Over my four-year career span in education, I have taught in India, Turkey, Poland, Philippines, conducting management trainee programs as an International business consultant, and now in Kyrgyzstan. When I educate internationally, I encounter so many interesting students while teaching from so many different backgrounds, ethnicity, a culture that I wouldn’t have otherwise crossed paths with back home.
Handling cosmopolitan class is not as easy as it seems to be. But, it’s also the one I most emphatically endorse. Sometimes it takes longer to understand the students because of their notorious attributes and sometimes they are beyond apprehension due to their own framed perspectives that need to be looked upon categorically.
When I begin teaching, learning students’ preferred names and pronunciations is the first thing I have to accomplish. Sometimes they are absolutely unheard and therefore taking longer to have a place on my tongue. I am so grateful that I have experienced other cultures.
Every time it puts me in an environment like the different one and helps me discover what is like to be different. It also teaches me how important culture is to a single person. I always embrace a difference and believe, hundred percent, in my ability to cuddle what makes each student different that eventually contributes to my success as a teacher. I love the opportunity to teach and feel the minds that were created to be felt.
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think” as said by Albert Einstein.
When you are teaching abroad you may encounter many extenuating factors that didn’t allow you to draw an accurate conclusion about your students. I am often barraged with condescending questions and even suspicion as to why we, unabridged classroom, would do such a thing.
While I enjoy myself immensely, there isn’t one waking hour that goes by without me thinking. Presently, I am at Ala-Too International University, more than 20 years old, located in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. It is one of the top universities in the region.
I have more than 100 students and Almost all students are multilingual. They speak English, Russian, Turkish and Kyrgyz. I am privileged to teach such artistic minds; more than I give them they inspire me on a daily basis that helps me transforming to another level.
I just reminiscence what was said by Plutarch,
“The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting”.
I try to be happy all the time in order to deliver my best that is imparting knowledge and bringing happiness into the lives of the students. Remember! those who are happy cannot harm others and always give their best. Consequently, a teacher must be happy as he tends to shape-up many lives by giving the best of him.
Let’s compare it with the corporate culture where people usually tend to be distressful due to sucking environment and colleagues: ill-wishers and loaded with heavy work pressure. Nevertheless, at a campus, you are surrounded by students who are innocents, naïve and uninformed about the atrocities and wrath that this world is subject to receive very often. They enjoy your happiness and you enjoy theirs.
Before joining Ala-Too University, I was occupied with an IT company as an International Business Consultant with a good amount of monetary benefits, however, I felt lacking and losing something every single day despite having a luxurious life.
I saw myself completely adhered to achieve the objectives of my company rather than mine. Now I ask myself: if we are not happy at a university, where we would be happy then?
Teaching abroad also gives an ample amount of occasions to travel extensively throughout the regions that I momentarily call home. In Bishkek, I have every weekend spending at mountains, coffee shops, restaurants, etc, where I feel the country. In fact, Now, I am jotting down this article at a pub, on Saturday night, which is full of Russian music and people enjoying their meals.
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When I was teaching in Poland, for example, I took advantage of my prime location in Europe to explore the rest of the continent. My past career in education gave me a lot of time off to travel. And, I try to be cheap to a large extent as I don’t drink or smoke so I save a lot of money because of that. I cut down on transportation costs because I’ve always lived in metropolitan where I don’t need a car. I walk places when I can, which means that I save on bus and cab fare- my two feet are free!