I get asked why I chose Kuwait as a place to teach and the simple answer is because I wanted to teach abroad. I love being in Kuwait and I love my experience, but Kuwait wasn’t my first choice. Here is the story of how I choose Kuwait. I had a lot to say about this so I broke it up into two parts. This part will be about how and why I decided to teach abroad.
I have always traveled since I can remember. My first road trip was with my dad when I was four from Maryland to New Jersey. At the age of six, I flew a plane to visit my family in Texas every summer. My first trip overseas was when I went to Australia in the summer of 2006. The following year I went to Jamaica on a missions trip. These experiences were only the beginning and at that time I would have never imagined I would be teaching in the Middle East.
I don’t remember when the traveling bug bit me, but I have always been fascinated with different cultures. When I went to college I always researched study abroad programs, but I never followed through. I did do alternative break with my university in the winter. I went to Guatemala and we learned about sustainable development. While I was job hunting in my senior year of college, traveling was always on my list of what I wanted in a job. At the time I didn’t want to become a teacher, but I considered it for travel.
I researched programs where I would get certified in teaching English (TESOL) as a second language. At that time I had my sight’s set on China or South Korea. You pay the program to get you certified, then the program would help you get a job. For years I had my eyes on a few programs, but normal life situations and my funds prevented me from going this route. The turning point in my life was when I read Steal Like an Artist. Author Austin Kleon gives 10 tips on how to tap into creativity. His last tip was to simply be boring. Basically, Kleon was saying have a routine and stick to it. But this tip also helped change my perspective on jobs. For the longest, I was looking for my dream job, but this was the point I decided that I just needed to work until I can get what I wanted. This was the year I decided to become a teacher and my life has never been the same.
In January of 2015, I signed up for Texas Teachers to become a certified teacher. Since I was making more money I decided that it was time to start looking for a TESOL program. This is when I found out about the program Teach Away. One of my colleagues taught in an Asian country and she told me about Teach Away, a recruiting website for overseas jobs. I signed up that same day. This was better than the TESOL certification program because it was free. As I looked for jobs, I noticed that most of the minimum requirements were at least two years of teaching experience. This was discouraging, but I completed my profile and applied to jobs anyway. I also noticed that most of the jobs were in the Middle East. I was opened up to the possibility of teaching in the Middle East.
I am big on visualization. When I want something, I see myself doing it and becoming what I want to be. Since I was becoming a teacher, I saw the opportunity of teaching abroad as something that I was going to do. I looked up videos on youtube about living in Dubai to understand what it would be like so I can visualize it. While searching videos about Dubai, I came across a video about a girl living in Kuwait. Honestly, at the time I didn’t know where Kuwait was. Later, after being in Kuwait for a while I knew exactly where the girl in the video was. Since most of the jobs required more experienced teachers and I was in my first year, not even certified yet, I decided to wait another year when I could meet the requirements. Besides, I had to focus on completing my certification while I taught at the same time.
Part 1 was about how I decided to teach abroad. Part 2 will be about how I chose Kuwait.