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Where in the world - Teaching in Australia

Following on from our Teaching Around the World interviews, our Where in the World? interviews aim to provide you with some insight into the great travel and teaching opportunities that are available to TESOL graduates. In each interview, we will be speaking to past TESOL graduate about their experience of living and working abroad as an English teacher.

We hope that you will find these interviews interesting and informative and that they will help to inspire your own English language teaching adventures.

Where in the world is Emily

Emily is currently in Australia.

When did you complete the TESOL course?

I did my TESOL course in January/ February 2013.

How did you go about looking for your first teaching job?

I looked for my first teaching job online, using websites such as www.seek.com.

Where was your first overseas teaching job?

Perth, Australia at the University of Western Australia.

When did you live and work in Australia? How long were you there for?

I arrived in Australia in March; I am still currently living here.

Why did you choose to go to Australia?

I chose to come to Australia for an adventure; I am also a permanent resident of the country so that made it easier to get here.

What was it like to teach in Australia?

Teaching at the University of Western Australia was a good experience. However it took me three months to find a teaching job. I think it is a little harder to find work in Australia when you have South African qualifications. However I still managed to get a job at one of the best Universities here, even if it was only for three months. The salary was excellent but taxes here are very high. The other teachers were very friendly.


Wave Rock, Western Australia

What school/organisation did you work for? What kinds of students did you have to teach?

I worked at the University of Western Australia and taught mainly university students from Japan. I did have group of students from China. The course consisted of English, Australian culture and taking the students on excursions.

How did the TESOL course prepare you for your first job as a language teacher?

TESOL prepared me very well in almost all the areas of teaching English as a second language, through doing practicals, and all the exercises one does in general during TESOL. The main thing it prepared me for was planning lessons and it also helped give me confidence in the classroom. Even building rapport with my students came easily after TESOL.

What is it like to live in Australia?

Living in Australia is really great. The climate is hot and dry in summer and cold and wet in winter. It is very expensive living here, though it should be cheaper in other states. Perth is more expensive than the UK and New York at moment though the wages here are probably better. There are many cultural differences here but it is also a very diverse place. Most of the food one can get here you can get in South Africa, so not many differences regarding that. The Australian accent is rather entertaining. The people are humorous too!

What did you love/hate about Australia ?

I love the laid back lifestyle in Australia and a sense of equality. Everyone gets paid minimum wage here so you can actually do any job and get paid well. I guess you could say it is a socialist society. Everyone here is also up for a good time which is great. When teaching I loved that I got paid to go on awesome excursions with my students (some of these included wine tasting).


View of Perth City from Kings Park

Would you recommend Australia to other EFL teachers?

I would recommend it to other ESL/EFL teachers. However, I think if you are keen to go teach in remote areas of Australia it would be easier. If not, I recommend having a teaching degree or a diploma of education as well as TESOL as it is harder to find ESL jobs here with just TESOL.

What advice do you have to EFL teachers thinking of teaching in Korea?

My advice would be make sure you have other qualifications. Also, to give it a shot as I have come to love Australia. It wasn’t easy in the beginning but the place grows on you.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan on staying in Australia for the next three years. I am going to try out Melbourne next year and do my Diploma of Education as this will create many more job opportunities for me. After that I will probably do more travelling around Australia.