Reality Check

What's living and working abroad with LanguageCorps Asia REALLY like?

By now, you've read a lot about LanguageCorps Asia programs and locations. You've been through our Frequently Asked Questions section. Perhaps you've even talked to a LanguageCorps Asia team member. But still... you may be wondering what it's really like to travel halfway 'round the world, to live and work abroad in a different country and culture, to be "on your own" as an ESL teacher.

You've come to the right place! Here you can read about some real experiences from a few of our LanguageCorps Asia teachers who are living and working overseas right now. And you can get some real-world commentary and advice from experienced world travelers who have, "been there, and done that"!

Your Parents

For Parents of Younger LanguageCorps Asia Teachers

LanguageCorps Asia provides a cohesive network of services for young adults interested in the adventure of teaching abroad (see About LanguageCorps Asia). Our goal is to help mitigate the risk often associated with living and working in a new part of the world, far from home - insuring our teachers enjoy a secure, rewarding adventure.


In this new global age, there can be anxiety for those whose loved ones choose to travel overseas. We fully understand that as parents, the safety and security of your children is always the top priority.

That's why LanguageCorps Asia works for our Teachers, not for the schools employing them. We take a number of steps to assure that our Teachers are provided with the most reliable information with which they can make responsible and intelligent decisions affecting their safety and security - along with the essential, comprehensive 24-7 support necessary to assure their success and security.

For the long-term security of everyone, we must become more knowledgeable about the world and more understanding of its many cultures. LanguageCorps facilitates the development of culturally responsive "citizen diplomats," who appreciate cultural differences, foster mutual respect, and encourage understanding among diverse peoples.


LanguageCorps Asia Teachers return home not only world-travelers: they gain an unrivalled combination of life-experience and intercultural exposure, all while avoiding many of the hazards, pitfalls, and logistical hurdles that might otherwise plague them on their journey.

LanguageCorps Asia Teachers return from their international adventure with new perspectives, broad experience, and essential career-skills: independence, collaborative skills, self-reliance, and interpersonal communication skills. (see Careers).


What kinds of support and service does LanguageCorps provide?
How to stay in touch with family and friends back home?
How safe are the locations in which LanguageCorps teachers live and work?
What are the medical facilities like?
Are vaccinations required prior to teaching assignments?
What about public health issues?
What is LanguageCorps' drug and alcohol policy?
What are the accommodations like?
What is the food like?
What about visiting during a teaching assignment?
Returning home earlier than planned?
Going home for a visit during teaching assignment?

Your Career

Life after LanguageCorps Asia

While the LanguageCorps Asia experience is first and foremost an international adventure, LanguageCorps Asia Teachers return from their international adventure with new perspectives, broad experience, and a skill-set applicable to a variety of careers.

A recent study by Thompson Education* analyzes employers' perceptions of candidates with overseas qualifications. Their findings include the following:

• Candidates with overseas experience find that "employers are impressed that I had the courage to study overseas" and that "international education/experience is sought after"
• 98% of employers agree that candidates with international experience are likely to possess cross-cultural communication skills
• 94% of employers agree that candidates with international experience are likely to be mature
• 97% of employers agree that candidates with international experience are likely to be independent
• 96% of employers agree that candidates with international experience are likely to be culturally aware

More anecdotally, here is what a number of senior executives in a variety of industries have to say about the LanguageCorps experience:

"[Harvard graduates must be] citizens not only of their home country, but also of the world, with the capacity not only to understand others, but also to see themselves, and this country, as others see them... to be knowledgeable and responsible as they go out in the world - to know the languages, to know the culture, the economics and the policies of the countries they will visit, to interact in a knowledgeable way."
William Kirby Dean of Arts and Sciences Harvard University

"An increased capacity for tolerating "dissonance and discomfort... is such a critical life skill: to be in discomfort and still be able to function. The more they learn that skill, the more places they'll be able to go in the world."
Joyce Bylander Dean of Students Dickinson College

"The way to learn a foreign language is to go overseas."
Dr. Ray T. Clifford Chancellor, Defense Language Institute

"Unfortunately, only slightly more than 1 percent of our students ever study abroad for a summer or a semester - and two thirds of them study in Western Europe. Yet 95 percent of the world's population growth in the next 50 years will occur outside of Western Europe."
The Late Honorable Paul Simon Former US Senator

"As an entrepreneur and owner of a consulting firm, I have worked with talent from around the world. The individuals I have hired and who themselves have international experience bring a different flavor to the office environment. Individuals who have left the comforts of home to venture into a culture that is different from their own are more readily able to adapt to the many changes that a growing company must go through and are able to function easily within a changing environment."
Tomasz Schellenberg Founder Adept, Inc.

"As I visit our operations in dozens of countries, I'm always struck by how well our best local managers speak English. We always do business in the local language, but it's English that ties the company together worldwide."
Pat Kenealy President and CEO IDG

"The companies that retain our Software-Staffing and consulting services represent many countries. Our staff, whether in Sales, Recruiting, Account Management, or Consulting, does very well because they understand and appreciate the diversity of client backgrounds and needs. Those who create the strongest business relationships are able to tap into a common bond with clients as people, no matter where they are from. Experience abroad, understanding nuances and cultural variety, allows our professional staff to create stronger relationships and grow our business."
Michael Beck Recruiter Eliassen Group, Inc.

Professions to Consider

A partial list of professions that value the specific skills brought back by LanguageCorps alumni:

• Conflict Resolution
• Cross-Cultural Training
• Diversity Management
• Foreign Affairs
• Intelligence Analysis
• Intelligence Field Operations
• Intercultural Consulting
• Intercultural Health and Human Services
• Intercultural Management
• Intercultural Program Development
• International Affairs
• International Business Development
• International Development
• International Education Exchange
• International Exchange Program Counseling
• International Law
• International Marketing
• International Policy
• International Program Management
• International Student Advising
• International Trade
• Multicultural Education
• NGO fundraising/management
• Regional Operations
• Social Work
• Study Abroad Coordination

Recommended Graduate Degree Programs

School for International Training
The School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Programs prepare students to be interculturally effective leaders, professionals, and citizens. Through an academic curriculum that incorporates field-based practice, rESLection and application, SIT prepares graduates who are critical thinkers, effective communicators and compassionate advocates with exceptional intercultural abilities and awareness.

Degrees offered by SIT include: Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Arts in Conflict Transformation, Master of Arts in International Education, Master of Arts in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations, Master of Arts in Sustainable Development, Master of Science in Organizational Management

SIT Homepage

SIT Admissions
The School for International Training
Kipling Road, P.O. Box 676
Brattleboro, Vermont 05302-0676
tel: 802-258-3510 (800-336-1616, toll-free in US)
fax: 802-258-3500

The Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina
The Moore School of Business International Master of Business Administration (IMBA) program is designed to equip students with the ability to think and act globally, preparing them for life as a global manager in the U.S. or elsewhere. Each of the three IMBA tracksâ€"Language, Global, and Europeanâ€"provides graduates with an internationalized business-core, a strong foundation in global business issues, significant international experience, and concentrated skills classes in an area of interest.

The Returned LanguageCorps Teachers (RLCT) Fellowship offers up to $20,000 along with additional fee reductions and work grants for a qualified Returned LanguageCorps Teacher.

Moore School of Business Homepage

Reena Lichtenfeld
Director, Graduate Admissions & Enrollment Management
1705 College Street
Columbia, SC 29208
tel: 803-777-6749; 800-236-6427

New York University
The NYU Master of Science in Global Affairs has been designed to provide a context for understanding critical issues in international politics, economics, dispute settlement, law, human rights, humanitarian assistance, energy, the environment, and related areas.

Students obtain the knowledge and tools necessary to understand today's complex, interconnected society and to function effectively within it. The core requirements of the curriculum ensure that every graduate will have a grasp of the most important elements of international affairs, while the elective concentration allows each student to become expert in a specific subject area.

NYU Global Affairs Homepage

Marci Schwartz
New York University
145 4th Avenue, Room 219
New York, NY 10003
tel: 212-998-7100
fax: 212-995-4674

Lesley University
Lesley University's Intercultural Relations Program offers challenging graduate study in understanding and working with culturally diverse populations, both domestically and internationally.

In today's increasingly interdependent world, the need to provide culturally responsive services has been acknowledged by human service providers, managers, advisors, development specialists, government staff, educators, and other professionals. For two decades, Lesley's unique focus on the human dimension of intercultural interactions has set apart from the traditional macro-political approach of international relations programs. Lesley's Intercultural Relations graduates pursue careers in various areas, such as managing diversity, international education exchange, international student advising, intercultural management, international development, multicultural education, intercultural training, conflict management, and intercultural health and human services.

Lesley University Homepage

Jana M. Van der Veer
Assistant Director, Advising and Student Services
Intercultural Relations and Creative Writing Programs
Lesley University
29 Everett St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
tel: 617-349-8369 (800-999-1959, ext. 8369)
fax: 617-349-8124

Other Graduate Degrees
A partial list of other graduate degrees building on the international experience gained by LanguageCorps Teachers:
Degree of Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD)
Global Master of Arts (MA)
Master in Public Administration / International Development (MPA/ID)
Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS)

*"An Exploration of the Demand for Study Overseas from American Students and Employers," J. Walter Thomson Education for the Institute of International Education, the German Academic Exchange Service, the British Council, and the Australian Education Office

Words from Abroad

Traveling and teaching English abroad is an incredibly powerful and rewarding experience. Here are a few excerpts from some of our teacher's emails and journals, to give you a firsthand look at just how special it can really be.

Words from China

"My teaching practice in Phnom Phen was perfect! I had a small class of just girls in an international school and I couldn't have been happier; especially considering the teaching style I developed there perfectly matches how the teaching at my school in China goes. The job here is awesome! I really love all the people I work with, and my roommate and I have hit it off exceptionally well. The kids are amazingly respectful (for the most part) and the curriculum is engaging, yet challenging. I've been making friends with more of our Chinese teachers, and they've begun to show me local restaurants and local dishes that are turning out to be the best Chinese food I've ever eaten. Hopefully here in the next few weeks I'll be able to start traveling around China and seeing everything I've been wanting to see. I really do appreciate all the hard work you did in getting me over here; this is, hands down, one of the best experiences of my life and I have a million reasons to thank you for this wonderful time!"
Brian, China

"I just wanted to take some time to thank you and the entire LanguageCorps team. First and foremost, thank you for giving me the tools I needed to teach. I still have a lot to learn, but the best way to learn is through experience and I know each time I get up in front of a class I am getting just a little bit better. Secondly, thank you so much for putting together such a great program. I will never forget my time in Cambodia and I know it was well worth the investment. I met some incredible people that I hope to keep in touch with for a long time to come, and I look forward to hear all about their teaching stories. The excursions we took will be some of the best memories I will take away from this year/year and a half abroad, and I am so thankful for the things I got to see, the food I got to eat, the people I got to meet and the culture I got to know, even if only sparingly. My only complaint is that the time flew by too quickly. I am truly grateful for everything."
Valerie, China

"I really enjoyed Cambodia. I thought that the training program was perfect for someone like me with no previous teaching experience. It definitely gave me a good foundation in education and made my first weeks on the job less stressful. I am liking China more and more every day. My classes have been a lot of fun to teach and I think they get better every week. Everything is so cheap here that it makes saving money easy, and the people are generally very friendly."
Kate, China

"Things are going great here. I like all of my students and my coworkers are great too. I'm finally becoming comfortable in the classroom, and I still learn something new daily. I enjoy both Zhuhai and GLV. I feel like my life is going somewhere now, here in a new place doing a new thing. I really appreciate all your help in getting me here. I am really happy here in China. I hope things are going well for you; a lot seems to be changing quickly in the world today. Thanks you for staying in touch and caring. I wish you the best in all that you do."
Phillip, China

"Looking back on my time in Cambodia, I was very pleased over all with the experience and all that was afforded through LanguageCorps. Going into it, I was skeptical of why it would cost so much but I truly feel I learned and was exposed to a lot of new ideas, classroom structuring, and culture. All in all, I'm very happy that I choose to pursue my TESL/TESOL certificate through the LanguageCorps program. I can report that things have started off fairly smoothly (in China) and I am really enjoying Dalian. I really enjoy the people I work with and it's a very nice environment to be in."
Wyatt, China

Words from Taiwan

"I really enjoyed the course and my time in Cambodia. Almost too much, because I didn't want to leave! The staff really have things under control there, and everyone was very helpful. The excursions were absolutely amazing. Everything is going good here in Taiwan. My classes been a lot of fun so far and I'm really happy that I came here. So I want to thank you because LanguageCorps has really held up its end of the deal, and has provided everything I could ask for."
Ari, Taiwan

Words from Thailand

"The program in Pattaya went really well. I learned a lot and the excursions each weekend were great. I got to see a lot of different things and it was a good break after a long week of classes. I am in Phuket now and am teaching at a public high school... it's a beautiful place with some of the nicest beaches in Thailand. I am near the mountains and it's very easy and inexpensive to take a bus out to the beach."
Pascal, Thailand

"...based on my awareness of many [TESL/TESOL programs] here, LanguageCorps is the best for the price. Not only is the course worthwhile and manageable for those who have never taught, the Director for SE Asia is also great about making sure students get to see other parts of their countries while in training if they so choose to take advantage of it. I had a lot of fun and lots of people from other schools did not. There are also some that are well rated but are incredibly academic for those who are just immersing themselves in beginning teaching. Rick and staff made the experience a great one."
Geraldine, Thailand

"Overall, I think LanguageCorps provides a wonderful opportunity. The most important thing I took away from this past year, I think, is that my world is just bigger now. I think in terms of a global community rather than a local one. I've realized that it's pretty easy in America to ignore the major problems of the world, because being so rich, we don't have to deal directly with most of them unless we choose to... Spending time as a LanguageCorps teacher forces you to face these issues, and lots of others. My interests and priorities have definitely changed in this past year, and I want to thank you so much for making that possible."
Emily, Thailand

"I want to thank you because the course was excellent. I still miss Cambodia and my LanguageCorps group and staff. The people who did the course with me were fantastic and we still keep in touch and the staff was beyond helpful. I am definately glad I decided to go through this program before I started teaching. It really did help me to prepare for what was to come. Also the Thai Language and Culture course which was provided gave me a head start on learning Thai. Because of that I know more Thai than people who have been here longer than me. So thank you so much, the course was both extremely fun and very informative."
Cassie, Thailand

Words from Cambodia

"Cambodia is great so far. I feel sure that this was the right place for me. The people are kind and open and I'm really enjoying teaching. The program was better than I expected and I am very happy with it. Thanks for everything!"
Luca, Cambodia

"The kids ... oh my God the kids! We can't say enough! I don't even know how to put into words right now how awesome our experience with the orphans in Cambodia was. We really felt like part of their family, and we promised them that we will go back, and we definitely will! We have kept up some emails with some of our students and the people in charge, and it will always be part of our lives! Thanks for helping us get over there. We had a great time and we will definitely recommend this program to family and friends who are looking for something great and fulfilling in their lives!"
Tony & Danna, Cambodia

"Cambodia is great so far. I feel sure that this was the right place For me. The people are kind and open and I'm really enjoying teaching. The program was better than I expected and I am very happy with it. Thanks for everything!"
Lucy, Cambodia

Words from Vietnam

"I wanted to let you know that my teaching experience and TESL/TESOL certificate helped me get work in NYC! I just got a position as an Assistant Editor at a major educational publisher in their Reading textbooks department. The editor who interviewed me loved the fact that I had both teaching experience and the TESL/TESOL because it will be especially helpful when editing the Teacher's Editions (also, their textbooks are expanding their ESL sections). This extra experience allowed me to start out in a higher position than I would ordinarily have been able to with no prior experience in publishing. So thanks LanguageCorps!"
Adam, Vietnam

"Language Corps has done so much for us since we have been here. Thanksgiving was a great reminder of how lucky we are. Although we weren't home, we were still able to spend it with family. I truly want to thank you for such an amazing experience. We all agree that our time would be very different if we had come to Vietnam through a different program or with a different group."
Lauren, Vietnam

"All is well in Vietnam! I feel these past few weeks have been a wonderful experience! Compared to my last job, it seems like an extended vacation; the TESL/TESOL certification program and the current teaching experience in Vietnam now. There is much satisfaction to be gained when working with students."
Thanh, Vietnam

"The lifestyle for teachers here isn't just comfortable - it's fantastic: there's a good social life, great restaurants, an extensive expat community and you can do it all as cheaply or expensively as you choose... I'm having an amazing experience here in Vietnam. For the past few months I have cut back my teaching to the weekends only... I've also been lucky enough to get involved in a programme working with some of HCMC's street kids which has been eye-opening, frustrating, and immensely rewarding."
Julie, Vietnam

"I wanted to let you know that my teaching experience and TESL/TESOL certificate helped me get work in NYC! I just got a position as an Assistant Editor at a major educational publisher in their Reading textbooks department. The editor who interviewed me loved the fact that I had both teaching experience and the TESL/TESOL because it will be especially helpful when editing the Teacher's Editions (also, their textbooks are expanding their ESL sections). This extra experience allowed me to start out in a higher position than I would ordinarily have been able to with no prior experience in publishing. So thanks LanguageCorps Asia!"
Adam, Vietnam


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