Home

 

Getting Experience

- # of # Filtered -

From Korea to Oman: Teaching English Around the World!

Q&A with Nicole: Taught English in Asia & the Middle East
Share this
Print this
Nicole
Taught English in Asia & the Middle East
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
Researching destinations ahead of time and using social media to network beforehand is key in having a good experience abroad in my opinion.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
I only planned to teach for a year, but I enjoyed the experience so much I decided to keep renewing my contract. A decade later, I’m still abroad!
Her thoughts on Adaptation
This life isn’t for everyone. You'll have challenges, but it's a learning experience and has shown me just how adaptable I can be.

When and where did you teach abroad? Did you go with a program?

I've been teaching English abroad for a decade. I first started in 2009 in South Korea with the EPIK (English Program in Korea) program. I taught in Busan, South Korea for three-and-a-half years and then moved on to teach in Oman at a small college in Nizwa, Oman. I've taught here for six years. I took a year off to go to graduate school in Germany after my first year in Oman.

What made you want to teach English Abroad?

I was laid off from my market research job in Chicago and decided to move abroad. I had visited a few girlfriends teaching in Japan a few years prior and was always interested in having the experience for myself. I only planned to teach for a year, but I enjoyed the experience so much I decided to keep renewing my contract. A decade later, I’m still abroad.

How did you conduct your search? How did you select your program/country and/or find an employer abroad?

I originally found my job online on Monster.com, randomly searching for positions. I was deciding between Japan and South Korea at the time, after learning about Japan through friends, but ultimately decided South Korea was a better fit for me. When I was ready to leave Korea, I was considering positions in the Middle East in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman. I found the opportunity to teach at a college in Oman on Seriousteachers.com. After reading up on Oman, I decided that was the best fit for me. I’ve been really happy with my destination choices.

What was your biggest surprise about your teaching experience abroad? 

My biggest surprise would be how easy it was for me to adapt to different cultures. I think you have to be very flexible to pull off the expat lifestyle. I tell people that this life isn’t for everyone. You will have challenges, but for me it's been a learning experience and has shown me just how adaptable I can be to changes in culture and environment.

What made your experience abroad a success?

My experience abroad has been a success for several reasons. I've discovered my own strength, willpower, met amazing people and travelled the world. Since living abroad I've visited close to 50 countries and started a travel site called I Luv 2 Globe Trot with a business partner I met in South Korea named Renee. On the blog, I document my experiences living abroad, as well as writing reviews for hotels and restaurants. Additionally, we started a travel group on Facebook iluv2globetrot, where we give advice to future globetrotters and those already traveling the globe. We've hosted group trips and meet-ups as well in the community around the globe.

How did you deal with the cultural divide during your time teaching abroad?

It's important to try to immerse yourself in the culture while living abroad. While teaching in South Korea, I took Korean lessons. I can still read my Korean letters today. I also frequented local spots like the jimjilbangs (bath houses). When I went out to places like this, I’d always have locals approaching me wanting to practice their English or become friends. Living in Oman, it’s important to respect the local culture, so dressing modestly has become important. Omanis are super friendly, and I don't have any issues living here.

What is your number one tip for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Research, research, research! Researching destinations ahead of time and using social media to network beforehand is key in having a good experience abroad in my opinion. Use communities such as iluv2globetrot on Facebook. The “Black Americans Living Abroad in South Korea” community helped me a lot before my move to Korea. I also ended up writing my own book, A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad, that has loads of tips, interviews and steps to assist in the application process for various countries.

What did you miss most about home?

What I've missed most about home is my family and friends. I've made amazing friends abroad of course, but there’s nothing like family. While I don't really miss living in the States, I do miss the people I’m closest to.

Do you have any final observations on your experience?

My final observation would be that living abroad makes you stronger in many aspects of your life. You'll learn how to handle obstacles and think on your feet, managing alone in a foreign culture.

What are your future plans for going abroad and for your career?

Since I've been teaching abroad for 10 years, I've enjoyed this lifestyle a lot. At some point I plan to retire abroad because I love the expat life. I see myself somewhere like Portugal or Cape Town running a bed and breakfast, helping others to have fruitful experiences traveling abroad and fulfilling their dreams.

Advice from MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey, Publisher, MyWorldAbroad

Nicole's story shows how one trip abroad can lead to a lifelong adventure. We commend her willingness to travel between multiple contrasting cultures, adapting and learning as she goes. She clearly demonstrates an entrepreneurial spirit as well, aiming to share what she's learned in her blog. We wish Nicole many more years of travel and cross-cultural immersion. If she is looking for a professional challenge, she might one day wish to move from teaching English to another type of job. A domestic position abroad, or an internationally-focused job with a North American firm, could expand her cross-cultural career understanding even further. This next level of immersion opens up even more types of cross-cultural understanding. We also wish her well with her goal of starting a small hotel business abroad. Good luck!

Nicole's Next Steps
Advice from MyWorldAbroad
by the founder of MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey
Want to Have the Same Experience?
10 Core Global Competencies
Take control of your career with this ESSENTIAL model!
Virtual Internships in 2021!
Remote work is the way of the future! Start planning YOUR virtual international internship now.
The 1-Year & 4-Year Global Mindset Maps!
Don't miss your blueprint for success! Set goals & take action to build the Global You.
The Global You
What skills, knowledge and experiences can change your life? Find out with this NEW model!
Quizzes & Scorecard
Take these simple quizzes to assess your international skills, experiences & job search readiness!
The Culture Tree
EXPLORE the three levels of culture!
15401
- # of # Filtered -
  • 102
102
16382
Making the Most of Lockdown with a Virtual Internship
1
16392
Building International Career Skills Online
2
16387
An Epic Internship in Malaysia
3
16312
Virtual Internship for a Cross-cultural Future
4
16320
Independent, International, Virtual! A UN Internship Online
5
16316
Exploring the Sights, Sounds & Tastes of Mexico City
6
16157
Zoom Zoom! A Virtual Internship with Central America
7
9756
Springtime In Spain
8
9763
A Professional Visit To Vietnam
9
9780
A Year In Marvelous Mexico!
10
9751
A Canadian Globe-Trotter Visits The US
11
9743
Hooked On Volunteering!
12
9768
Going Solo In Spain!
13
10188
Now Or Never In Colombia
14
9792
Rolling With The Punches In Seoul
15
9745
An Unforgettable Adventure In Nanjing
16
9774
Gaga For Ghana!
17
9783
Off The Beaten Path In Africa
18
9755
People, Places And Passionate Volunteering In Peru
19
9778
Study And Adventure In New Zealand
20
9740
Sports, Study And Fun In France
21
9777
Into The Wild In Alaska
22
9775
A Year Of Feeling French
23
9754
Building Memories In India
24
9750
Host Hospitality In Morocco
25
9747
Fun And Friends In The Netherlands
26
9748
Adventure In The Alps
27
9786
Kids And Culture In Korea
28
9772
Learning To Go With The Flow In France
29
9791
Making Contacts Count In The UK
30
9762
American Freshman In London
31
9771
Learning To Love London
32
9742
Take-Charge Travel: Germany And Beyond!
33
9773
Independent In India
34
9746
A Cross-Cultural Co-Op In West Africa
35
9760
Getting In Sync In Nairobi
36
9759
From Cold Feet To Confidence In Germany
37
9779
One Summer, Two Internships!
38
9785
Motivated In Madagascar
39
9741
Adapting to Work In Peru
40
9784
Skill-building in Bonn
41
9753
A Season in Sweden
42
9765
Simpatico in Florence
43
9782
Making The Most Of Milano
44
9737
Passionate About Panama
45
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
46
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
47
9789
Loving Life In Lyon
48
9790
Design And Dining In Korea
49
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
50
9757
Teaching And Learning In Tanzania
51
9738
Living For The Moment In Valencia
52
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
53
16174
An Empowering Virtual Internship in Nicaragua
54
9761
Communicating Creatively In Spain
55
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
56
16161
A Bright & Friendly Cross-cultural Workspace
57
15401
From Korea to Oman: Teaching English Around the World!
58
16017
A Globally-minded Visit to Qatar
59
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
60
9758
Learning The Local Ways Of Addis Ababa
61
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
62
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
63
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
64
15333
A Literary Education in the UK
65
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
66
10923
Insight And Education In Korea
67
14483
Finding Home, By Teaching Abroad
68
14088
An Eye-opening Experience Teaching in South Korea
69
15347
12 Months, 12 Countries!
70
14594
Growing Abroad: Hong Kong & South Korea
71
15405
From Daydream to Reality: Teaching Abroad
72
15383
Hustle and Bustle in Vietnam
73
15327
An Open Mind & Open Arms in Spain
74
15387
Bliss on a Budget in Brazil
75
15631
An International Career in the Making: Asia, Africa and Beyond
76
15644
Discovering the World on Campus: International Skills at Home
77
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
78
9752
Giving In Guatemala
79
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
80
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
81
9807
Fast Friendship in Korea
82
9787
A Spring Semester in London
83
9764
Do It Yourself! A Proactive Intern in Rome
84
11557
Un stage au Cambodge (Français)
85
9776
Soaking Up Japanese Culture
86
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
87
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
88
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
89
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
90
10851
Tips From Tasmania
91
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
92
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
93
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
94
9812
Caring And Career Skills In Belize
95
10157
Changing Course In China
96
11850
The Warmest Welcome in Guatemala
97
11904
Enthusiasm, Education and Experience in Greece
98
10163
English Teaching In Eastern Europe
99
10153
China, South Africa And Beyond!
100
10192
Out And About In Paris
101
10143
A Warm Welcome In Mexico
102
15401
All Job Boards
462
All NGOs
1428
Au Pair Resources
39
Awards And Grants Resources
53
Business Directories
18
Canadian Federal, Provincial And Territorial Government Profiles
60
Canadian Government Resources
27
Children And Families Abroad
16
Consulting, Economic And Finance Job Boards
63
Country Guides
70
Cross-cultural Skills
80
Engineering Job Boards
59
Engineering Resources
81
Expatriate Networking Sites
32
Foreign Students Working in the US
9
Freelancing Abroad
27
General Job Search Books
15
Global Education And Social Action
45
Health And Medicine Job Boards
49
Health Career Resources
67
International Associations With Clubs on Campus
43
International Development Career Resources
75
International Internship Organizations
309
International Internships And Student Programs With Canadian Governments
35
International Internships With The US Government
37
International Job Hunting Resources
14
International Law Careers Resources
113
International Law Job Boards
26
International Studies In The US And Canada
11
International Trade Resources
25
International Volunteer Organizations
492
Internship Directories And Advice
37
Internships With The UN And Other IGOs
157
Language Careers
30
Learn A Language
108
Licensed Teacher Abroad Job Boards
28
Licensed Teacher Abroad Resources
31
Loans for Studying Abroad
18
Low-cost Travel
63
NGO Directories
33
NGO Job Boards
47
Re-entry
12
Regional Job Boards
102
Relocating Abroad
26
Resources For International Students Studying In Canada
17
Resources For International Students Studying In The US
46
Stories From Abroad
102
Study Abroad Resources
185
Teach English Abroad Job Boards
99
Teach English Abroad Resources
64
Tools for Travelers
72
Top International Blogs & Podcasts
85
Travel Health And Safety
39
UN and Other IGOs
269
UN And Other IGOs Job Boards
26
UN And Other IGOs Resources
73
US Government Profiles
76
US Government Resources
36
Virtual International Internship Organizations
88
Visas and Passports
26
Volunteer Directories And Advice
50
Women Living And Working Overseas
18
Working Holiday Resources
73