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Andrew Dunkle

Go Overseas CTO & Co-Founder
Berkeley, CA

Member for

8 years 2 months

After graduating with a degree in Art History, Andrew decided to teach English in Taiwan where he met Mitch and they decided to found Go Overseas. Andrew grew up in Australia and studied abroad in Italy.

Want to travel with Andrew this year? Send him an email: [email protected]

University
University of Colorado- Boulder
Travel Experience
15+ Countries
Facebook
Reviews
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Andrew
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I studied abroad in Perugia back in the summer of 2006. Wow, that was five years ago. Time sure does fly, but I still fondly remember the time I spent here.

Perugia is not exactly on the top of tourist destinations in Italy, but it's a fun city and a perfect jumping point to visit the rest of Italy. Florence is a two hour train ride north, and Rome is two hours south. Speaking of trains, the Italian system does take some getting used to. It's not always obvious where you need to switch trains so some basic Italian really comes in handy!

I took two summer classes: Italian art history (my major), and photography. Both were pretty basic to be honest, but the experience was more about being abroad rather than the study, if you know what I mean! Each class also included a field trip which was fun.

I lived with two other students from my university in an apartment the program rented for us. I think you have the option to live with an Italian family, but I'm not 100% on that. At any rate, the apartment was nice and clean complete with a small kitchen that we cooked in a lot. There was a small market down the street to buy food. *Warning* Italian stores close in the afternoon from 2 to 7 (approx.) so buy your food early if you don't want to starve.

That's about it. I had a great summer and really enjoyed traveling around the rest of Italy and Europe. I personally loved visiting Venice and other parts of northern Italy. I also made it to Germany and France which were great.

Good luck! I really can't say enough good things about the experience of studying abroad.

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Andrew
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I taught at the Principal school in Tuchung back in 2007 through 2009. Overall, I had a really great time and I think any complaints I had step from the fact that teaching just wasn't for me.

The school itself was good. Tuchung is located in Taipei county and about 45 minutes by subway to central Taipei. There's not a lot going on in the area and I was probably one of the few foreigners that lived in my neighborhood.

I mainly taught kindergarten students in the morning, and then had a couple elementary students in the afternoon. The young kids are a lot of fun to teach, and honestly, some days I felt more like a glorified babysitter than a teacher. Each class is only 30 minutes long with regularly 10 minute breaks for kids run off too much energy.

I had a Chinese teacher in every class who helped out if I ran into any problems, but for the most part I was left to run the class however I liked. All my co-teachers were very nice and I enjoyed working with them.

My main complaint was the management staff who were not very supportive and made it very clear that we were part of a business to make money, not a school. The principle of our ENGLISH school didn't even speak English. Teaching in a Chinese work culture was frustrating at times, but part of adapting to a new culture while living abroad.

I made $NT550 / hour and roughly $NT48,000 a month. This was a little lower than some other teachers in Taiwan I talked too, but I was also only working 4 days a week. A lot of teachers at other schools had to work on Saturdays. I liked my schedule and the amount of money I made easily supported myself.

Living in Taiwan was great! I met a lot of great people and really enjoyed myself. Looking back it was a great period in my life and one that I wish I could still be living. Ce la vie!

Have fun and good luck =)

Andrew

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Andrew
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hey everyone!

Reach To Teach asked me to share my views on teaching English in Taiwan. I taught here from the summer of 2007 and returned to the United States at the end of 2009. I came just after I graduated with little teaching experience, but a great desire to live and travel abroad. I had studied abroad in Taiwan during college and quickly came to love this small island country. The people here are so friendly! Above anything else, the people here are what making teaching in Taiwan a great experience.

About RTT: I found them through an online search and although I wasn't initially impressed with there website, I applied online and was surprised to hear back from them so quickly. Within 2 days I was setup with a phone interview, and two weeks later I was offered a job! Pretty easy. I also applied directly with Hess (a school there) who were far less responsive and I quickly gave up on them.

I was walked through the whole visa process (pretty easy, just be sure to get a 60 day landing visa). 6 weeks later I arrived in Taiwan, honestly shell shocked that I was actually going through with this! It was a little overwhelming, but RTT regularly hosts social events for new teachers which was a great way to meet other teachers in the area. These events are held every month were a lot of fun!

The school I taught was called Principle and was located just outside of Taipei in a neighborhood called Tuchung. There are not a lot of expats in this area, and honestly not a lot to do, but luckily I lived 5 mins from the MRT which is the subway system them. This system is fantastic and allows you to easily get around the rest of Taipei very cheaply. If you live in Taipei I HIGHLY recommend you live near an MRT station. This will make your life so much easier!

My school was rather small by most standards. There were only two ESL teachers (including me) and we were responsible for teaching 5 kindergarten classes. Most of my students were aged 4-7 were a lot of fun to teach. There were a couple brats, but you'll find them at every school. I would start teaching at 9am, have a 2 hour lunch (seriously!), and teach again from 1:30pm to 6pm. That was my day! I also taught four days a week for a total of 30 hours a week. I didn't teach Saturdays, but as I meet other ESL teachers I found out that is pretty common.

If I were to do again, I would take a TEFL course. It wasn't required, but the first couple weeks were a little nerve racking as adjusted to life as a teacher. All the teaching materials were provided, I was mostly tasked with creative ways to teach the material. When you're teaching 5 year olds you HAVE to be creative, otherwise you'll quickly loose them. Come prepared with a large bag of tricks!

Each month I think I made about $NT50,000 which turns into about $1,600USD. Not a lot, but easily enough to live comfortably in Taiwan. My rent was about $NT8000 and food came out to about $NT11000 a month. That leaves a lot of spare change!

Good luck! I look back on the experience as some of the best years of my life. I highly recommend RTT and teaching Taiwan.

Cheers,
Andrew

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