Alumni Spotlight: Jennifer Dickinson

Jennifer started her college life as a Art student in the foothills of The Blue Ridge Mountains at North Georgia College in Dahlonega. She later finished her BA in History and English at Kennesaw State outside of Atlanta. After almost 30 years of teaching in the elementary classroom, she has combined her love of art, history, and language by coming to the city of 1000 spires, to be a TEFL teacher.

Why did you pick this program?

Jennifer Dickinson

"I first came to Prague shortly after the Velvet Revolution and I have been here many times since. So, the location for my tefl training was set. I just had to find a school. After a lot of investigation on the web, I chose The Language House.

I found many positive reviews of the program and I liked the fact that the school offered a lot of teaching practice as part of the training. It was also very evident that the Language House had fostered a real sense of community here in Prague. I also found the visa advice for non EU citizens very appealing."

What do you wish someone had told you before you went abroad?

Only, that it is much easier than you think, so just do it. I wish I had had the courage to make the leap sooner. I have been teaching abroad since 2006. Prague is my third city.

I started my overseas adventure in Vienna at an English summer camp. I made contacts there that led to a job in Abu Dhabi. And, now I am here in Prague launching my life as a free lance English teacher.

So, I wish someone had encouraged me to give it a go earlier. In almost a decade of living and working overseas, I have rarely met anyone who regretted their decision to make the move.

What is the most important thing you learned abroad?

Jennifer Dickinson caricature

How similar we all are. I think people who don't travel outside their home countries would be surprised at how much we all have in common. I don't want to sound too sappy but I do think if people travel more we would have a more peaceful world.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

"Of course, the first thing I tell people is to give it a go. It is great. Then I really try to urge people to be gracious travelers. Tolerance, patience, respect, and humility are my guide words as I travel.

I have found that the people who have had negative experiences overseas are those who bring a superior attitude with them. If you bring a gracious spirit to the experience, you will be surprised how kind and helpful people are. And, keep a sense of humor about the whole thing. You will get things wrong but if you stay patient and jolly it is a wonderful life."

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

Jennifer Dickinson architecture

Prague is a really fun place to be and the party scene is very alluring. The Language House has a really great sense of community and you will make a lot of friends. But, it is a really intense course and you will spend a lot of time teaching, which is invaluable but also stressful.

Just try to balance your social time here in Prague with giving yourself time to study and prepare lessons. If you plan to stay and teach you will need to find that balance. So, start on the right foot when you begin the training.