culture shock

Carl Summers, Teacher in South Korea

Carl, 26, is a graduate from Montreal, Canada, who taught in Jeongeup, South Korea. We asked him some questions about his experience in this popular Asian teaching destination. 

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Teaching English in China: Kimmy Bird

Kimmy had the opportunity to teach English in China, fulfilling her lifelong dream of living in the country. She shares her experience, and reminds us that culture shock is a growth opportunity, not a frustration!

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A Tale of Two Cultures: Escape Your Comfort Zone Teaching English Abroad

As a Program Advisor at BridgeTEFL, I was often asked if I’ve taught overseas myself and where. When I revealed that I taught English in Costa Rica and Morocco, I usually got a natural next question: how did those two places compare? While most people can imagine life in Costa Rica with its toucans, salsa dancing and laid-back, pura vida culture, Morocco is more of a mystery. I chose to go there because I wanted something totally different, and of course I got it!

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7 Tips to Avoid Culture Shock When Teaching Abroad

For those who are already working as teachers at home in the U.K, the idea of teaching abroad promises much to the otherwise stressed and under pressure teacher. It can provide for cultural experiences, as well as a different, more nourishing learning system than is found within the increasingly under pressure U.K. schools; and it […]

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How to Survive Awkward Moments in the TEFL Classroom

If you thought junior high was embarrassing, just wait until you become a TEFL teacher. The TEFL formula is a magic formula of being in a strange culture, speaking a different language, and standing up in front of a classroom, which leads to… DISASTER! Okay, I’m kidding. The magic TEFL formula actually leads to mind-opening […]

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How to Manage Abroad When You Don’t Speak the Local Language

  It’s a common misconception that you need to speak the language of a country in order to teach English there. While it’s certainly helpful for your day-to-day experience of getting around, grocery shopping or making local friends, it is not a requirement of EFL jobs. Rather, most schools foster a “total English immersion” environment […]

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Notes From the Field: Interview with Martin Higgins in Colombia

Martin Higgins took the Cambridge CELTA in Bogotá last year and is currently teaching in Colombia. Originally from Cambridge in the UK, he actually worked for Cambridge Assessment, part of the University of Cambridge and the parent body of Cambridge English Language Assessment, which issues the CELTA. His father also worked in the EFL industry for […]

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Hand Gestures You Need to Know Before Teaching Abroad in Argentina

You’ve heard it from us before; learning the language is an important part of of your teach abroad experience. But, what about those non-verbal cues? The nods, the winks, the finger flicks. Those are just as important to understanding not only the conversation, but the culture too! If you decide to take the IDELT in […]

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EFL Teacher’s Guide to Classroom Etiquette in the Middle East

This updated post was originally published in May 2011 by Kaye McDaniel. As is the case with any foreign culture, there are rules of manner and acts of faux pas that will be inherent anywhere you go – and you most likely will not know about them. Always do your research ahead of time so that […]

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Going Back Home: Life after TEFL Abroad

Thomas Wolfe once wrote that you can’t go home again – and this is certainly true for returning to your home country after teaching English abroad. Just as you had a transition period of excitement, adjusting to a new culture, and forming different opinions when you first arrived to your new host country, reverse it and […]

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