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Advice: Just go with it.

December 16, 2011

The following is a complete rewrite of an earlier post that I deleted. I hate it less, now. Hopefully someone will find it somewhat useful.

I want to start a little series of tips for people that are considering teaching abroad. I feel like in three months here I already have learned dozens of things that my uninitiated self wanted to know four months ago when I was looking into this. Also, I really want to have a category that I can stick posts in other than “uncategorized”.

Now remember, I’m not trying to sound like a wise old master at three months. This advice is subject to change, and is of course entirely subjective and based on “my own meandering experience”, to quote a certain something. I am going to write this as if it’s for the random google searcher who stumbled upon this blog while researching teaching in Korea or some such thing, because that’s the only way I can really approach this.

There’s one skill that you must make sure you have before you consider teaching abroad, one thing you must prepare to do, and it’s all encapsulated in one phrase that you must repeat to yourself like a mantra whenever you think nobody who speaks English can hear you.

“Just go with it”

Go with everything. From my experience, everything is always in a state of flux anyway, you just have to be cool with that. Classes are always moving around, schedules are changing, students are coming and going, you better get comfortable being uncomfortable.

You’re going to get shit wrong. A lot. People are going to misjudge you. A lot. There will be stupid misunderstandings and cultural differences and all kinds of surprise scenarios where you need to frantically come up with something or look stupid. The greatest single skill is the ability to roll with the punches.

The thing is, once you’ve packed your stuff and moved here and gotten settled, you realize that just going with it can be pretty easy. In fact, it’s way easier than it should be to completely relocate your life to the other side of the globe. After a month of stumbling and bad sleep schedules, it simply becomes the new status quo in your mind.

Though at odd times, when you’re alone and you least expect it, you’ll be hit with a realization of just how surreal everything is.

And then you’ll just go with it and watch life’s most peculiar ability to just “become your life”, no matter what it is you’re doing.


From → Advice

  1. James permalink

    I’m tempted to say ‘When in Rome…” as a response to this post… But I want to punch myself in the face for saying that. Hopefully that image will make you smile 😉

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