Looking for Greener Pastures
I’m Nicole Venus and this is my story about teaching English in a foreign country. After graduating with a degree in journalism, I had anticipated that it would be easier for me to secure a good and reliable job in my country Ireland. However, it proved a bit difficult for me; hence I decided to look for greener pastures. That’s when I came up with the idea of teaching English in foreign countries.
I researched online for the best place where I could offer my services and the destination which proved the best was Qatar. I had never been to any Asian country before, but given the job description that the school advertised for, I was certain that it would be a good experience teaching there.
I contacted the school about the teaching position, we had an online interview, they clarified all the information about the terms of their contract and all the benefits that I’d derive and all this was satisfactory. I then sent to them certified copies of my qualification and also my TEFL certification and they were pleased to employ me.
Particularly, I was more pleased by their wage scale as well as other benefits such as a whole month’s vacation day which too was to be fully paid plus a vacation bonus pay.
The next three months I spend preparing all the necessary travel documents and also securing a work visa.
My frustrations in Qatar:
During mid fall, I left for Qatar. I had expected the weather there to be hot as I had earlier researched. I arrived safely and was welcomed by another foreign teacher who took me to the hotel where I was to temporarily stay while the apartment meant for me would be renovated.
During my first week of orientation to their culture also the country, I started having strange feelings. Everything was totally the opposite of my expectations. The culture there was too strict especially on women; their mode of dressing, the way they are supposed to conduct themselves especially in public, how one was to greet and address others especially men etc.
All this was foreign to me and most of the time I found out that I was doing the opposite of what was expected. The food in most of the hotels was also strange. As much as I tried to get used to it, I ignored it. I longed to leave the hotel and settle in my apartment so that I could prepare my own food.
The second week:
By the second week, I had been introduced to the students whom I was supposed to teach. Though, I knew that I was going to teach adult students, I got shocked that most of them were 10 years or more than me. This made me feel inadequate to teach them. I had this fear that they would always fault me, especially my way of addressing things.
During this week, I also developed some sun burn. I went for to a health center there. The hospital, though one of the best, didn’t meet the standards that I had expected. This made me acknowledge that I was in the wrong place.
By the end of the week, I talked to the school administration and requested to leave. I explained my predicament and frustration. I was urged to stay, but I couldn’t take it. I had to go home; I missed home. On the third week, I flew back to my country.