My name is Erin Lynch. I recently graduated with a degree in geology from Bryn Mawr College.
With a bachelor’s degree in Geology, I am qualified to do little else but work at a National Park or teach (if I opt not to go to graduate school). So that’s what I’ve decided to do, but not in this country.
When I graduated from high school, I had a similar sense of unease with my position. I wasn’t qualified to do any work that interested me, but I didn’t really feel like going to college just yet. Instead, I went for a gap year abroad in Grenoble, France, where I had an amazing time and met some amazing people. One of the women I met while I was in Grenoble was an English teacher at a local high school. She had graduated from college several years earlier and opened my eyes to the idea of long-term traveling through teaching English abroad. Native English speakers, she told me, are usually in demand outside of English-speaking countries.
So, I guess the idea of living abroad and connecting with locals through teaching seemed like a plausible option. As graduation was approaching, many of my fiends were filling out job applications and taking the GRE’s. I applied to one program: LanguageCorps. (www.languagecorps.com)
LanguageCorps is basically an intensive 4-week training program to learn to teach English to speakers of other languages. At the end of the four weeks, they issue a TESOL certificate, and try to hook you up with a teaching position in the country of your choice. My training starts at Paññāsāstra University in Phnom Penh, Cambodia this October and finishes with classroom hands-on learning in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. With luck, I will have a teaching position a few weeks later in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
For now, my fingers are crossed. I’ll keep you updated.
I have completed my training, left Phnom Penh, left Ho Chi Minh City and am currently teaching in Hanoi. I teach English as a second language classes at Language Link, TVN Education and Dai Nam University to kids, teens and adults. I enjoy the variety in classes that I have, though sometimes prepping for class can take a long time. I spend a lot of my time prepping in the TVN office and the teachers’ room at Language Links in the Dong Da district of Hanoi. On my days off I spend time looking for a suitable room to rent and cruise around on my freshly rented motorcycle. I always wear a helmet, of course.
UPDATE: Jan., 28th 2012
With a new year comes new responsibilities. Starting this Monday I will take on a full time position at Hanoi Star Academy where I will be teaching English to preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first graders. I’m sure that both hilarity and frustration will ensue. I will be sure to keep you updated on my daily life. In other news, I’ve been living in my new apartment in the Kim Lien neighborhood of Dong Da for about a month now. I’ve also purchased a beautiful acoustic guitar–made here in Hanoi. I hope my roommates won’t mind too much.