Post College Adventure
Why teach ESL in The Republic of Georgia
There are many wonderful reasons to teach esl in Georgia:
- Unparalleled Beauty - Coastal, mountainous, agrarian, wooded, and other natural environments offer something for every. Even glaciers!
- Rich Culture - One of the oldest languages in the world (Georgian, or Kartuli), a deeply ingrained tradition of folk singing, and vibrant traditional dance.
- Mystical Christianity - As an Orthodox Christian country (meaning the majority of Georgians identify as Orthodox Christians) there's a bottomless well of wisdom and beauty that has much to teach those of us from the western Christian world.
- History - Ancient monasteries, cave cities, brilliant museums, and more.
- Hospitable - Georgian are said to the most most hospitable in the world. That's no small claim!
- Cusine - Delicious! And legend has it that Georgia is the birthplace of wine making.
- "Undiscovered" - Due to Georgia having been under Soviet Russia until the 1990s, the Western world has, largely, yet to discover the wonders of this country, making it a wonderous place for post college adventure.
ESL Georgia - Teach and Learn Georgia (TLG)
The Georgian Ministry of Education began the program TLG (Teach and Learn Georgia) to encourage esl teachers to choose Georgia in their interest to teach English abroad. They provide an initial training upon arrival their necessary support after arrival. What's more, they've put together quite an attractive offer:
- Free round-trip airfare at the beginning and end of one's contract.
- Housing set-up with a well-screened and loving family.
- A stipend of 500 Lari (Georgian's currency) per month (~300 USD).
- Placement with a native Georgian English teacher.
- A round-trip flight for summer or winter break of equal or lesser value to the original round-trip from one's original spot.
Interested in ESL Georgia?
How to Apply
TLG has hired three recruiting agencies to bring esl teachers to their beautiful Republic of Georgia:
- Reach to Teach
- Greenheart Travel
- Footprints Recruiting
Although the program is the same regardless of which agency one goes through, there are differences in the ease of applying and the post-arrival support. Obviously it's helpful to read through each agency's website, but for a better inside scope, check out the site ESL Georgia [dot] com.
Other than the resources provided by eslGeorgia.com, there are several resources to learn about Georgia and their esl program. Blogs from current esl Georgia teachers offer wonderful insight into the program and general life in Georgia.
Apply Directly through TLG
Applicants can also go directly through the Georgian Ministry of Education, through the TLG website. This method avoids much headache with "lost in translation" types of issues going through a third party, though it may also prove challenges resulting from the lack of a third party "translator" of sorts.
Considerations before Applying
Like any teach abroad program, it's important to know what you're committing to before applying to teach English in the Republic of Georgia. The country's culture is quite different than modern western, or "American" culture, causing some to experiment quite the culture shock. It's also possible that you'd be placed in a village without electricity, indoor plumbing (including toilets, meaning that teachers would use an outhouse), and other basic comforts folks in the west are accustomed to. At the same time, the cities and towns in Georgia do offer the usual comforts Westerners are used to, at least generally speaking.
One other important thing to know before applying to teach English in the Republic of Georgia is that it's quite literally on the other side of the world, far from the continent of North America. While this seems obvious, its implications might not be. Being that far from one's homeland can be challenging in mental and physical ways. Mentally, ones support network of friends and family isn't close by, or even really reachable very quickly. And physically, it could possibly take a number of days to return home for an emergency, though with modern airports and the like it could likely happen fairly quickly.
College Graduate #1 Opportunity
Regardless of how one applies to teach English as a second language in the Republic of Georgia, know that it's an awesome opportunity for recent college graduates and older folk alike to be immersed into a country like no other. Teach abroad might not be the first thing that comes to mind for recent college grads, but it's surely an option worthy of serious consideration.