As far as capitals go, Rome does a beautiful job of summarising all of the intricate parts of Italy. To capture such charm, elegance, grace, flavour and attitude in a single city is impossible, of course, but the Romans have certainly nailed something. Alexandra, a teacher from Germany touched on something that really inspired me. A lot of what is Italian, and in fact, teaching in Italy is based on - ‘Si depende’. It depends. She gets this answer in her classes and witnesses it through her daily life in Rome. Unlike her own culture’s stereotypical preference for defining things with specific answers (something a lot of cultures have in common), in Italy there is a feeling, an action, a way of life, that cannot be confined to one answer or one way or one opinion. It depends - on how you feel, how we feel together - an Italian expression of their flexibility, and their ability to cooperate the opinions and ever-changing feelings of everyone.
Lucy, our intrepid teflhub ambassador, arrives in Italy and gets a feel for a city often overlooked by those looking for teaching positions in this amazing country. What has Milan got to offer? Apart from beautiful architecture, quintessential Italian cuisine, and a warm and friendly atmosphere? Read on to find out...
In Lisbon, it’s “easy to be happy on a daily basis”, possibly due to the fact that the Portuguese “don’t live by extremes”. Quoted by two TEFL teachers - Gayle Harney and Zorana Orlic - I interviewed whilst in the capital, I feel that what they say really rings true when trying to describe Lisbon. It seems, if you like seafood, the beach, are sporty, drink wine, don’t wear high heels (Lisbon is made up cobbled streets), like warm weather…
Ever since I moved to Spain I have fallen more in love with the country. Of course, the weather, reasonably priced beer and tapas, extremely social lifestyle and Spaniards are a lot to do with the reason. But somewhere else, amidst my love and growing knowledge of Spain and how it comes to be as the country we all know and love, there is something else. A general feeling, that means, should any of that not be there - the weather, or sociable people, or delicious food, I would still love it just the same anyway.
“If I could be reincarnated, I would come back as an Erasmus student in Granada”. I recently visited the gorgeous city of Granada for the second time. Previously, it was a stop on my trip travelling the South of Spain, in August. It was so hot that even our midnight viewing of the Alhambra was only just bearable. This time, I was able to explore the city with an energy that the summer sun simply did not allow (something important to remember!) I loved this quote that I heard whilst interviewing Daniel Fermoire-Smith, teacher and founder of the English Ascent school. It certainly sums up a lot about what is good about living and socialising in Granada, and what makes it such an exceptional destination for TEFL teachers.
Mi casa es tu Madrid
Madrid is my place. After university I somehow ended up there to do my CELTA and to become a teacher and stayed for the school year. Now I have difficulty remembering what it was that made me look further afield. I suppose, as a TEFL teacher (and, human in general) it’s often something that is in the back of your mind - could I be pushing myself more? Further away? Learning a different language? Working harder? Challenging myself MORE?
Have you considered working in China? The country has drawn tens of thousands of TEFL teachers over the years and continues to appeal due to the good salaries, low cost of living and above all, the wonderful students. The team at teflhub have very fond memories of teaching in China - it's a vast country so let's look at one of its hidden gems: Nanjing. Here, English First provide us with an insight to life in this fascinating city.
You’ve been learning a new language for about a year; you’ve taken classes, done the home work, and traveled in the country of your target language. You show up on time, you grind out grammar structures, and your language exchange partner is now one of your closest friends; yet you’re not getting any better.
It would seem you have hit a language plateau.
Have you thought of volunteering as a TEFL teacher? Read on to hear about the wonderful UBELONG organisation's work in Merida Mexico…
Finding where UBELONG
About an hour ago I finished the interview with the American volunteer for the organisation UBELONG. Without sounding dramatic - though I think too often we suppress just how poetic and deeply we are feeling for fear of sounding dramatic - I feel as though so many things that I have been missing, desperately, though I didn't quite know it, I have been reminded of. Let me share the experience of the last few hours with you.