Living Abroad Skills

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In the last 3 years, I’ve been constantly been around students and been living and breathing a school environment. Living abroad has really pushed me to the edge and I’ve seen how I am changing each and everyday.

Through the time I spent abroad in teaching and living by myself, I have found myself developing new skills.

Here are the skills I have developed:

  1. Communication Skills – I’m constantly required to speak only in English to my students, whether I know their language or not, it does not matter. The point is: I’m a native English speaker and my job is to give them both a language and cultural immersion at school. This year, at the IVE in Hong Kong, I’m constantly struggling. Most of my students have a low proficiency in English and therefore, leads to having low confidence. Sometimes, I have to explain many of the vocabularies in my powerpoint and I am tested to my patience. I started to realize that my communication skills are improving significantly because I am forcing myself to explain things clearly and with several examples, and I truly believe these are strong transferable skills I can bring anywhere in any job in the future.
  2. Confidence Level – A few years ago when I first moved out to small town Quebec, I used to say to my roommates, “I will fake it until I make it.” It is true, because no matter how bad things were, I did not give up and never ran home. I sticked it out to the end, even if it was really difficult.  Through isolation and hardships, I grew significantly and became a more confident individual, who has now transformed these horrific encounters of bad luck into stories of strength and perseverance. It’s true: Confidence sells.
  3. Patience – Through learning a new language to understanding a new culture to pushing my message / lesson across to my students, my patience is always put to a test each and everyday.  Learning and understanding a language is rewarding – you instantly see the results and it is gratifying. This also applies to learning about a culture and even more so when my students understand me, even when speaking English. Being patient is important – it helps me to remember that hard work does pay off.

My life is richer in experiences because I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and in return, I became more confident and patient with stronger communication skills.

Everyone has a story.

This is mine.