Alumni Spotlight: Deborah Vasconcellos

Hello, I am Deborah, a 33 year old Training & Development professional from Canada taking a sabbatical in China as an ESL Teacher.

Deborah Vasconcellos

Why did you pick this program?

When I decided to spend time abroad as an ESL Teacher, I looked for agencies to help with me the process in order to avoid scams or any sort of problem. That's when I bumped into Teaching Nomad. Sophia Isis, the recruiter, was very helpful and matched me with the position that best met my expectations.

What was the hardest part about going abroad?

In my case, the language barrier. As I don't speak Chinese, I can't leave my house without my best friend, an electronic translator. I am taking classes, but I am still a beginner, so not being able to communicate is my biggest challenge.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

"First time I went to the grocery store and saw live animals in the meat section - frogs, snakes, turtles. Fishes are also alive in a tank. I was in shock!"

Deborah China

What made this experience unique and special?

The places I've seen and the people I've met. China is a country with one of the richest history and culture, so being able to see and experience all that first-hand is priceless. Also, it wouldn't be worth it without the amazing people whom I share my time with. I've learned so much from them!

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

Keep an open mind! The cultural shock is inevitable, especially when it comes to China. However, be positive, try to learn the language and meet new people. Don't be judgmental. I think that comparing your new country to your home country is the worst mistake you can make.