Eilean Donan Castle

Teach in the UK: 11 countries in 21 days

Author
Karla Brown, International Consultant

Switzerland for breakfast, Italy for lunch and France for dinner. Days like that would make me stop and think, ‘Wow! I actually live in Europe, can somebody pinch me?’

Moving halfway across the world by myself, was one of the most daunting but best decisions of my entire life. It was emotional, exciting, and above all else, beyond worth it.

After many years at university and two years teaching in Central Queensland, I decided it was time for an adventure. I knew that teaching was a great pathway into moving around the world and what could be better than doing something I loved, growing professionally and ticking off those all-important items on my bucket list. So I applied for my visa, organised my life, and off I went.

My first day in London was a stereotypical rainy one. I felt a bit overwhelmed, but I decided I had to get out and face the big city head on. I put on my coat, braced myself for my first tube ride (which was surprisingly much more straight forward than I thought!) and chose a location, Leicester Square. Why not start big! I hopped off the tube, walked up the station stairs to be greeted with the hustle and bustle. I was instantly in love.

School holidays were a great time for a big trip away. I wasn’t too sure where to begin exploring Europe, so I decided to sign myself up for a Contiki trip; 11 countries in 21 days as a bit of a taste test. #noregrets couldn’t be more correct. From the Eiffel Tower to the beaches of Nice, winning money at the Monte Carlo Casino (15 Euro, but that still counts, right?), standing on top of the Swiss Alps, paragliding in Austria and so much more. It felt like I was constantly crossing items off the bucket list.

Over the next two years I had more ‘WOW’ moments then I can remember. I immersed myself in London life and tried to explore as much as I could. I saw the Queen, went to events like the Trooping of the Colour, The Royal Ascot and even The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle! My favourite part had to be general day to day life. Exploring schools around London, meeting other teachers and learning from them, going to the pub in the evening with friends, the park in summer and into the city on the weekend.

Teaching in the UK allowed me to become more confident in my abilities as a teacher, grow in my behaviour management skills, and gain a vast level of experience across all year levels. Most aspects of teaching were similar to Australia but what I found most different was the day to day routine, especially in winter! I quickly learnt to allow more time for the students to put on their coats, bennies (hats!), scarves and gloves. Teaching PE inside was also a first for me, but it was a warm welcome in the midst of the cold! I learnt that the best ways to capture the attention of students was through football (soccer), and that Harry Potter was almost a way of life inside most schools!

It wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, there were days I felt homesick and the cold winters could be hard. But all of those moments were well worth it. I grew as a person, a professional, an individual and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone I meet.

So, if London is on the cards (and it should be) give me a call or send an email and I can help you begin your adventure. 

07 3112 8566 

karla.brown2@smartteachers.com.au