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Andrea Boucher
International Studies degree, the University of Southern Mississippi
Many geography courses; Gamma Theta Upsilon member 

Andrea Boucher

TEACHING ABROAD. 

USM was a great stepping stone for my journey to see the world. Traveling and learning about cultures is a passion that I endowed from my father. For me, getting a degree was a means to fill my life with knowledge of the world and all that it possesses. With this knowledge I hoped I would be given opportunities to continue traveling, using this passion as a means to provide for myself.

I researched Geography and International Studies and took advantage of studying abroad to both Mexico and Tibet. I am now privileged to be writing this from South Korea where I currently teach. I found out about the TEFL or TESOL program, teaching English as a foreign or second language, from a peer who was an English major. She ensured me that teaching abroad only required a degree no matter what it was in.

I searched the internet and found that almost every country in the world has a demand for native English speakers. I chose South Korea because the pay and benefits were the most competitive. Once decided on my country I had several interviews with recruiters to represent me. This decision is the most important because a good recruiter will ensure your best interests. This means you should be able to communicate well with them and to not feel uncomfortable with speaking up about what you want. This service is also free because the school pays them a finder's fee.

Though it did take time I'm glad I waited in this decision because they have made the transition a lot easier. Your recruiter will continually show you different schools and arrange for phone interviews until you have chosen one. After this then the process of obtaining a visa and gathering paperwork begins. This takes about two months. At that point you are on your way to your country of choice for at least a year or however long you decide on.

 Suwon cultural festival

           Suwon Cultural Festival

 

In South Korea I'm learning so much about the culture, land and language. I go to school and teach the same to my students about America. But the learning doesn't stop there. There are other native English Teachers from around the world. Though you may have nothing else in common with other English Teachers you are drawn together through the language. Because of this I have learned and am now on the Gaelic Football team. This is a popular sport in Ireland and I play with the huge population of Irish Lads and Ladies. I have been to several Braais, South African barbeques, and have eaten their countrys' dishes while learning about the vast differences and similarities between our cultures.

On Sundays, I attend an English Mass hosted and congregated by Filipinos. The mass is often interjected with their native tongue which puts the church at ease to feel some comforts of their home. There are other countries that I have befriended and I just hope they are learning as much from me as I have from them. Another benefit with being a Teacher is the vacation time. With this time and being on the other side of the world gives you much opportunity to travel cheaply. Altogether teaching abroad is a great means to travel and to gain life as well as field experience.

 North Korea

North Korea

Photos from Andrea's recent side trip to Thailand: 

 
Phuket and Phi Phi islands
 Phuket and Phi Phi islands

  Thailand

 Thailand

Thailand
 Thailand

Thailand

Maui Thai kickboxing match, the national sport