Subject: Teaching Abroad

> And I think that's when I figured out I could teach. That
>gives me guaranteed breaks...school trips...full summers off...and I
>could work on writing freelance. There is no guarantee of success, but

Mandy,

If you enjoy teaching it is a great career. It may not be the most lucrative but you are doing something important. If this is your interest can I suggest the possibility of teaching overseas. I taught for the better part of five years in Czechoslovakia...later Slovakia. It was an excellent base for exploring central Europe and I had the added bonus of having wonderful students who taught me as much as I taught them. Initially I taught English as a second language and later I taught business students who were coming to study in America, about American culture. I loved it, I hope the students loved it too. Since I still hear from many of them three years after leaving I guess they thought I was alright.

I also taught in South Korea which was an interesting experience but I didn't enjoy it as much. The salaries, at the time, were quite high in Korea and consequently many of the people I knew there were in it strictly for the money. Money is definitely not the reason anyone came to teach in Slovakia. Also I learned that my upbringing, which encouraged (even required) me to question things, was not a good fit for the Korean culture. This is what travel is all about. Everything isn't going to be a wonderful experience it is just going to be a new experience. Now a few years down the road when I get together with my friends whom I met in Korea I laugh about the things that annoyed me so much. I try everyday to take things in stride...sometimes it is a struggle.

If you are interested in teaching in Central Europe let me know and I can point you in the direction of some excellent resources. I will warn you that it can be difficult to pay off high student loans and work in this part of the world. Salaries are good relative to the local cost of living but by North American standards they are very low. I know a number of lending institutions will allow you to defer loan payments for a year after graduation. If you have student loans and your bank permits this I encourage you to take advantage of it.

Another avenue (and here I am assuming you are American since you go to Clemson) is the Peace Corps. I have several close friends who went overseas with the PC. They had varying experiences. From 'loved it' to 'hated it'. So much has to do with the people you work with. It is something else you could look into. If you would like information on specific experiences I would be happy to pass along your questions to some PC veterans.

So many choices...so little time! Cheers Jude

PS: and just maybe your travel experiences will make novel writing click in your head and send you down a new path.

Be anything but a bystander! Jude Ronayne Montgomery, AL (soon to be greater Philadelphia)