March 24, 2016
Our slogan is “Costa Rica TEFL – Your ticket to see the world!” On of our 2011 graduates, Lauren McNichols, has really taken it to heart. Since graduating, Lauren has taught in 4 countries and traveled to over 20 more! Here’s what Lauren has to say:
“Costa Rica TEFL has paid off for me, ten-fold, in ways that I didn’t think a teaching certification would. To start off, I didn’t major in teaching while in college, and the schools that I have worked at are mainly about delivering their lesson plan and style, even if it’s not what you think is the most effective. I got a TEFL certification so I could learn to develop my own lessons from scratch and learn how to engage a class.
After getting the certification, I took it and ran; I went to India and taught Tibetan monks and nuns with no other materials other than the notebooks and white board I bought for them. Then, I landed a job in Japan after completing a 6 page interview packet that I would have had a very difficult time with had I not studied at Costa Rica TEFL. I have since taught English in 4 different countries and traveled through 20 others.
Since graduating, I have traveled through 20 other countries, one trip was around the world, another through India and Southeast Asia. I had saved money from teaching in South Korea, and later Japan.
I have also taught in India and Costa Rica.
I live in Kyoto, the historic and scenic former capital of Japan! With thousands of temples and shrines, unique Izakayas (pubs) and old street markets all nestled into a valley, Kyoto never fails to amaze. I love to just hop on my bike with no plan and choose a direction and pedal, finding my self in an old part of town with friendly cafes and hidden temples. I’ve been here for about 2 years now and I still feel like I hardly know this city.
I teach English one-on-one to adults, and sometimes kids. I do a lot of business English lessons and prep clients for presentations. My school provides the textbooks and materials, but I still have a little bit of prep each day. It’s a fun, stress-free job with many hard-working students.
Also, my school has the option to do sales, where I give a trial lesson to students who are considering to join the school. It’s nice to develop many other skills such as recruiting and sales on top of teaching.
On weekends I love to set off on my bike and explore Kyoto. I take lots of trips to trips to other cites in Japan to see temples, ski resorts, and samurai graveyards. I’m also a snowboarder and I take trips to Nagano and Hokkaido for the endless powder and long runs. I have been able to take lessons in dojos to study martial arts. So many amazing things that I would not otherwise be able to do in my hometown outside Chicago.
I plan to volunteer teach in Myanmar for a few months through a school on Work Away, (www.workaway.com) and after that, country hop the long way back home!”
It’s just so great to hear from our graduates. Thank you for the update Lauren, and we wish you the best of luck!