colombia · Teaching Abroad

Thoughts on Colombia

Well I have a lot of thoughts honestly.

It’s my first time traveling in any part of the Americas other than my home country.Shameful yes I know,but I plan on rectify that starting next year.

What I’m most excited about?

Being able to blend in.

You don’t understand how excited I am to be able to blend in with natives,I mean until I open my mouth that is.Besides the U.S. I’ve only lived and traveled in Asia,a place where me being black is a… well… … an interesting experience.

So for me it will be my first time traveling to a country that has a big population of people of African descent and it’s exciting.I really love the fact that I wont be stared at every day as I live and travel around Colombia(I wish I was exaggerating,but in Asia it’s something that you just kind of to get used to).

Food

Now honestly I don’t know a lot about Latino food,but I love food as a whole.So I plan on learning a lot about the food in Colombia as travel around the country.Food is actually one of my favorite parts of traveling to any country, exploring the different types of foods that are popular there,and comparing it to Southern food.Then realizing how similar and different our foods are.

The thing I am most excited about is street food.It’s not popular in the U.S. at least not in the South,but buying and eating food from vendors is one of the best ways of learning about the cuisine of any country(and seeing what’s popular to eat at the time).

Things I wonder about:

What will it be like to be teaching at just one school(I’ve always previously  had three to five)?

What grades will I be teaching?what hours?

Will I get placed in the program I want?

Will I be in walking distance of my school?

Will I be able to find a reliable barber or hair products in my city?

Will I go to carnival?

Will I be able to take a martial art in the town or city I’m in?

Will I have an awesome co-teacher?

Will I be placed in the area I want or even be in a city?

How will my minimum level of Spanish affect my life?compared to my nonexistent level of Korean my first year there.

Will I decide to have roommates?or put up more money to have my own place?

 

I have a lot of questions, I’ll share the answers to you when I figure them out.

Thanks for reading,

BlerdLikeMe

 

 

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Teaching Abroad

My second Greenheart interview

Let’s start from the beginning.I had my first interview the previous week with my recruiter ,Greenheart Travel.I can’t say I felt extremely confident about that interview, but I did get through it. I was told that in the next two weeks that my information would be getting sent to Colombia and by then I would have been contacted by the program.

A week later I got a response. It was a email by a current English teacher in Colombia,  giving me potential dates for my second interview. All in the next few days.She gave a small list of scenarios to think over for the interview.

I  had a four o’clock interview and i was ready for it.Until I opened my laptop, my screen refused to turn on.

*sigh*

Alrighty then I had a backup plan.My handy dandy Note 3 came through to save the day.So she found me on skype  and I added her and it began. Not before she asked me if we could do an audio interview because of her interview connection(I was more than a little happy).

My interview was like 53 minutes long. Now you’re probably wondering why but I took a lot of time answering each question and asked for some questions to be expanded on.And then I asked her a lot of questions.

Favorite part of my interview.

Teacher: How will you deal with stress in your life?
Me: I eat a Snickers.

After which we both bust out into fits of laughter. She said my answer has been the best yet. Of course after that I gave her a real thought out answer.

Unlike my first interview I had a lot more confidence in this interview. I gave very detailed answers to each question. I realized that going in with some experience living and teaching abroad helped a lot. To me going into a bank or phone company without a hard knowledge of that counties language doesn’t bother me. You look up the terms you need, don’t be nervous you’ll get through. I used to go to the bank and phone store all the time in Korea. Half the time people spoke English other times I made do. You get used to it. It’s uncomfortable at first but you’ll get over that eventually. Neither does having a lack of internet or phone coverage bother me,I realized that I spend way to much time on Netflix and Hulu. I plan on getting it turned off right before I go.My goal is to spend as much free time as I possibly can exploring.

I did tell her that I wanted to teach in a city in the coffee region. I also pointed out that I wanted to do MEN much more than SENA. Which is a plus for me in both ways. Most people want to do SENA because they would rather teach alone. Not me I prefer having a co-teacher. And while a lot of people are trying to be near the ocean, or in a big city such as Cali ,Bogota, or Medellín. I just want to be in the coffee region it seems like a good fit for me.

So basically my whole interview was full of laughs and joke,and lots of questions.She actually said I nailed it.Also my laptop was working the next day…. …It’s now Tuesday and I had my interview Monday it’s only a few more days until I get my interview.

This week I’ll see if i made it.

Thanks for reading,

BlerdLikeMe

life · Teaching Abroad

The Next Step

Hello World,

As you may or may not know.Last year I came back to the U.S. after years of working abroad in Korea.I taught there for almost three years, I traveled Korea,and took vacations in Japan and China.It was invigorating and now that I’m back in the U.S. I realize one main thing.Though I work and am busy,I’m so bored.I miss living abroad and traveling,I love that now I can have fun with my family and friends.But I miss the independence and money that came from teaching abroad.

Financial security is something that I really miss.And although I do plan on doing some filming in the middle of this year,I realize that breaking into the film industry is a really hard thing to do.It’s gonna take a minimum of five years of hard work to just even get a decent youtube following,and then after that there are no guarantees.I’m a film maker working in the sales industry,and I hate it.Love my job,don’t get me wrong my boss is a doll,and I plan on working this job as long as I’m in the U.S.,but what I really want to travel.I’m still working on my Korean,but it’s time for me to get back in the saddle.

So,I’m thinking of going to Colombia….

More details soon.

~BlerdLikeMe

Life in Korea · Teaching Abroad · Uncategorized

High1 Ski Resort( and those beautiful,beautiful discounts)

Hello  NerdWorld,

So, I recently decided that I would go skiing for the very first time(though my body still regrets it right now,I going to acupuncturist tomorrow).

wpid-20150117_155614.jpg Me and goggles I didn’t actually wear,goggles and glasses at the same time,are a no go.

I had fun, though my acrophobia did act up a little while I was there.I went with my friend who had a season pass,and I got to admit that even though I fell a lot,I had a lot of fun.Minus the one chick who plowed into me.One thing that you have to understand firstly, is it’s beautiful place you should go to if you’re here during the winter time.

wpid-20150117_155717.jpg

 

Let’s talk about prices.

If you were to go to the English High1 site,you will see this price range

Classification Valid hours Fee (Adult/Child, won)
Lift pass AM Pass 08:30 ~ 13:00 4.5h 60,000 / 46,000
PM Pass 12:00 ~ 16:30 4.5h 60,000 / 46,000
Evening Pass 18:30 ~ 22:30 4.0h 60,000 / 46,000
Night Pass 20:30 ~ 23:30 3.0h 40,000 / 32,000
Day Pass 08 08:30 ~ 16:30 8.0h 74,000 / 56,000
Day Pass 09 09:30 ~ 16:30 7.0h 70,000 / 54,000
PM + Evening Pass 12:00 ~ 22:30 8.5h 86,000 / 68,000
Evening + Night Pass 18:30 ~ 23:30 5.0h 62,000 / 50,000
Evening+ AM Next-day pass 18:30 ~ (following day)13:00 8.5h 88,000 / 70,000
Tourist Gondola 1 time 14,000 / 12,000

 

That’s 60,000 won to ski, but wait you need equipment.A board or skis for let’s say you’re going for 4.5 hours will run you 32,000 for skii.

 
Classification Fee
Ski board
Day pass 08
Day pass 09
Adult 28,000 34,000
Child 22,000 26,000
PM+Evening Pass
Night+Am next-day Pass
Adult 32,000 35,000
Child 24,000 26,000
Half-day Pass
Evening+Night Pass
Night
Adult 24,000 26,000
Child 18,000 20,000

 

Uhhh,the only thing I can’t give you prices on is ski clothing because,well it’s the only thing not on the site, and being the fact that I have my own, I can only tell you that it will probably cost you at least twenty thousand won.

So let’s say that you want to go skiing for four and a half hours and you don’t have clothes,that is around 112,000 won and that’s not including getting there.But look at this chart.

구분 종류 할인율 비고
주중 주말
주주 본인 1매 리프트,
렌탈, 관광
50% 30%
지역주민(4개 시군) 50% 40%
리조트 카드 30% 20%
국가유공자 / 장애우 50%
외국인(리조트카드 발급)
경로우대(만65세이상) 리프트 무료
렌탈,관광 50%
현장단체 30명 이상 리프트, 렌탈(세트),
관광곤돌라,
눈썰매(4시간)
30%
제휴카드 일 4매 30% BC, 신한, 국민, 롯데, NH,
하나(구 하나SK, 구 외환)
유아(만4세 미만) 본인 관광 무료

This is from the Korean version of the High1 site and what’s in red is the discounts for foreigners for the lift and the rentals.What does that mean, that mean that means that I only paid 44,000 won for my skis rental and lift tickets .

How do I get there?

You will need to take a train(Korail) to 사북역 that is Sabuk station.

[This was 5,000 won for me]

From there flag a Taxi,and tell them you want to go to Montainu Sukii Housu (that’s Konglish for Mountain Ski House.)

[This was a little under 10,000 won]

Ok now you’ve made it,you’ll see people waiting in Line to get tickets don’t go there,not yet.Walk inside the Mountain Ski  House as soon as you walk in there’s an information booth on your right,go there and ask for a Foreigner(Waygookin) High 1 resort card.They’ll take a picture of you and then you get your card that you can use all season long.Then go buy your ticket ,now that you have the card you get all those awesome discounts.

wpid-20150120_153405.jpg                                                        This is my High1 Resort Card and my Lift Pass(Yes, I am hiding the picture,I didn’t like it.)

 

Next Step: Ski to your Hearts content,go up Zues, Athena,or Victoria(yeah the mountains have Greek and Roman names,yeah it’s awesome like that)

Finished. Ok go back to the Mountain Ski House.Outside you’ll see green shuttle buses,get on one and ride it to the Sabuk stop.Once you get of the bus turn right,and walk up the hill ,you will eventually run into the train station.

Have fun on the slopes,or you could just be a

BlerdLikeMe(your choice)

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Abroad

What if I told you,you could teach without a liscence

Hi guys,

So, a lot of people like to ask me ,what do you do in Korea.Half of the people I know assume that I’m in the military being the fact that they know I was a film and video major.

 

…..So, what do I do in Korea? …..

I teach English. Yes, I know I said I was a Film student, that I was.I made the decision to teach English abroad years ago.When I was in high school ,my English teacher told me about his adventures as an English teacher in Japan.At that age Japan was my dream country.It still is actually, but I’ll be living that dream out in July.So if that was always the plan, then why didn’t I major in English Education ,well to be honest, I never even thought about it.I still have dreams of making a Cannes nominated flick,writing the perfect screenplay, and maybe writing a book about minority representation in Science-Fiction television shows.Those are my life long dreams,teaching, to be quite frank, isn’t. It’s something that I wanted to do for the experience, and a chance to live a life that many only dream off.To learn about a different langauge and a new culture is something I’ve always dreamed of, but I had always assumed that I would have this experience in Japan.Plans change.

 

……… but you’re not a teacher ….. …

Well legally, no I’m in no way licenced to teach English in the U.S.,but I do teach.

 

…….Who would let you teach their sudents English without a degree or a teaching license?……

Multiple countries such as Japan,China,South Korea,Cambodia,Vietnam,Thailand,Georgia,Spain…and I’m sure there are many more.

 

……..But why……

That is a good question.The reason being is that English is a global language and having your kids master a second language will not only teach them confidence, but will put them ahead for jobs and college admissions .I’m basically teaching the next generation that will compete in the business world(kind of ).You will find that many of these countries have implemented English as part of the curriculum of their students. Though you will find there are schools that force teachers who don’t want to teach English or are not fluent in English to teach English, that’s where you come in.(DISCLAIMER:This is not always the case.There are plenty of international schools in which everyone speaks English ,though those are normally  private schools .There are also school that have a slew of willing English teachers but those schools tend to be in the city.)Many of these countries are pretty homogeneous, so not only do you bring yourself and your language, but you bring your culture .I’m 100% sure that I’m the only Black woman my students and coworkers have ever met.In some of these cases, you’re working for a private schools for others your being hired by the goverment.Its great I have full health and dental care, free housing, renewal bonuses and a free flight back home . And what you should be doing is helping the Native teacher of that country teach English.You’ll b repeating words in your native English dialect.You’ll also be leading activities and games.It’s not for those with low stamina but i think it’s totally worth it.

 

WAIT DID YOU SAY FREE HOUSING,you’re not getting paid well are you…

I get paid pretty well I get a couple of thousand a month.

 

What do you need for this job.

1.)U.K.,U.S.A.,Irish,English, Australian, South African,and/or New Zealand citizenship[Basically they want English-speaking countries of their choice(western ones they know of) these are the ones a lot of people want….yes I know there are others,but I don’t make the requirements .]

2.)A four-year bachelors degree in any discipline.

3.)A clean Federal background check

4.)T.E.F.L. 120 certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)

5.)An open mind.

 

….but how do find these jobs….

You can go to recruiters, such as ESLStarter(my personal recruiter) , and websites such as Dave’s ESL cafe are places that definite steps in the right direction.

 

…..Oh reallly……SO Whats the catch…

You have to be willing to leave your family,friends,church group,boyfriend/girlfriend,your home, and comfort zone.You have to willing to go a place where many people won’t understand you.You have to be willing to have a life changing experience.

[SIDENOTE:If you are a liscened teacher or a liscenced English teacher you could be making a lot of money and live a pretty cushy life.]

I hope this helps,

 

BlerdLikeMe