Alison's Blog

Hi, I’m Alison Pickard - a very grateful recipient of the ELC Teach Abroad Scholarship!

I graduated from the University of Sussex last year, with a BA in International Relations. I have a strong passion for travel and love meeting people from all over the world. After graduating I was volunteering for one day each week as an Admin Assistant at the British Red Cross London Refugee Support Service and looking for paid work.

I found the advert for the ELC Scholarship on my University Careers Website. I’d been thinking of doing a TEFL course for a few years now, as a great way to see the world and make money at the same time. I studied abroad for a few months in Taiwan and found that people teaching English as a foreign language there, seemed to be having a fantastic time and had a very high standard of living. But the main reason why I was so keen to do a TEFL is because my qualifications are theory based, so I don’t have a useful skill that I can take to help people in other countries. Therefore, gaining skills as an English teacher will mean that I can be of real use and not just taking jobs that could be done by people living there already.

So far, I have completed four modules of the course and I think it’s great! I have been assigned a tutor who gives me useful, constructive comments on the assignments that I submit. I had been a bit sceptical about how much I could learn about teaching without standing in front of a real class but have been really pleasantly surprised! I have learned a lot already about different methods used in teaching and how to develop effective lesson plans. It really is true that you’ll get out of it as much as you put in. If you do all the tasks thoroughly, it is a very comprehensive course. The course also strikes a good balance between advising on how teaching should be done and letting you develop your own style.

Now that I am feeling so much more prepared it’s really inspiring me to go out and teach somewhere, so now I need to try out the Job Placement Service and see if they can help me with my queries!