#TeachAbroadBecause… you get to live, travel, and work in another country!

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Upon finishing her A-levels, Anna, an Austrian native, took a gap year as an Au Pair in France to improve her French and create new experiences. Currently, she is studying Cultural and Social Anthropology in Vienna. In Anna’s free time, she loves spending time with the scouts, cooking, yoga, and snowboarding. She hopes to continue traveling with plans to visit Asia and the U.S. soon! 
#TeachAbroadBecause… you get to live, travel, and work in another country!

What motivated your decision to teach abroad? How/why did you choose where to go? 
My main motivation to teach abroad was primarily because I recognized that teaching was the perfect solution for students like me who had low budgets but big dreams to travel the world. So I started to plan a stay in one of my favorite destinations, France.
#TeachAbroadBecause… you get to live, travel, and work in another country!

How did you find your job? What resources did you use? 
I found out about TalkTalkBnb from friends who had just discovered the new community. After joining, I found a family in Brittany who offered me a place to stay for a month. Johanne, their 17 year old daughter, wished to improve her knowledge of German for the summer. 

What was your experience like? Can you share some favorite memories - and challenges?
From the first moment I met my host family, I knew that I was fortunate as the family was extremely friendly and generous. They made me feel like we had known each other for a very long time even though it had been only hours. I enjoyed taking part in their family life sharing dishes, cycling, swimming, and enjoying the seaside together. I even accompanied them to family parties! 

Johanne and I spoke German in different situations each day: while preparing lunch together, having dinner and exchanging how we spent our day or planning for the weekend. We also talked about music and watched German films together. 

What skills did you develop from your experience? Do you feel changed from your teaching experience abroad?
I acquired intercultural communication skills by teaching my mother tongue and living with a French family. Even though I have no plans to become a professional teacher, this experience has pushed me to find a professional career that will involve a lot of traveling. 

Any advice for teachers thinking about working overseas? What are some highlights or things that you gained or changed your perspective? 
Teaching abroad has helped me realize that we learn things through practice. In everyday life, one mostly does not notice the skills we learn each and every day. My stay in Brittany made me aware of what I can teach to others, like my host sister, by being a role model. However, I also discovered that learning at home is much cooler and less strained than at school. 
#TeachAbroadBecause… you get to live, travel, and work in another country!

How has international education impacted or influenced your cultural identity?
Traveling has made me much more interested in following respective local press, especially when the places I’ve visited are in the news. For example, I’ve been to Iceland several times. So I was interested in how the capital, Reykjavik, was transformed during the UEFA European Championship in 2016. In short, traveling makes you a citizen of the world!

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
It’s important to recognize the importance of practicing languages. On the one hand, foreign languages make traveling easier as you can communicate with locals comfortably. On the other hand, the knowledge of foreign languages make you more open minded as you understand their specific way of thinking. It’s good to stay aware of both sides while traveling abroad!


#TeachAbroadBecause …you get to live, travel, and work in another country!