Nicole in Cape Town, South Africa.

Nicole in Cape Town, South Africa.

Teaching Traveling: Want inspiration and guidance about how to travel the world by teaching ESL abroad? Behold the fabulous story of Nicole!

Nicole, Tell us a bit about your background.

Nicole: Hi all. I’m Nicole Brewer from Detroit, MI. I attended the University of Michigan and moved to Chicago where I worked in market research for a few years before being laid off. I found a job teaching abroad in South Korea and over 5 years later I’m still trotting around the globe teaching, currently in Oman. I attended grad school last year in Germany and did a 3 month research stay in South Africa before returning to Oman for another round of ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. I’ve managed to travel extensively during my time teaching abroad in Asia and the Middle East, trotting to close to 40 countries.

Nicole on a solo adventure to Abu Dhabi.

Nicole on a solo adventure to Abu Dhabi.

TT: Wow! Tell us more about your most interesting travels.

N: One of my most interesting travels would have to had been the 3 months I spent in Cape Town, South Africa last summer. I was so grateful to be accepted to do a summer research stay as part of my graduate studies with the Erasmus Mundus program I did in Germany last year. My graduate program is called NOHA (Network on Humanitarian Action), which I did in order to help with my long term goals of starting a travel related NGO/nonprofit inspiring youth to study and travel abroad.

During my time in Cape Town, I researched for my thesis and worked an internship at Sonke Gender Justice Institute. It was such an eye-opening experience living in Cape Town, going to UWC (University of the Western Cape) and also interning part time at such an amazing organization that is helping women and children. That experience of being in South Africa will forever stay with me.

Nicole trotting to Delhi, India.

Nicole trotting to Delhi, India.

TT: How did you find the money to fund this travel?

N: I received a scholarship through the Erasmus Mundus program that assisted with my living expenses to study abroad and work in Cape Town, South Africa.

TT: Awesome. Tell us one moment from your travels that was particularly powerful.

N: A moment from my travels that was particularly interesting and powerful would have to be from when I volunteered in Nairobi, Kenya a couple years back. I had reached out to my network/travel community, iluv2globetrot and social media pages about opportunities to volunteer abroad and learned about an organization called Streetlife Care.

I stayed for a week in Kenya with a host family and helped with a feeding program for runaway youth that were living on the streets of Nairobi. This experience inspired me to apply to the Humanitarian Action MA program that I recently completed.

Nicole in the Maldives, summer of 2015.

Nicole in the Maldives, summer of 2015.

TT: Brilliant. How have your travels impacted you as a teacher?

N: My travels have opened my horizons and made me more confident in being able to live abroad in the various settings that I have worked in. It’s opened my eyes to the amazing opportunities that come with being an English language teacher and I am able to share so many amazing experiences with my students which will hopefully in turn inspire them to get out see the world and use their English.

TT: Yes! How have your travels impacted you as a person?

N: I’ve managed to become more aware of myself, confident and humble through my travels. I think it’s important to educate yourself outside of the classroom just as much as inside and travels does just that. Through my experiences of living and traveling abroad, I’ve become not only self-aware but aware of the struggles and complexities that others have out in this big world. I’ve become more compassionate and truly want to do what I can to help others and educate others on how important travel is to live a fulfilling life.

Nicole at the London Olympics 2012.

Nicole at the London Olympics 2012.

TT: What advice do you have for teachers who are dreaming of travel, or travelers dreaming of teaching?

N: First off, it’s so important to do your research in the countries that interest you before even starting the application process. There are loads of recruiters and programs out there for those interested in teaching abroad, way too many for me to list but I would suggest checking out travel communities such as iluv2globetrot as we have an extensive list of organizations that assist with getting a job in teaching abroad.

Also, our group is over 2K strong and many are willing to help, post job opportunities and answer questions about being expats or traveling abroad. In the end, I say just do it and go for it. I’m willing to bet you won’t regret it. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made to move abroad and teach English.

TT: Thanks so much, Nicole! Readers, what questions or comments do you have for this great Teacher-Traveler?

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Posted by Lillie

Lillie started TeachingTraveling.com in 2010 to share the infinite ways to combine education and world exploration. Lillie has been a Boston teacher since 2003, and chronicles her own travels at AroundTheWorldL.com.

12 Comments

  1. This is GREAT information! Teaching English is a wonderful way to see the world. Nicole’s a witness. I’m part of her Facebook group, and they’ve been extremely helpful with my travel planning and giving me my general wanderlust fix. We meet up in Iceland this summer…I can’t wait!
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/iluv2globetrot/

    Reply

  2. Hi I’m a freshmen in an american university and I was wondering about working for an international school in the future. In your opinions what do you think would be the best subject to specialize in as a teacher? I’m currently thinking about pursuing EFL (English as a Foreign Language) but I’m seeing that many international schools are taught all in English or only accept English speaking students. What are the job outlooks for that subject area?

    Reply

  3. Hi,

    We are Non-organization in Aruha-Tanzania we have our project for hep local/Rural children to get fact education. Help us Lil

    OUR PROJECT
    We believe that a child’s future success and advancement in life is greatly influenced by their early educational experience as those who have go to school early develop an interest in education more than those who have not participated in early learning education – learning how to get along in groups, work under teacher supervision, etc. They also receive encouragement to express their feelings and ideas through building, dancing, and drawing, playing, singing and speaking. And thus, at the end of their pre-school years, they have become more competent pupils and will be more advanced in some of their abilities and be ready to master their new environment in primary and secondary education.

    We hope that through volunteers support we can save and give lighter through education to our children for future and other generation.

    HELP

    We need a volunteer to take a time with local children 4-5 hours by giving skills through various professional such as Teaching Alphabet ,English, Mathematics, Science, history, Biology and with any method which can provide help and support in order the children’s to get good object for future in the level of primary and secondary school.

    Also the volunteer they can help and provide books chalk, desk, uniform, Pen, and any equipment which related to those provision.

    The volunteers can take sometimes to talk to children for their future planning in education and life in general.

    Reply

  4. Love the info. Very exciting. Happy travels!

    Reply

  5. Thanks so much again for the feature Lillie! I really appreciate and hope to inspire others to trot the globe!

    Reply

    1. Wow Nicole…. No doubt teaching abroad gives the best opportunities to be a self relined person! I remember our days together in Oman!

      Reply

      1. Thanks so much Joseph! Yes fun times. I hope all is well in India :-).

        Reply

        1. Yes, Nicole it’s been a wonderful year at home after teaching and travelling 23 years abroad. Please let me know when you fly down to God’s Own Country (Kerala).

          Reply

    2. All I want to do is travel the globe, but am finding it hard to find a way to do that. Someone recently reminded me about teaching English abroad, but I really don’t even know where to start. I am not sure if I need a certificate or who is more reputable and not just out as a scam. Can you please just provide me with a direction to go.

      Reply

      1. Hi Taylor! I started teaching in South Korea through EPIK which is a very reputable company (it’s the Korean school board). Feel free to check out my travel community iluv2globetrot as we have a lot of valuable resources there. I’ also planning to write an ebook guide that will assist for those looking to start out in ESL. Stay tuned! https://www.facebook.com/groups/iluv2globetrot/

        Reply

  6. You Go Girl! Keep living and being a beacon of hope and encouragement to others to follow their dream. ENJOY!!!

    Reply

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