than I did in past years.

I know that ultimately I would like to teach adult learners full time and will be looking to do so in Spain starting next spring.

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering teaching abroad?

I would take a good look around and make sure you go somewhere that suits a variety of your interest. There is something to be said about being out of your comfort zone, but if you are planning to stay a place a year or longer, it is nice to have some things to fall back on (ie; if you really like snowboarding, go someplace where you have that opportunity relatively close).

Also be ready to adapt, because many times what you learn in TEFL will be very different from what is expected in your school or language center. It is advisable once you pick a place to practice the language before you get there as well, the locals will appreciate it and you'll discover many things that non speakers generally miss.