I’ll admit, I’m extremely biased regarding education on a global scale. I believe, full heartedly, that bilingual kids gain benefits in literacy skills.
I wasn’t given an opportunity to learn a second language until the seventh grade, and even then it was with the Grammar Translation Method. However, I was exposed to several different languages and cultures growing up. Between my grandmother (first generation from Holland) and my international nannies, I developed a very keen appreciation for language and culture at a young age.
A degree in International Studies, four years of Spanish, one year of Italian, Hebrew and French; I can’t speak anything but English. My frustration grew while working at an interpreting agency. Love and appreciation wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I wanted to be surrounded by language acquisition. I wanted to be a part of language acquisition.
I want immersion. Not only for me, but for my family. And to do that, I needed more education and thus more options. So I got a Masters in Education in TESL. My practicum/thesis required me to teach abroad. I could go any where! And if you can go any where, are you really not going to shoot for the coolest place in the world? That’s right, we went to Bali.
I taught English in an international school in Bali for six weeks, and got to spend four of them with my husband and daughter in a bungalow on the beach. We fell in love with the island, the language, and the people. Can we go back? After a bit of networking and a lot of research and paperwork, an offer to teach ESL/English in a high school in Bogor (on the island of Java), Indonesia was on the table. This offer supports both me and my family: A house loan, great full-time salary, visas for all, professional development, and free education for our daughter.
The timing matched perfectly, as our daughter’s preschool was insanely expensive, my husband’s employer was falling apart, and I had been working four jobs to make ends meet. The goal of expatriating was made at 18. A decade later, I finally get to see it grow into fruition.
Join us on this journey. And if you have ever expatriated before, I would love to hear about your experience!