Staff Spotlight: Carrie Kellenberger

Carrie Kellenberger, co-owner of Reach To Teach Recruiting, is a Canadian expat and moved to Asia in 2003. Carrie lived in Northern China for her first three years abroad before relocating to Taipei, Taiwan with her husband in 2006. Carrie still works with Reach To Teach teachers in China and Taiwan, but her primary duties at Reach To Teach are now focused on client development, marketing and advertising, and overseeing the day-to-day operations at Reach To Teach.

Why is there a sudden interest in teaching English abroad in Georgia?

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Carrie: In 2010 the Georgian Ministry of Education announced the start of the TLG program (Teach & Learn in Georgia). The program is quite ambitious, with the ultimate goal of bringing 3,000+ native English speakers to teach in Georgia! Reach To Teach has worked with the Georgian government, from the beginning of the program. To date, Reach To Teach has sent well over 100 teachers to Georgia.

The Reach To Teach teach in Georgia program has quickly become popular partially because of the benefits. Round trip airfare to Georgia is paid for by the government, housing is included and teachers are paid a monthly stipend. While teachers shouldn’t expect to save money, they should break even. That is very different than most volunteer programs, and has attracted a large number of applicants. The TLG program is selective, so teachers should be sure to put their best foot forward.

What separates the Georgia program from other teach abroad programs Reach To Teach runs?

Carrie: The TLG program is a government program, which makes it quite different from other programs Reach To Teach works with. This program is extremely important to Georgia and it’s incredibly interesting working in a developing country. The people who run the TLG program genuinely care about the English teachers they bring to the country. It feels really good to be a part of a program that is making a difference in a country like Georgia. The students you teach may have a better life because of the education you’ve helped to bring them. That’s an overwhelmingly satisfying feeling. The above said, working for the government in your home country can be bureaucratic and, at times, frustrating. Teachers should expect some of the same circumstances in Georgia.

Is it safe to teach English in Georgia?

Carrie: Yes. Overall, the crime rate in Georgia is quite low. Of course, there are unsafe neighborhoods in every country in the world! Reach To Teach always advises our teachers in Georgia to be cognizant of their surroundings. We’d much rather our teachers show extra caution when it comes to their safety! We recommend all Reach To Teach teachers travel in pairs, especially at night. Again, Georgia is a safe place and we recommend the same precautions for all Reach To Teach teachers, in every country.