Anxieties Surrounding What I Will do After University

I will be going to Italy following my graduation, where I will be able to spend the summer working as an intern at an Agro-tourism Bed & Breakfast. Even though I now have a temporary solution for what I will technically be “doing” after university, I am still fearful about what I will do next. I know that this is a personal piece that I m writing so I hope my audience will not feel too bad about reading such an account. 
It is strange how this feeling of worry and discomfort about the future has crept into my head once again. I was happy with the prospects about the future, but knowing that this position will be only three much, which is very temporary is upsetting in some ways concerning the future. I know that once this summer internship is over I will be low on cash so by kicking the preverbial can down the road I will have a much larger issue when I either return to the United States or move onto another country. I am one person that I think needs to experience uncertainty so that I might be able to cope with it better in the future, but it is nerve racking thinking about how I know nothing in regard to what will become of me once this short chapter is over. Part of me is hopeful that I might be guided to a better opportunity during my stay at the Bed & Breakfast, but another part of me wants to tirelessly plan for what might be just over the horizon. I know that I have the opportunity to work in China as an English instructor, or to work in Ireland following my time in Italy, which is encouraging as I do want to remain abroad rather than returning to the United States. I know that China provides more certainty as I do have a specific job opportunity, but I am more drawn to Ireland as I do have a greater interest in Ireland in general even though it would be a greater risk. I know that I am lucky as I do have something for the time right after graduation, and I know a number of people that do not even have that, but I hope that this will act as a book mark in this chapter of my life. If you are experiencing this right now I do sympathize with you, but on the bright side I have been through much worse and this will soon pass. I think that the most important thing is to stay focused on the present and being grateful for the opportunities I do have in front of me even though there is a great amount of uncertainty. 
I would like to thank you for reading this if you have gotten this far through the posting. I will be having an interview tomorrow with a local political organization, so I might make a post about preparing for an interview and also finding internship/job opportunities while you are still a student. From reading then above you should be able to deduce that I am no means an expert, but if it does help provide someone with an alternative perspective which allows them to reach some level of understanding that is all that is worth it. I will keep you all posted about what is happening with me next, as this is kind of like my own personal journal that is accessible to all the people of the world. I should also be purchasing airplane tickets soon so I will keep you posted about how I book them, which is how I have been told to book them from other blogger. Even so I did find an interesting difference of around $300.00 between Kayak and Skyscanner on the same search so that could be enlightening to all you readers. Hope you have a good stress and worry free evening (:

How To Get Internships Abroad

For the internship that I finally got for this coming Summer I was able to find it and apply for it because I knew someone who was affiliated with the estate. Because of this I do not have a complete experience from application to acceptance through all of the options that I am suggesting, but I have applied or found opportunities through them.
Who you know – Your Contacts: 

I know that this is a commonly recommended strategy by many travel bloggers, or job board bloggers. Even so this has been one of the tips that I find the most daunting, or rather the one that I did not understand properly. One misconception that I had when I would read suggestions such as this one, was that it referred to your close circle of friends or that after reading such a tip you would then have an epiphany that would allow you to instantly know of someone that would help you with your endeavors abroad. Because of this I found this tip to be very intimidating, and made me feel a little helpless, but I then realized that if you talk to people able what you are hoping to do that they can offer suggestions. If a suggestion interests you then you can explore it in more detail and it might then help you land a job abroad. This method was how I learned about my internship, which was actually a place that I had gone to years before. If I had not had that suggestion I would probably be still tired and frustrated as I searched for opportunities abroad. 

Online: 

Chateaux/Villas/Estates

One thing that I would also look into would be rebuilding Chateaux, Villas, and Estates in their respective countries. I know that there are a number of heritage organizations in France that seek to help rebuild Chateaux across the country. Most of these opportunities will be in rural areas, but as most tourists want to be in the urban centers there are more opportunities for cheap or free labor in the places away from these centers to help work on projects in the country. For this I would recommend searching, Chateaux Internship in France, or something along those lines as they are fairly easy to find. I would also like to caution you that there are some opportunities that will ask for you to pay up to $1,000 to join the project and unless it is something that has a value of $1,000 to be able to have a part in whatever they’re doing I would recommend that you do a little more digging to find something that would be a work in exchange for room and board agreement. I also would look into this if you have a working-holiday visa as it can provide a sense of stability while you are looking for work in your respective locale. 

Wwoofing & Work Away

If you are interested in doing farm work or working in a Bed and Breakfast, or Hostel that magically does not have a bunch of young people that want to work for free room and board these two services could really help you in finding work abroad. Now most of these do not offer hard cash to their workers, but they will allow you to help stretch your budget so you can keep on traveling. I have had a number of friends that have worked as wwoofers. So to get this gig you have to pay a fee of around $30 to have access to the respective nation’s job board. With this you can then look at the various farm or other agricultural enterprises to find one that suites your abilities and conditions that you are willing to work under. There are a number of other blogs that can go into more detail on this subject, but after you find a farm that you are interested in working at you can then go contact the host and discuss the conditions of your service. 

Work Away works around the same premise, for a fee of around $15 you can contact the hosts on this international job board. The main difference however is the fact that you can work at Bed and Breakfasts, as an Au Pair, as an office assistant, language teacher, farm hand, and a whole variety of other jobs. This provides a much wider range of opportunities, but one draw back is that I’ve found that there are fewer positions with Work Away than compared to wwoof; however, you are able to work a wider range of gigs with this board.

Job Boards: Gumtree

I hope to be able to provide more first hand feedback about gumtree in the future, but I know that it is a job board, much like craigslist that is a favorite among backpackers. As I continue my travels I hope to be able to provide more information about this, but I would also recommend checking it out in the future.
I hope that this helps provide some information and inspiration on how to find positions abroad. 

Applying for Jobs in Ireland

Applying for Jobs in Ireland

In my quest to travel and live abroad following graduation this Spring, I’ve started applying to various jobs in Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. I know that I should probably be doing the so called “responsible” thing and start to develop a career near to where I live, as according to an article that I read in Inc magazine proximity an applicant’s most important trait (Click here to view the article). Either way I have selected Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand as the three countries where I am conducting a remote job search, since I am eligible for their work-holiday visa programs. I did recently post an article on the various work-holiday visa programs that Americans are eligible, so if you want more information about that go here. This post however, will be specifically about applying for positions in Ireland, so I might make another one for Australia in New Zealand as some of the services I will be reviewing are specific for Ireland.

Jobbio

If you are looking for a more permanent position in Ireland, I would consider looking into Jobbio.com. They also have postings for the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, but since they are an Irish company I have found that many of their job postings are for Irish firms. The positive thing about this site, is that once you fill out your profile applying for positions is very easy. All you have to do is type in the keywords associated with your chosen field, find a job posting you are interested in, and then hit the “Submit application” button and you’ve applied for that job. Some companies ask that you write a 500-character letter explaining why you are interested in the job, but many of them do not have a cover letter option. I think that this is a good option if you want to quickly apply for a number of jobs, but the one problem I have with it is that with the positions that do not allow you to submit a cover letter. Since I am unable to tell my story to a future employer, it makes me question how competitive I might be during the application process. Either way if you are looking to submit your application to a number of future employers in a short amount of time, then Jobbio is the great option.

Jobs.ie & Indeed Ireland

I have found that Jobs.ie and Indeed Ireland are your traditional job search websites. With these job boards you are able to search for a number of positions in your chosen field and narrow them down by pay, hours and location. Because these application sites are more traditional you are required to spend more time curating your application to the specific position that you are applying for. This allows you to add a cover letter, submit a revised CV, and answer some employer specific questions, but this strength also is a weakness as you have to devote more time to each application. I think that using these more traditional services along with the Jobbio’s rapid-fire application service, might be wise as you can cover a lot of ground with Jobbio, but also submit some high quality applications that could have a better chance of landing you a job.

Work Away

With Work Away you typically will not get paid, but you will receive accommodation and meals in return for some work at hostel, or a farm. This would allow you to have your basics covered for a month or two as you search for work in your chosen local. This is advantageous if you are trying to save money, but you should be warned Work Away hosts tend to be located away from city-centers. Because of this there are a limited number of Work Away opportunities in places such as Dublin, or Cork. If you are looking to hold a longer-term month position in one of these urban districts and use a Work Away experience to help save some money as you conduct a job-search in one of these locales, then it might be wise to apply for a Work Away position earlier than later.

 

wwoof.ie

Much like Work Away wwoof (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) allows you to spend time working on an organic farm. This is great if you are looking to spend a few months working in Ireland and then moving onto your next travel destination or returning home. Because Organic Farms are located away from urban centers preforming a job search in those districts will be challenging. Even so with this you can experience rural Ireland, and possibly gain employment in the area around where your farm is located.

 

I hope that this gives you some insight on various places that you can find work before arriving in Ireland. I would also like to note that I found an article on rachelinireland.com that outlines a number of other options that you can take to start working in Ireland. This includes a number of ideas such as, Hostels and Hotels, Au Pairing, Internships with international firms, Retail, Outdoor Centers, Pubs, Seasonal Farming, Temping, and Tour guiding. You can check out this article by going here. I will keep you updated on my progress as I try to find employment abroad, as well as make one on what I have done to search for positions in New Zealand and Australia.

English as a Second Language Certificates & Teaching English Abroad:

There are many opportunities to teach English abroad for native English speakers, but before teaching it is important that you have the right qualifications. The base qualifications that are typically required before applying and being accepted for an English teaching position are the TEFL, TESOL, and CELTA. Each one of these certificates are unique unto themselves and provide each future English teacher with a different range of skill at varying prices.

TEFL – The TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) probably the most common English teaching certificate.  This being said there is no real standardization around this certificate so a TEFL is more or less a blanket term for a wide range of programs that are held at variety of organizations. Because of this you can receive a TEFL certificate from an online course at the steep price of $35 from groupon.com, but you can also receive one from a local university that is better and at a much higher price. If you do get a TEFL certificate, it is also important to explain where you got it from, what the requirements were to pass that course, and what you think your TEFL certificate can bring to the classroom. It is important to remember that your education will help give you the needed confidence in our teaching abilities to be an effective teacher. I would recommend that if you do get a TEFL certificate, to try and get one from an accredited institution that will really push you to become the best English teacher you can be. Also it is important to remember that most employers will want you to have at least a 120-hour certificate, even if it is in the PRC, so don’t get tempted by a quick 40-hour certificate, because it will be far below the necessary teaching requirements.

TESOL – The TESOL and the CELTA are both standardized programs as compared to the unstandardized TEFL. The TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is an examination offered by the Trinity College in London, and has acted as an alternative to the CELTA exam. The TESOL tends to be more readily available than the CELTA, which makes it a good option if there is not a CELTA center in your area, and it also tends to be much cheaper than the CELTA exam. The standardization of this program makes it a much better option than the TEFL as your employer will have an understanding of the course that you have taken. With that in mind it is important to note that at TESOL will be much more expensive than a TEFL, but with that extra cost comes student teaching, and a greater depth of knowledge in the mechanics of being a teacher.

CELTA – The CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) has been seen as the “gold-standard” for a preliminary English teaching certificate. These certificates are approved by Cambridge University, and are provided by Cambridge approved testing centers. There is also an individual sent by Cambridge to oversee each CELTA class, as well as provide feedback to each CELTA student. This certificate is much more expensive than the other and ranges between £900 and £2500. The cheapest tuition that I found was in Belgrade Serbia for £900 and the most expensive one that I found was in San Francisco in the United States for £2500. I should also note that you typically have to pay the tuition in pounds and then pay for housing along with other fees in the local currency. CELTA courses can also be taken on either a full-time, a part-time basis, with the full-time course lasting around one month, while a part-time course might last for three months. Some institutions also offer an online/inclass option, which typically lasts around four months, where you do your work on your own time, while periodically checking in with an instructor. This course option does require students to do in class teaching which would be done over the course of one to two weeks at the specific testing center. Another regulation that is important to know with the CELTA is that if you miss a class, you end up forfeiting your certificate, so make sure you’re not sick during that three to one-month period.

If teaching English abroad is something that interests you, these courses are all options that you can take to get the certifications necessary to teach. I should also note that almost every employer will require you to have a Bachelor’s degree, so if you do not have that, and wish to become an English teacher, it is almost a requirement to get the Bachelor’s degree first. When I was applying to various CELTA programs (I should probably note that I am a little biased to the CELTA), it was a requirement that you have your college degree before the course’s scheduled start date. With that being said there has been rumored that there are some language schools in the PRC that will accept teachers without their Bachelor’s. I would personally stay away from those institutions, as it is national law that all teachers have received higher education.

I hope that this article was informative and somewhat enjoyable to read. If you have any questions about any of this, I am by no means an expert, but I have spent a fair amount of time researching how to become an ESL teacher. I will also include some links below on how to find schools that offer these certificates and some good YouTube Channels about teaching ESL abroad.

***

YouTube Channels: Most of the channels that I have spent time watching are about Westerners teaching English and living in China. Many of their earlier videos were on teaching English in China, but as their channels have grown they have spent more time focusing on Chinese culture. It is great to watch their newer videos on China, but for the purposes of this article I would just do a quick search on their channel page for teaching English

BenTeachesEnglishOverseas: I should note that he has taught in China, but has also taught English in a number of other countries across the globe.

https://www.youtube.com/user/GetRICHTeaching

Frank Macri:

https://www.youtube.com/user/franklyvlog

laowhy86:

https://www.youtube.com/user/laowhy86/featured

serpentza:

https://www.youtube.com/user/serpentza/featured

Prozzie:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-ZtFYBGX6JFlfTyhB-GS4g

Links: For finding TESOL and TEFL schools I would just do a search around the lines of “Your City TESOL or TEFL certificate.” You can also do searches for online TEFL certificates, these will not be accredited, but if you are looking for a cheap way to reach the minimum requirements for many of the jobs in China and Southeast Asia this is a good option. If you are looking for a CELTA certificate, I would recommend taking a look at the link below. Cambridge English’s search feature is really nice since you can quickly find CELTA certified school anywhere across the globe without being bogged down with articles like mine talk about the CELTA rather than the specific schools you would be interested in contacting. I wish you all the best with your search in whatever you might do.

http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/find-a-centre/find-a-teaching-centre/

I wish you the best in whatever you dream to do