Go Overseas: What position do you hold at Experience Teaching Abroad? What has your career path been like so far?
Nadine: I am the Executive Assistant to Directors at Experience Teaching Abroad Ltd. I have been living in Thailand for over four years. I am originally from Germany and after I finished my vocational course to become a Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk in English. I went to the UK to actually improve my English skills. After I worked for 1.5 years at the reception of a 4-star hotel, I moved to Thailand.
I worked for a German company in Chiang Mai as a Customer Care Specialist. During that time, I started to work part-time for Experience Teaching Abroad Ltd. My responsibilities included advertising our programs online and replying to emails. In October 2011, I finally started full-time at Experience Teaching Abroad Ltd. where I am now in charge of the marketing, administration and website.
Go Overseas: What separates Experience Teaching Abroad from other recruitment companies?
Nadine: Experience Teaching Abroad Ltd. is still a small company having employed less than 10 people. However, even though we are small we have become very successful. I think this is because of the unique packages we offer, e.g. the TEFL Heaven Internships, and the Volunteer Teaching Projects. Our motivation is the people we recruit and their experience, along with the students they teach. We really care for every individual and try to make sure they are happy.
Experience Teaching Abroad Ltd is also a social enterprise and that means that we are not all about profits. Therefore, our main goals are:
- To promote and provide work experiences, cultural experiences and life experience to young people aged 18 – 35.
- To promote and provide teacher-training courses to enable greater transferable employability skills for young people aged 18 – 35, whether they progress to a career in teaching or other careers.
- To contribute towards the development and training of people of all ages, in emerging economies, in the development of the English language, and most especially with children aged 3 – 18 years old.
Go Overseas: In your opinion, what makes a good international teacher?
Nadine: In my opinion, a good teacher does not only have the required teaching certificates and experience. Instead, a good international teacher or actually any good teacher has to have passion for this job. It is not an easy profession since you will be working with a different generation of people – mostly children or young adults. They usually have a totally different attitude and sometimes don’t like to be taught. As a teacher you need to be able to adapt to this and you need to motivate your students – you need to be a teacher and an entertainer and sometimes even an actor. In order to do that you need to be 100 % sure about this. The TEFL programs give you the chance to try and see if you are the right person for this profession. We had people in the past who participated in the course and honestly said it is not the right job for them. That’s ok – just be honest with yourself and don’t force yourself into this job.
Apart from that, I think it is important to be a role model, especially in countries like Thailand or Korea. For example, Thailand students look up to their teachers because the teacher is a very respectable person. You need to act like this and be professional. In Thailand or any other Asian country, it’s all about reputation.
Go Overseas: What does the future hold for Experience Teaching Abroad?
Nadine: Of course I hope that Experience Teaching Abroad Ltd will be more and more successful and expand their business. The core idea and the concept is amazing and we want to give more and more people the chance to go abroad and to represent their culture and country and also to learn from other nations. Especially today in globalization, the cultural exchange is very important and I hope Experience Teaching Abroad Ltd will be a part of it.
Go Overseas: Anything you'd like to add?
Nadine: If you have ever considered going abroad, just do it. It is a life changing experience and it will change you as an individual and your point of view when it comes to culture and your whole life style. It doesn’t matter if you are going abroad to travel, to teach or to volunteer – just go ahead! It’s worth it.