Although I anticipate this being one of my many moves in my career, I want to take the time to weigh out the pro’s and con’s of a year-long commitment to teaching in a country.
I’m considering a few places and I’ve been researching and ruling out a couple over the past few months. Now that I’m here and talking with teachers who have traveled, I believe I have narrowed it down to two main countries of interest.
Spain and Vietnam.
Spain for obvious reasons. I want to continue to improve my Spanish and I love this place. There is rich culture and history around this country to be explored. I would love to spend the next few years here learning and growing.
Vietnam for maybe less-obvious reasons to the casual reader. My interest in Vietnam is more sociological and justice-oriented. My undergraduate degree is in social and economic justice, thus I spend much of my time studying countries impacted by all types of political and environmental woes. Perhaps the most curious aspect about Vietnam for me is that it is a country which has survived massive war and violence. I would like to understand how the country looks today from the eyes of someone living there. I would like to understand the blended culture post-war and the impact of the strength of people who pulled the country through a dark time.
Of course, in both places, there’s a need for English teachers as more and more countries call for English to be spoken for job placement and advancement. I would like to know my travels and curiosity have a concrete and positive effect on those who want me there.
Any place I go, I want to understand. I want to spend time in the country long enough to learn as much as I can about how the interwoven pieces come together to stitch the fabric of the country and culture.
I’d love to hear what you think. Where should I teach?