#TeachAbroadBecause … it's life’s greatest lesson

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Marie is passionate about travel and languages. She is studying Translation, Interpretation, and Intercultural Management in Paris. She speaks French, Spanish, and English fluently and is currently learning Italian and Breton. Marie’s goal is to speak as many languages as possible, mostly learning them by travelling around the world. 

In Marie’s family, travel is really important. Both her parents work in airports and the entire family has been traveling since she was young. Her family taught her that travel is the best school, as it teaches open-mindedness, tolerance, curiosity, and respect.

Besides travelling, Marie’s other passion include cooking, as it is another open window to cultures, which led her to create a personal blog about travel and food. Her dream goal would be to travel the world to cook with locals and discover their culinary traditions. 

#TeachAbroadBecause … it's life’s greatest lesson

What motivated your decision to teach abroad? How/why did you choose where to go? 
I’m a travel enthusiast and I wanted to start my own travel blog. So I was looking into practically anything related to travel including different innovations, articles, news about different places to see, etc. Italy has always had a certain draw for me because of the culture, history and pictures I’ve seen. Then I just focused all my energy and research into finding someone who wanted to learn French.
#TeachAbroadBecause … it's life’s greatest lesson

How did you find your job? What resources did you use? 
During the same time I was just trying to find different avenues to travel and TalkTalkBnb just appeared on my Facebook newsfeed. I directly subscribed and found a female student who wanted to learn French. We exchanged a lot of messages and finally decided that she would host me for four nights for free as I practiced French with her. 

What was your experience like? Can you share some favorite memories - and challenges?
My time in Italy with my newfound Italian friend went really well. We decided beforehand that it would be an informal French lesson throughout my stay. I only spoke to her in French and she had to answer in French as often as she could. The most interesting times occurred while we were cooking, and when she gave me tours of her city. The challenges I was met with while in Italy came mostly from just making sure I was doing a great job by teaching and I wanted to make sure my hosts learned a lot. 
#TeachAbroadBecause … it's life’s greatest lesson

What skills did you develop from your experience? Do you feel changed from your teaching experience abroad?
I gained a lot of confidence from this experience. It confirmed that I am definitely able to speak in public especially in several languages. And it reaffirmed my desire to live abroad for several years after I graduate. I am even more willing to travel, discover, and meet people. I have a list of languages I want to learn and I know I’ll be able to fulfill this goal. 
#TeachAbroadBecause … it's life’s greatest lesson

Any advice for teachers thinking about working overseas? What are some highlights or things that you gained or changed your perspective? 
In France, or at least when I was at school, learning was based on writing; everything was focused on grammar, dissertations, rhetoric… We barely worked on speaking skills, public speaking or speaking another language. We can easily write, but when it comes to speaking, we are stuck. So anywhere you go teach abroad, don’t be afraid to break down those language barriers. I’ve been enabled to take risks by not focusing on the mistakes I could make while speaking and teaching. 
#TeachAbroadBecause … it's life’s greatest lesson

How has international education impacted or influenced your cultural identity?
Well I’ve been traveling since childhood. My family and I have often stayed with locals. It made me very aware and appreciative of how everyone’s culture is special, but through that exposure it’s made me realize traveling can make any place your next home.
#TeachAbroadBecause … it's life’s greatest lesson

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of all the tools there are in the world to teach abroad. Sometimes we can feel stuck with the inability or power to do anything because we can’t afford it, but there are definitely ways. You just have to be open to trying new things. It’ll enable you to challenge yourself and to test your abilities to see if what we’ve learned during our schooling truly applies in real life!


#TeachAbroadBecause … because it's life’s greatest lesson