www.costaricatesol.com - ITA Costa Rica
Posted 10/05/2016 in Alumni Q&A

Teaching Q&A with Megan

Teaching Q&A with Megan


What is your citizenship?

I’m an American citizen, though technically I hold dual citizenship with South Africa.

What city and state are you from?

I am from Providence, Rhode Island.

How old are you?

I am 25 years old.

What is your education level and background?

I have a BSc in Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Management.

Have you traveled abroad in the past?

Yes. I have been to Spain, France, Italy, Greece, UK, Canada, China, Hungary, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, and Poland (Where I am currently living).

If you have studied abroad in the past, where did you study?

I studied abroad in Costa Rica during my junior year of college.

What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad?

I love to travel, and I like to help people, so I felt like this was the perfect combination of the two. There are people all over the world who need to learn English for a variety of reasons, so TESOL gives me the opportunity to help them while exploring new places.

What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad?

I was worried because I am not a super social person, and I can come off as a bit quiet. I am also female, and I’m sure many of you have heard negative things about women traveling solo abroad.

What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad?

My parents were very supportive. I come from an extremely international family, do for them having another daughter move away was almost expected. Some of my friends thought I was crazy going somewhere where I knew no one, and when I settled on Poland after my course was over, they thought I was insane.


Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy in Costa Rica?

I chose Costa Rica because I knew it was a beautiful country, and that the people were friendly. It was also not too far of a flight from the USA if something were to happen. I also speak (some) Spanish, which definitely factored into my decision, but was more about a personal comfort thing than a necessity.

I chose to get TEFL certified because, as I said before, it is a great way to travel while doing something worthwhile.

Which TEFL certification course did you take?

I took the course in Heredia, Costa Rica in October 2015.

How did you like the course?

I loved it! The teachers, Luke and Melanie, were very patient, and very thorough. They made me feel confident in my decision to teach abroad. While the course is a lot of work, it is also a lot of fun.

How has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position?

The course has helped me in several ways. One way is in how to explain new words to students in ways they can understand. Another is the activities and lesson ideas, which I use frequently. 



After taking the course in Costa Rica, you chose to teach elsewhere.  Which city and country did you decide to teach English in and why?

I chose Krakow, Poland. I chose Poland because I knew I wanted to teach in Europe, and eastern Europe makes it easier to get a working visa. I also spoke to several family friends who had been to Krakow, and they all gave it rave reviews.

How long have you been in this country and how long do you plan to stay?

I have been here for just over eight months, and I plan to stay at least until June 2017. After that, I am not sure.

Tell us about your English teaching job.

I teach mainly teenagers. My school has a contract with several middle and high schools in Krakow, and I go to those schools for most of my lessons. Most of my classes are conversation classes, focusing more on fluency than the nuts and bolts of grammar. In these schools, the kids are aged 12-19, which can be challenging. We discuss a variety of teen-oriented topics, and I correct their speech as we go. These classes usually have about 15 kids.

I also have several small group and one-to-one classes, where we focus more on grammar and vocabulary. Some of these classes are with teens, while others are with adults. Twice a week, I teach at the army, and once a week I travel to one of the suburbs and teach at a business.

I generally teach between 27-32 hours a week.


What advice would you give someone considering teaching abroad? 

Do it! While you might get a bit homesick, or have some culture shock, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. You’ll meet all sorts of interesting people, and even if you only do it for a year, it’ll be an amazing life experience you will never forget.

Would you recommend taking the course in Costa Rica before teaching elsewhere?  What are the benefits?

I would recommend taking the course in Costa Rica. I think it’s a great starting place, because you are immersed in a different culture, which gives you an idea of what it is like to move abroad. It is not too far from the USA, so it is a bit like a diving off point: you can easily go back home, or you can jump forward from there. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s always warm, and the scenery is amazing.

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