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International Teachers

Alumni Share Their Advice for New International Teachers

It’s an exciting time here at Participate! This fall, we’re welcoming more than 300 additional international educators. We asked Participate alumni to share their advice for new teachers. Read on for what they had to say about adjusting to a different culture and the enriching experiences they had.

Advice for new international teachers

“Forget about all your preconceived notions that you came with and immerse yourself in the new culture. You will struggle but that is the exciting part of the programme… let your students teach you! They will laugh with you at your mistakes and they will enjoy every moment with you. This is a new culture and a new experience for them and for you.”

Vishnu Naidoo, South Africa

“Be open! Things are going to be different, but do not give up. This is a life-changing and enriching experience that will open your ideas to new ways of teaching, learning and living. Enjoy every day as if it was the last one. Embrace your job and love your students, your school and your community.”

Claudia Morales, Colombia

“Focus on the needs of your students but not just academically, open the world of a different culture for them. Get to know your town, city, state. Make time to travel, let the American culture be part of yourself, enjoy the full cultural experience. Come back home a richer (culturally), more mature, more biculturally-oriented and use all that to succeed in your country of origin.”

Alejandro Fallas, Costa Rica

“If there is something that is not clear to you, do not be afraid to ask. There are people who are more than willing to help so you won’t feel lost in a new place and environment.”

Leonides Marquez, Philippines

“To work everyday as it is the last one. To keep control of yourself, nothing is personal. To ask for advice every time you have doubts.”

Aura Ortega, Colombia

Encouragement for new international teachers

“Never give up when facing challenges. It’s not a bed of roses but once you realize the huge impact you made in the life of hundreds of students, it is all worth it.”

Patricia Puentes, Colombia

“Be the best possible! You are great and your students are eager to get to know you better, open your heart to them. Make your school a better place. Change lives, not just teach!”

Alejandro Fallas, Costa Rica

“Enjoy your stay with your host country and share your culture with your students. It may seem different for them at first, but it will be a part of their growth and success in the future.”

Leonides Marquez, Philippines

You were picked after a careful selection process — you do have what it takes!”

Diana Neira Acosta, Colombia

The experience teaching with Participate

Enjoy every moment! Remember you’re not alone and you have a whole network of people here to help you succeed.”

Maria Montero, Canada/Philippines

Participate was a great experience for me to share with my friends and family. I was so proud of my culture while teaching the language. I was surrounded by an awesome team and made long-lasting friendships with my coworkers who became my family and supported me throughout my stay. It opened up a new world full of blessings, and I’m truly thankful.”

Sybil Sanchez González, Ecuador

“I lived some of my best professional teaching years while being a Participate teacher. It was hard, but they were always there when I needed them. You might feel lonely but you’re not alone!”

Jose Rodriguez, Spain

“I cherished the three years I spent with Participate. I learned how to better understand students and people with diverse backgrounds all while sharing my own culture. I am still in touch with friends I gained from my stay in Virginia. I will always recommend this experience at Participate to my friends.”

Leonides Marquez, Philippines

For more on what it’s like to be a cultural exchange teacher, check out these blog posts:

Why cultural exchange is a two-way enrichment experience

My first 3 days as a cultural exchange teacher

All walks of life: Teaching with Participate

Interested in teaching in the U.S. with Participate? Apply today!