Seven years abroad as an English teacher – EBC TEFL graduate stories


“Seven years abroad as an English teacher” written by – Milan Hollister

Attended: EBC Madrid, Spain in October 2006

Course choice: Internet search

Considering working as an English teacher abroad?

Here is Milan Hollister’s (now LaBrey) inspiring story about being an English teacher abroad. Milan studied and got her TEFL certification with EBC. After her extended travels as an English teacher abroad, Milan runs the “Doctor Milan” program.

An English teacher abroad, “Seven Years” by Milan Hollister PhD.

Stuck in a sea of resumes and job applications, I was at my wit’s end. In 2005, I decided to give up the “American Dream,” and head to the East for my first taste of life as an English teacher abroad.

Alas, the first six months of my adventure as an English teacher abroad turned out to be rather stressful. I was so used to my American way of life that I wasn’t prepared for what I perceived as vast and insurmountable differences.

I was teaching English in Seoul, Korea where I couldn’t read anything, communicate, or navigate myself. But after relaxing through the process and realizing that there is much more common ground than I had originally thought, I fell in love with the country. I liked it so much that I returned for two more contract terms in years to come.

However, after my first year in Korea, I realized that I needed some skills development and a much-needed refresher in English grammar. In point of fact, it isn’t something that is taught to any real degree in American schools. So, I was sorely lacking the basics.

I decided to take a break from my life in Korea and move to Madrid to attend EBC. This was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself. EBC gave me the tools that I needed to successfully navigate the classroom. In addition, it gave me the credentials I needed to continue travelling and work as an English teacher abroad.

My training at EBC in Madrid allowed me to live, work, and teach in Madrid, Barcelona, Dubai, Ibiza, and Seoul.

I spent almost seven years travelling the world. But better than that, essentially, I got paid to do it. My time as an English teacher abroad were some of the best years of my life. I met so many wonderful people, had so many life-changing experiences, and grew as a person. Granted, I took the long way home, but I would not change one moment of my time living and teaching in other countries.

In 2012, I returned home to the States. However, from time to time, I look over the ESL jobs as I feel somewhat lost without my travel shoes. I have dealt with a bit of reverse culture shock, and acclimatising back to the grind has been less than enjoyable. I miss my easy ESL life.

Whenever anyone asks me if they would recommend working as an English teacher abroad, I don’t hesitate to give them a resounding, “Yes!” It is a decision you won’t regret and a memory you will keep forever.

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