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TESOL Portugal: Certification and Cultural Adaptation Tips

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Teaching English in Portugal

Teaching English abroad turned out to be quite an adventure. Who knew? Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I had just graduated with my second degree and still had no idea what to do with my life.

Like many others, I decided to take some time before I entered the corporate world. The mere thought of living day in and day out in the concrete jungle I called home without a set path gave me anxiety.

Teaching English in Portugal I loved my city, my friends, above all, my family.  Yet I needed to remove myself from my comfort zone.

I booked a ticket to Portugal with the intention to spend a few months there to clear my mind.

FREE: Teach English Abroad Guide-How I Became a Teacher

I was living in a tiny medieval village where everyone knew who you were and where you were going.

This was really difficult for me at first. I used to the big city lights, noise, and the hustle and bustle of people walking by.

Yet here I was faced with the sounds of nature and small-town chatter. It was beautiful.

I was working a few odd jobs to earn some money. I started working in a small café, and on the weekends I was an English tutor.

Through some networking, I met a Cambridge University teacher trainer. She runs an English institute in the city.

The one condition she had before I became part of her team was to complete my TESOL course, and so she referred me to OnTESOL. I completed the 120-hour TESOL course with TEYL specialization. 

Read: The Best Way to Get Paid to Travel The World

Everyone Experiences Culture Shock!

TESOL Portugal CertificationThere came a point when I was ready to give up.

I was finding it difficult to deal with the culture shock, learning a new language, and completing the TESOL course all at once.

I have to say that my OnTESOL mentors gave me tons of confidence and courage. I knew I could do this. I’m a fighter.

I created a bond with my TEYL tutor, who turned out to be one of the authors Cambridge University raves about.

I wish I could thank her personally. 

Today I am a full-time English teacher at the Cambridge University School for English. Teaching English as a second language is exhilarating.

There will always be hurdles to overcome, such as cultural and language barriers. I have been here for three years and I am still adapting.

I fly back home once or twice a year. I love my career, I love where I live and I love the challenges I face every day.

If I could give one piece of advice to soon-to-be-graduates and fellow alumni, it would be to simply hang in there.

Teaching abroad in Portugal

The adventure of a lifetime awaits. You just have to find the courage to push through that door.

They say we all have our calling. Some reach that point sooner than others. I suppose that’s part of our journey in life.

Read: How to Overcome Culture Shock in TESOL

Read: How Teaching in Different Countries Changed My Life

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