The traveling teachers series is all about people who love to travel and you guessed it, teach! Each interview features a different teacher, traveling to a different place, and teaching a unique group of students. So often we hear of people teaching abroad, but what is it really like? How do you find the opportunities? There are many questions surrounding traveling and teaching. Through this series, I hope you are inspired by the good work going on around the world, learn, and start to think about ways you can travel and teach abroad yourself.
This week I have a story from Eni who taught abroad in Russia. How cool is that? She is a London based blogger and her blog focuses on budget accommodation and outdoor activities so we definitely have similar tastes in travel. Her blog has a ton about the UK and camping, plus she has beautiful photos. Make sure you check out her blog for info on lots of places all over the world.
What inspired you to teach abroad?
My mum is a language teacher and she spent 6 months in Russia during her university years to study Russian. She has fond memories of this time. She introduced me to the Russian culture and cuisine. I grew an interest in the country and wanted to travel there to improve my Russian skills and meet locals. After I finished high school at the age of 19 I decided the best way to do this is by living with a family and teach English to children. As my mum teaches English, Russian and German she had many tips for me how to pass on my knowledge to the younger generation. I also had some experience as I taught English to children in my home country Hungary.
How long did you teach and where?
I spent 3 months in Barnaul, Siberia as a live in au pair/English teacher.
Were any of your expenses covered with the teaching experience?
I lived with a family, where I had my own room and food was also included. I was free to take whatever I wanted from their fridge. My flight expenses were also covered by my host family and I got a small amount of pocket money each month.
How did you find the program or opportunity to teach abroad?
I found the family on https://www.aupairworld.com/en
This is a website mostly for au pair positions, however many families particularly in Russia are more interested in teaching their child English. They are looking for people who are willing to live with them, have a high level of English and speak to the children in English during the day.
Were you able to spend time traveling and exploring the country while teaching? Where were did you go? What did you do?
The family was really flexible with my free time. I had weekends free and during the day I had time while the girl was in school. I devoted my free time mostly to study Russian, but I was also able to visit many beautiful places like Moscow, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk and the Altai Mountains.
What were interactions with students like?
I taught English to a 9 year old girl. We had lessons at set times each day, when we would focus on grammar, improving vocabulary, doing school homework and also playing games and singing songs. In addition, I lived with the family and looked after the girl, so I would talk to her in English all the time.
What was your favorite part of teaching abroad?
Living with the family I was able to learn more about the Russian culture. My favorite memory is when the family took me to the Altai Mountains for a weekend. There was a small hut in the middle of nowhere. We could only get there by riding horses. We spent the night on freshly cut hay and had boar for dinner that they shot that day in the forest. We had no electricity or running water. We drank water from the stream. It was such a unique experience!
What is one piece of advice you have for someone who wants to teach abroad?
It takes courage to fly to another country and teach English, but it can be a great experience, one that you will never forget! My advice is to just go for it, otherwise, you will always wonder what if…?
You can follow Eni on her social media listed below. For more about Russia and other awesome destinations, make sure you check out her blog!
For more on the Traveling Teachers series, click here.