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TEFL Training In Costa Rica | Updated: 10/15/2022

Social Skills: The unintentional skill learned from living abroad

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

One of the skills you pick up unintentionally while living abroad and teaching English, is your new and improved ability to handle yourself in a wide variety of previously uncomfortable social situations.

Before I started teaching English in the Czech Republic, these situations used to terrify me, annoy me or make me come up with sudden strange illnesses. I used to despise being thrust into social situations with people I didn't know very well, or even worse, meeting new people. I was terrible in these situations, part because of fear, part because of awkwardness, and part because of pure apathy towards meeting new people. I had my friends, why did I have to meet NEW people?!

Teaching English abroad changed all that!

I was thrust constantly in my first year in the Czech Republic into new social situations, and admittedly, at first, I struggled. However, it was a safe environment to learn, because everyone was kind of, more or less, in the same boat. This environment was amazing! I QUICKLY found my social skills improving exponentially in a multitude of different social situations.

Right from the start, I was introduced to my homestay family, then to my TEFL course classmates, then to my students, then to many, many people that I got to know just from living in a new country.

I was bombarded by meeting new people, however, I quickly noticed that this wasn't the fear inducing, annoying pain-in-the-ass situation that I was used to back home. These situations were a lot of fun and actually, REALLY amazing!  I grew to love these experiences and, heaven forbid, seek them out and instigate them. I was gaining social skills that I NEVER thought possible.

Then I went back to Canada for a year break from teaching abroad. What I found when back living in my old Canadian life situation, was incredible. NONE of the social situations that used to stress me out, had even the slightest effect on me.

1) First date...

Used to be sooo awkward, Now..... ummmm does she speak English? Yes, OK, piece of cake, I lived in Czech Republic for 2 years. I am used to weird situations.

2) Girlfriend wants you to meet her parents.

Used to be sooo awkward, Now..... ummmmmm do they speak English? Yes. OK, no worries.

No, they don't speak English very well? OK, again... no worries, I'm used to that for sure. Par for the course.

3) Boss wants me to meet a client from out of town.

See above.

4) Starting a new job where you don't know anyone?

See above

5) Have to, at some point in the rest of your life, meet/deal with people you don't know?


So if you are a little socially awkward like I was, PAST TENSE, then take on this adventure! You will struggle a bit like I did, but it is FUN and you WILL get comfortable. Soon that strange awkwardness will become a distant memory, and you will be free of your social chains. Contact us TODAY to register for our 4-week, onsite TEFL course in Costa Rica!

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Three Excuses You'll Tell Yourself Not To Teach Abroad

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