Going into this experience, I had traveled to many countries before and had even lived in more than one. However, I had never traveled alone and this to me was a daunting thought- first there was the idea of getting a visa, then booking flights, then travel insurance... it just seemed sort of scary to me. To be fair, for a lot of positions, it could be, but not with ECT. Right from the beginning , I was given step by step instructions, direct links for visa information and my messages and emails answered within minutes. Getting off the flight in Taiwan as well, ECT head staff was there to meet us within an hour of stepping off our flight, took us to dinner and made us feel comfortable both with them and with our co-workers immediately.
Host-families: Throughout my time in Taiwan, I stayed with 4 families. Of course, how close you get with each family will vary, but let's just say the range (5 months later) is from us sending each other facebook messages comparing our weather forecasts, all the way to planning their trip to visit me in Canada. With ECT, you will make family on your trip. ECT staff pairs you with families they think you're well matched for and even if you start off with limited things in common, the quality time you spend together will foster an unforgettable bond.
The job: The job is fun... but it is tough. It requires a ton of preparation, physical and mental commitment and a ton of energy. But if you can bring it, the rewards are unimaginable. Let yourself get committed to your lessons, to your final shows that you prepare with your classes. Let yourself take on the pride of having your own class to teach, your own initiative you can take in planning your lessons. If you do this, it's rewarding, not only in the monetary incentives, but the personal growth you receive both as a professional and as a person. Don't forget to have fun with it, the more fun you're having with the kids, the more fun they're having with you!
Lastly, to touch on something I knew would happen, but could never predict the gravity of... the relationships you make with each other. I can honestly say I came out of my ECT experience with a few new best friends. Best friends that I talk to every week, that I'm flying across oceans to go and visit for a week, best friends that I'm planning future trips with. This experience, from day 1 of training , to the very last day, fosters incredible bonds. You walk away with a new relationship with yourself and with others. Get excited, feel inspired... because if you're doing this, it is going to change your world!