Teach and Learn with Georgia
85% Rating
(11 Reviews)

Teach and Learn with Georgia

Join Teach and Learn with Georgia to teach English and make a difference! Georgia is post-Soviet country with a unique history and culture. Help this small, growing country by sharing your culture and teaching English. Volunteers work closely and co-teach with local Georgian teachers.

The Teach and Learn with Georgia program was implemented by the President of Georgia in January 2010 as an important educational reform. By teaching grades 1-6 in Georgia as part of such a new program, you will have the chance to see results and make improvements in a developing nation.

Locations
Asia » Georgia, Republic of
Length
3-6 Months
6-12 Months
1 Year+
Salary / Benefits
The program will pay for housing, medical insurance, travel costs (including plane tickets), and a stipend of about $300 USD every month.
Currency
USD

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Benefits
    82%
  • Support
    74%
  • Fun
    50%
  • Facilities
    76%
  • Safety
    90%

Program Reviews (11)

Default avatar
Chingis
Male
57 years old
Tennessee
Princeton University

Both Good and Bad

7/10

I was in the summer 2011 group, and after 9 of us were left with no contact at Tbilisi airport,we finally made our way to Kutaisi-I had not slept in 30 - yes 30- hours,then they gave us 2 hours to sleep and then I and my group were supposed to meet with the Minister of Education-and no one awakened me; staff was in general like this, somewhat of a fiasco. They gave minimal Kartuli(Georgian)language lessons and the cultural awareness was redundant for many who had as myself lived-taught throughout the world already.

Staff were much less world - teaching - language expertise aware than many participants.They were really bothersome to say the least, unprofessional in not a few ways.

That said I had a SUPER GOOD family;I speak Russian and I had no trouble anytime getting around and spoke at home in Russian-my father was a former mayor and mother, maths teacher. I STILL am close to them and love them.

I know the TLG people were trying to do something good but I think all of us, at least the people in the program I knew-consider the high turnover staffers about a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Nowadays I know the president of the country is not "Mischa Saakashvili", but Ivanishvili who favours the way things used to be before Georgia took independence. So I could not say what augurs for the possibilities of the program today. I would say if a person speaks Russian (I am native speaker of American English) then it will go very easily, just play along with the "matriculation", simplistic as it may be- then get with your family.

I found the people 99 percent of everyone in Sakhartvelo(Georgia) GREAT. Only one taxi driver, a Romansch Tsigan(Gypsy) tried to rip me off in Batumi once but otherwise I can't think of one bad person or experience as a trainer there.I got burned out on cheese bread but to say it tastes exquisite is to say the least. Other foods were good; especially sauces which are truly gourmand. I tend to vegetarian which they sort of chuckled at but overall the food was good.

Yes, and I learned to make wine and harvested grapes that autumn; we harvested just part of the crop and it was 300 kilos;it is a beautiful memory.And don't forget the cha cha (pure distilled alcohol). I really didn't drink but a tiny glass but it has a punch!

I cannot tell you how beautiful Adjara region is.We're talking picture postcard beauty.I will return, my own parents died years ago and I consider the family there my mother and father, for real and I can stay-live there anytime. People do not exaggerate when the speak of Georgians' hospitality.

If I were running the program I would get rid of 90 percent of the staff-training and have just a couple of professional, seasoned liaisons to run the show.

I would recommend this only to certain individuals. The groups have had fresh out of college kids who treat it like a frat party on spring break. It is NOT and they are a freakin' embarrassment to the states(where I am from).If a person has language(s), and teaching credentials(I mean specifically ESL Certs as I have ) - then by all means go. Otherwise I'd say probably no to the average person merely seeking fun and travel.

Again I love my family there and I will return and TLG made it possible - I am grateful to them for that.

How can this program be improved?

Administration, absolutely.

Default avatar
Emily
Female
32 years old
Colorado
Cornerstone University

TLG - Georgia

10/10

Georgia has been a wonderful experience. The people are very friendly and welcoming. Most of the villages and schools are just excited that they have an English speaker and are very cooperative. Georgia has its share of discomforts: most volunteers are placed in smaller villages (mine has about 1000 people); bathroom facilities are low tech, which means showers once a week and sometimes Turkish toilets; schools are limited in what materials they have, expect little to no technology used in classrooms. All of that said, the people more than make up for these minor discomforts! Everybody in my village talks to me when we meet. I've received three bouquets of flowers this week already and I got more apples and nuts than I could eat during the fall. The teachers in my school got some useful phrases translated and hung them in our coffee room. And it's always great to hear kids improve their reading and become more confident. The little boys I live with delight in using their English, like yelling from the bathroom "I want toilet paper!" to saying "Let's go!" as we leave the house. Even now they are hovering around, asking me what I'm doing. I would not trade my time in Georgia for anything.

A note about Reach to Teach. Compared to the other volunteers in my orientation group, I felt very prepared regarding all paperwork (medical documentation, contracts, etc.) I had everything I needed with me.

How can this program be improved?

Orientation is only a week which, in many respects, is enough. However, it's hard to go into a country with only one week of language training.

Default avatar
lmierend
Female
24 years old
Morristown, New Jersey
Other

a wonderful personal experience

7/10

I lived with a great family in a nice house. My town was not too far from Tbilisi, which I enjoyed. Being able to escape easily was pretty essential, as things to do in the town were very limited.
My teaching experience did not give me much teaching experience, though. Not very much was expected of me in the classroom which at first was a relief because I had had no prior experience, but I wish I had come away feeling more comfortable in front of a class. My co-teachers and principal were very nice and welcoming and did their best to make me comfortable.
The 11th group, which arrived at the end of January 2011, was a great group. I am still in contact with some of them, and there was usually something to do on a weekend. My stipend was enough to visit Tbilisi or somewhere else around the country almost every weekend.

Default avatar
carej98
Female
24 years old
Texas
Iliff School of Theology

georgia

7/10

I lived with a host family. Dad was a municipal leader, mom a teacher at my school, sister my student and grandma was grandma. Not my preference, will not do this again; however, they treated me like family from day 1 and took the best care of me that they knew how to do.
My school, like most, is a horrible building. The faculty and staff were nice to me, but couldn't communicate and weren't helpful. My co-teachers were polar opposites. The kids were magnificent!

Default avatar
cmwocken
Female
24 years old
Sauk Rapids, MN
Other

A World Apart

9/10

If I were to say that my experience was perfect, that would be vague. It would also be unhelpful and not entirely true.

That's right-my semester teaching in Georgia through TLG wasn't perfect. Then again, whose definition of "perfect" are we using here? My definition of the word works along the lines of being supplied with everything you could possibly need, being handed the answers to ESL's challenges on a silver platter, and so on, but that's not how it works. In a developing country, that is a part of the glory of the experience as an English teacher.

When I say my semester as a teacher wasn't perfect, I mean it in the most endearing way possible. The nature of the program entices a broad spectrum of individuals looking to teach what they know and learn about an incredibly unique country, and that is part of what makes TLG the success that it is.

If we are going to get bogged down again with definitions, success is another one. With an education system that is rapidly reforming and such variation from school to school, it would be impossible to streamline the program. What that does is it leaves more doors open for creativity and positive challenges for the ESL teacher. I would hardly describe that as a bad thing!

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this program is the incredibly unique opportunity it gives to foreigners to get the most inside of looks at a culture known for its peoples' hospitality. To be offered a place in a Georgian home and leave it 3 months later feeling as much a part of the family as anyone in it humbled me.

For someone with an interest in discovering your passion for new languages, cultures, and a place so very far off the beaten path, look no further than Georgia. It is not for the faint of heart: unleash your biggest batch of courage and step into one of the most intriguing cultures in the world!

Default avatar
BradZA
Male
24 years old
Knysna, Western Cape, Republic of South Africa
University of South Africa

An unforgettable experience

9/10

Not for the faint hearted but this program is guaranteed to have a lasting impact on you. It's an intense cultural experience where you are constantly learning as much about Georgia as Georgians are learning about you. Living and teaching conditions differ tremendously. I was based in a remote and very poor village but don't regret a moment of it. Don't go with any preconceptions other than being prepared for the unexpected.

Default avatar
Peeleepee
Male
32 years old
Fredonia, NY
University of Scranton

Phil's Review of TLG

10/10

Volunteering to teach in the Republic of Georgia is one of the most important life decisions I have ever made. It is a unique situation where you learn about yourself by learning about a new culture, whilst in it, being completely submerged.

As a teacher I learned that making subject material relevant, along with classroom management, is the key to success. My experiences in the Georgian classroom have even prompted me to earn my K-12 music education certification now that I am back home.

Growing interpersonal skills and emotional awareness were also part of the inner growth during my time with TLG. To live with a host family and to work with colleagues, who have different ideas (or similar for that matter), can be difficult. But it was most rewarding when I was able to see past these differences and live and work with my colleagues and host family.

And of course, the ability to travel to a unique, and in many ways mystical, land is self explanatory. I enjoyed a real sense of adventure.

And let's not forget the underlying motive of trying to make a positive difference in the world. If you desire to, you can in Georgia, though it is not easy. I left Georgia feeling, and knowing, that my time spent volunteering was not a waste. I had made lasting impressions with my school and host family.

Default avatar
Bluesmc2003
Female
32 years old
Zugdidi, Georgia
University of Dundee

Eurasia Living

8/10

TLG is a good program, but it is still in its development phase. At 2 years old, since TLG began, it has changed rapidly as local leaders learn how to better assist foreign teachers. My average day is slightly different than other TLG teachers as I teach at a police station. I teach 3 days a week with a total of between 9-12 hours teaching. Classes aren't mandatory for police officers, so it creates an always changing teaching environment. The police officers are great, but it requires a lot of flexibility and patience. I am now living with my second host family as I had major personality conflicts with my first. The police station as well as TLG assisted me in changing host families. I now love my host family; they are kind, caring, and willing to learn. Though I live in a small town, we have 8 cows in a barn out back which allows for fresh warm milk every night, homemade cheese, and homemade yogurt. Social life is not spectacular, but there are quite a few other TLGers in my area that I spend time with weekly. I also tutor three times a week to help suppliment my monthly stipend. The stipend is sufficient enough to live on on a daily basis; however, if you like to travel, finances may be a struggle at times. I can't wait for warmer weather so traveling is a bit more comfortable. In general, I am enjoying my time in Georgia and I appreciate the flexibility of the program in regards to length of volunteering stints.

Default avatar
neal.zupancic
Male
32 years old
Tbilisi, Georgia
Philadelphia University

Best Decision Ever

10/10

If you're interested in teaching abroad, or want to experience another culture but haven't had the opportunity, TLG is the perfect program.

TLG is the entry-level job in the global Teaching English as a Foreign Language market. They provide full benefits - flights are paid for, as is health insurance and a stipend that is generous by local standards - but the requirements and commitment are relatively low. You can sign on to teach for half a school year, with an option to renew your contract if you like it here. Because of these factors, TLG is a great way to find out if teaching abroad is something you'd like to pursue.

I came to Georgia with no real idea if I'd like teaching English. After a year, I renewed my contract for a second year and signed up for an online TEFL course. Now, with a TEFL certificate and two years TEFL experience, I could land a highly competitive TEFL job anywhere in the world - Korea, Japan, the Middle East.

I, however, have fallen in love with Georgia. With the people, the hospitality, and the spirit of reform and rebirth that Georgia hasn't lost in the two decades since the fall of the Soviet Union. Even though I could make a lot more money teaching in other parts of the world, I have no plans to leave. I think that alone says more than a mere description of TLG or Georgia.

Potential downsides of the program: life with a host family can be challenging. Culture shock can hit hard. Georgia does not have all of the modern conveniences of Western Europe and the US. The language barrier can be hard to surmount. Georgia's conservative, patriarchal culture can be hard to get used to.

However, I think that overcoming these challenges helped me to grow and mature in ways I would never have expected. TLG is always supportive and constantly strives to help their volunteers cope with the difficulties of adjusting to life in a foreign country.

Coming to Georgia is a great adventure, a learning experience, and a chance to make a real impact in a part of the world that few people truly know or understand.

Default avatar
Elouise
Female
24 years old
Lagodekhi, Georgia
University of Calgary

Teach and Learn with Georgia is great for people who want something off the beaten track

8/10

Working with Teach and Learn with Georgia can be a great experience. Applying is relatively simple and all your questions are answered in a timely manner. When you are excepted they arrange your flights and pick you up right at the airport and take you for a week long orientation and help you set up everything you will need for a semester or year in Georgia (i.e.: cellphone, bank account, cultural information, what is expected of you.)
Georgian people are really friendly and try to help you in every way they can. The country is beautiful and small enough that you can explore it on the weekends.
Teaching in Georgia can be challenging, as some of the schools are old and run down, but it can also be a lot of fun and for the most part the students love having a foreigner teaching.
The host families that teachers are placed with are very welcoming, but if problems do arise there is always someone with Teach and Learn with Georgia who you can talk to and get everything worked out. They also deal with issues very swiftly.
Over all it's a great program if you are looking for something different that you have probably experienced and are open to new things.

Default avatar
katarzynawid
Female
24 years old
Adelaide
University of Adelaide

Me Miqkhvars Sakartvelo!

8/10

Georgia is amazing. Georgians are amazing. The program was great fun, and it felt meaningful. The only drawbacks were a lack of resources - bring plenty of supplies! They will love you for it.

Georgians are very warm, open-hearted and loving people - some are even protective of their volunteers! Host family life is generally good, my family was amazing, and I can't wait to visit them again.

Good luck with Saqartvelo. The challenges are worth the rewards.

About The Provider

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Teach abroad in Georgia with the Teach and Learn with Georgia (TLG) program! TLG is sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia to promote English language skills and cultural interactions. TLG is a unique educational reform program, especially because of Georgia's post-Soviet

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