It’s taken me a longer than planned to put this post together, but after spending a while at home catching up with everyone, and popping back to the school where I did my teacher training to meet the current trainees, there are a lot of people asking a lot of the same questions, so here goes – a little lowdown on the finer details of my adventures.
Where did you find your job? I applied for a ton of jobs on tefl.com. It’s very straightforward – you can set up an online profile that easily enables you to submit multiple job applications daily, and schools are also able to contact you directly through the message box. There’s a lot of rubbish on there, but it’s worth sifting through all the adverts, and a good place to get a better idea of what’s out there.
What are the students like? Generally, I love my students. The school that I work in runs a variety of courses – the youngest students are 4 years old, and we also have conversation and business classes for adults. Of course we have some issues, they are people after all, but as a sweeping generalisation, my students are very polite, hardworking and keen to please. You can read some more about my students in this post about who I taught in my first year in Indonesia.
What are your working hours? Obviously this varies greatly from school to school, but I teach from 4.00-8.30 during the week, and 10.00-1.00 on Saturdays. I normally try to arrive at school by 1.00pmin order to plan….and chat with my co-workers and go out for lunch!!
How did you did somewhere to live?
I’m very lucky and my house is actually provided as part of my contract package. This is not unheard of with EFL jobs. I have my own bedroom with ensuite bathroom, and share a living room and kitchen with housemates.
What do you miss from home?
My friends and family, of course. In addition to this, lots of food – cheese, Jaffa cakes, a good curry! There are easily enough pros to outweigh the cons though!
Have you learnt the language? Do you need to?
The area that I live in is in the outskirts of Jakarta and not many people speak English. I spend all day at work with English speakers so it would be easy I get by speaking very limited Indonesian, but I have been taking lessons and learning (or trying at least!) because I really want to be able to speak to everyone! As long as you can pick up a few lines – numbers, food, basic directions – you’d be fine!
How do you make friends?
Ummm I’m not going to lie – it’s difficult. That being said, I have a wonderful group of friends at school – they’re more like family – and have a really settled life here. I have met other English teachers through friends and work events, and made Indonesian friends in bars and other activities in the city. If you’re will in to put yourself out there, you will easily make friends!
I hope this has answered some questions….although it is a massive step and I’m not planning to stay here forever, moving to Jakarta really is one of the best things I’ve ever done. All the worries that I had before I came about not making friends or being able to speak the language were completely unfounded, and to everyone that says ‘oh I wish I could do what you’re doing’…..YOU CAN!