30 June 2011

Not Prague, Part 1: Vienna

One of the best things about staying in Prague for a month was the ability to travel to nearby European cities for a week after I finished my teacher certification course. And the best part about traveling to nearby European cities is that some of them are so steeped in history, the cultural arm of the United Nations lists the entire town center as a world heritage site, which is code for A Very Important Place. One such city is Vienna, the first stop on my post-certification tour.

29 June 2011

Hurry up and wait

My readers who already work abroad won't be surprised to read this, but preparing all the necessary visa work to move to another country is time consuming, expensive and stressful. To quote one of America's great social commentators, "I'd rather dive off the Sears Tower headfirst into a thumbtack."

Nonetheless, it is an important part of the process, given that refusal to do such work means we don't get the job. And one can't blame another country for making sure only fit and proper people work there, can one?

28 June 2011

Goodbye kimchi. Hello pig's knuckle.

Shall I start from the beginning? OK then. First, the earth cooled. And then the dinosaurs came. But they got too big and fat so they died and turned to oil. And then the Arabs came and bought Mercedes Benzes ...

Never mind then. I'll start from May. I traveled to Prague. I took the Cambridge CELTA course, a brutal-yet-rewarding four-week intensive that left me sleep-deprived but a much better teacher. I got the highest possible grade. I left Prague and said to myself, "If only I had more time here to see everything." And on Friday, I got the reprieve I wanted. I've been hired at the same school that taught me the course, Akcent-International House in Prague.

Those who have followed my blog know that I take my work seriously, but myself slightly less so. But you'll have to believe me when I tell you that, for the first time in my life, I got the dream job I was after, and I'd be doing cartwheels right now except that I'd destroy all of the lamps where I'm housesitting. (That, and I can't do a cartwheel.) The school is well-organized, boasts a sterling reputation, provides plenty of support, and is located in one of the coolest cities in the world by almost any measure -- culture, affordability, location, public transport, architecture, tall women with long hair that looks awesome falling out of a baseball cap. This job, as the Brits like to say, ticks all of the boxes.