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Old 03-12-2010, 12:07 PM
 
270 posts, read 466,351 times
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Hi,

I'm currently a college student from a small city in the South. I'm sort of getting tired of life here. The college has a lot of international students who go home during the Summer to exciting places like South America, South Africa, Asia, the Middle East, or Europe. I'm getting tired of life here. I could tell you a lot of things about this region, and maybe it has a little potential, but what about the rest of the world?

I'm studying to be a teacher, and teaching abroad sounds really appealing, but I don't really know how I would do it comfortably. I also think I would probably have a hard time making friends in another country.

I'm a little upset at myself for not making more of an effort to learn about the rest of the world. If I tried to live in a foreign country, there's a chance I would have trouble making friends, a lot of trouble.

Last edited by surburbangirlie; 03-12-2010 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
704 posts, read 1,411,552 times
Reputation: 595
No offense but I would not consider Alabama a "fun" or "exciting" state. While studying abroad might be a good idea, you could also try other states such as California, New York, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington, Hawaii, or even go to Canada.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,763 posts, read 15,670,639 times
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Moving to another country sounds like a pretty extreme move for someone who admittedly has trouble making friends in other countries. I agree with the suggestion to check out other areas in the US first. In the mean time, learn as much as you can about other cultures from books, magazines, the internet and if affordable, travel.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:25 PM
 
2,449 posts, read 5,151,009 times
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Don't listen to either of them. It's fine to go to another country. If you were from California I doubt they'd be telling you these same things. It can be scary at first, but it mostly will likely be fun. Shy people can travel too. It would likely even help you more in the long run than someone that already makes friends easily. I think its good for people to be taken out of their comfort zones sometimes.
I probably wouldn't worry about making friends. Depending on what country you go to, locals are often very welcoming to foreigners, and foreigners also form their own friendly groups with each other. And generally speaking, the fewer foreigners present in an area, the more welcoming the locals and tighter the foreigners.
As for getting a teaching job, China, Korea, and Japan are the easiest to find English teaching jobs. But investigate them well. Japan has the JET program, which is considered the best, as well as the big 3, of which I forget the names (NOVA is one of them I believe). China has zillions of programs and schools at which you can teach (I could probably personally help you out there if you choose this country).
I think the middle east used to have a big demand for English teachers, but I'm not sure if they need to be certified in some other way other than a bachelors and if the recession has changed that. If you can get one of those, they supposedly can pay really well.
Of course, it depends on your interest. What are your interests? They may overlap more with different countries/regions. The main thing is, if you teach somewhere for a year, well, you'll be there for a year. So do some research. Also, while knowing the language isn't necessary for some jobs, I strongly suggest learning what you can of it before you go, and planning on learning it while you are there.

Again, I cannot stress enough: research research research.

Are you still a college student? Can you study abroad?

Last edited by bluebeard; 03-12-2010 at 02:36 PM..
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:49 PM
 
9,844 posts, read 20,961,634 times
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There are quite a few working holiday visas and study overseas programs available plus opportunities to volunteer for people aged 18-30, so I'd take advantage of those to experience some other countries.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Winder, GA
20 posts, read 31,962 times
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I am from GA and well there isn't anything exciting about this place either. I am looking to move to CO just to try a different region and climate to get out of my comfort zone. While I have not lived in other countries I have traveled to Europe. I was traveling with my sister and her husband so I wasn't alone. Nonetheless, it was great! The people were very friendly to us. We did our best to speak the language, German mostly, and the locals got a great kick out of it. I have often thought of moving to another country and never even thought about the idea of having trouble making friends. I am also very shy around strangers, but keep in mind that if you will be working there you are bound to make friends with co-workers and then go from there. Also, just from frequenting local shops you will begin to make friends.
There are several things to think about, study abroad would be the first way to go. Most colleges have a tuition exchange program. Secondly, try living in another state. Thirdly, visit the country you would consider and see if it is really someplace you could spend at least a year. But most of all as the others have said, do your research! I can't tell you how much research I have done just to move to CO.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,882 posts, read 6,509,406 times
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Studying in Oregon or California might be a nice change of pace for you but it won't let you grow as a person like studying abroad in a foreign culture will. Making friends when abroad is quite easy compared to back home. The friendliness of the locals will of course vary, as will their openness (different than friendliness). The more different the host culture is from your home the easier it will be to make friends based on your uniqueness rather than your own qualities (if they're lacking for some reason).
I studied in London and didn't find meeting local friends any harder or easier than back home but in China where I worked last summer it was much easier. And that's not even mentioning the other foreigners (many of whom will be Americans depending on the location) who will be open to friendship. The traveler is an open sort! I'm still in touch with people from all over the world and have places to stay when traveling in the future. You won't regret it!

Don't let anyone talk down to you for being from a boring state. I'm from a boring state also! I am curious about something though, what year are you in college? If you'll be a rising senior it'll be too late to study abroad but if you're not there yet I suggest doing so for a semester instead of just jumping in to teach for a year or two. Also, it might be too late to schedule a study abroad for this summer but there are various international internship programs you could use-just message me if you want any information about them.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:15 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,763 posts, read 15,670,639 times
Reputation: 12928
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebeard View Post
Don't listen to either of them. It's fine to go to another country. If you were from California I doubt they'd be telling you these same things.
I can't speak for the other reply so equally, please don't speak for me and don't make such bold assumptions about how I would reply to a hypothetical situation. My suggestion had nothing to do with where he is from and everything to do with the fact that he admitts he struggles to make friends with people from other countries. I never even mentioned his current location. I also did not suggest he never move to another country - I just think it sounds like now is not the right time and encouraged him to explore other cultures through other means before making such a bold move. Don't put words in my mouth.

Last edited by PA2UK; 03-13-2010 at 02:16 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:19 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
24,114 posts, read 21,847,634 times
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Funny how we always want to be somewhere else. Those students from 'exotic' countries probably find their own countries boring and the US 'exotic'.

Living abroad is also a bit dangerous. Once you start doing that you will likely never feel at home anywhere anymore. It has happened to me and several other people I know. Some people are happy being a world citizen, others feel lost.
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:21 PM
 
298 posts, read 1,035,395 times
Reputation: 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Funny how we always want to be somewhere else. Those students from 'exotic' countries probably find their own countries boring and the US 'exotic'.

LOL! That is soooo true, but applies to everything. The grass is always greener on the other side.
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