What is your favorite travel memory?
Hard to say. I didn't travel much when I was young so after I graduated, it was as if everything was a new opportunity. The first country that I visited which was vastly different from my own was Malaysia, so that country will always have special memories for me.
When I was teaching in the US, I had the idea to travel during the summer breaks. But I realized I'd only be living for those times when I'd get to travel. I was then introduced to the idea of teaching English abroad. Instead of waiting to travel, I'd be living elsewhere constantly. I loved the opportunity of living in other countries and actually getting a closer look at what makes them special.
Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?
I don't know if any places are over or underrated. You can have a great time or terrible time anywhere depending upon your experiences there, the people you meet, your own attitude, etc. Personally, there are lots of places I haven't been and would like to go, so I don't want to dismiss any opportunity I haven't taken.
That said, I've been very lucky in the places I've taught. Living in Rome opposite the Pantheon, an island in Southeast Asia, the south of Spain, and of course Prague, still one of the most beautiful cities on earth, at least of those I've been to.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
There are so many factors. Our staff, our trainers, our leader are all important components. But the biggest one is probably our graduates. I've personally helped train over 800 teachers over the years and I try to stay in contact with as many of them as I can. They are, by far, the best representatives of our work. I'm really proud when they are able to get a job abroad, go for a new experience and we were a part of helping make that happen.
What unique qualities does your company possess?
Overall, TEFL Worldwide is a great place to work. The staff is small and hard-working. My fellow trainers are full of energy and passion for what they do. And the owner is very dedicated to her company and clients. The location is ideal in a quiet part of Prague but with ample ways to get to various locations around the city.
In my profession, we change employers a lot, each time you move to a new country basically. TEFL Worldwide is one of, if not the, best places I've ever worked.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
I can't choose just one story, there are loads of great experiences. I've often said that my big days of traveling are over, but then when I keep in contact with graduates and I hear about all of the exciting places they are going and things they are doing, I feel that travel bug itching again.
To be honest, the best stories are when graduates share funny or interesting classroom experiences they have had. As everyone is teaching or has taught at some point, we can all relate. Those stories tend to be the most universal as you can see that teaching English, for all its ups and downs, is a really fun profession.