Australia Testimonia – Jen – Halifax, NS

Jen

Home: Halifax, Nova Scotia

 University: Maine

Subject Area: Primary

 

What Leading Out support and services have you enjoyed, or have assisted you, the most?

One service that I am very happy with is the accommodation Leading Out suggested. It is a great opportunity to quickly make friends and have that sense of “family” that you might find comfort in while being so far from home. Currently, there are about 7 different nationalities within our house and we are very much enjoying learning about customs, and trying foods from other countries! We have just signed a lease to stay for the rest of the time we will be in Australia. They also offer 3 month leases so you don’t have to commit to a whole year right away! It’s so easy!

Leading Out has provided me with tremendous support, guidance, advice and valuable information since the very first day I inquired about the network, many months before I actually came to Australia – and still continues to, now. Before committing to Leading Out, I literally wrote dozens of emails (sometimes three or four in one day) anytime I thought of a question. Each and every email was treated with equal importance and it was apparent right from the beginning that there was a real person behind the emails who actually cared and wanted to assist you as much as she possibly could, not thinking of you as a dollar sign, but a person. Leading Out was super quick and efficient in answering even the most petty queries I had. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! In addition there are also many services that they provide to make the transition to the other side of the world easier than you can imagine. I can’t explain how simple it was to pack up and relocate to Melbourne. It’s hard to believe, at times, really.

The Leading Out network has gone above and beyond in thinking of all the little things that can make your transition as smooth as possible. Even now, Leading Out continues to ask current teachers in the network what they think might help make the transition even smoother for prospective teachers. Leading Out treats you like a family member; always looking out for you and making you feel at home.

Tips for International Teachers?

• While doing CRT (Casual Relief Teaching), be prepared with a number of lessons/activities for a variety of grade levels in the quite common instance that nothing is left for you.

• Become familiar with the public transport system and purchase a monthly MET Card if you need to use public transport each day. This gives you unlimited access to trams, buses and trains for one whole month and you don’t have to worry about fares and tickets each day.

• Familiarize yourself with the common phrases and words used here in Australia. You can find a great list to get you started on the Leading Out blog website.

• Take every opportunity you can to travel while you are here – on the weekends and during the holidays.

• Buy groceries at Safeway, Coles or ALDI. You get the most for your money at these stores.

The best place traveled within Australia:

So far, my favorite place is Yarra Valley; a beautiful, green countryside, filled with breathtaking views and quaint wineries (where tasting is free!) It is hard to believe you can find as much tranquility and natural beauty just an hour outside of the city as you do here! I thoroughly enjoyed the day I spent here with the Overseas Club; traveling around Yarra Valley from winery to winery, taking in all the lovely views and sipping on delectable wine!

What have you enjoyed most about teaching in Victoria?

So far my favorite part about teaching in Melbourne is the fact that I’m always learning something new from the students – whether it be a word or phrase, a sport/game or even just general information about Australia. It is quite enjoyable getting to know the students and learning from them at the same time. They are very interested in hearing all about Canada, as well, so it goes both ways and we relish the opportunities to share things with each other. It didn’t take long for me to get used to the way of life here in Melbourne. I thank my students for that!

Despite the fact that Australia, like Canada, is an English speaking country, it still took me about a month to get used to the different phrases, terms and slang used by the students and teachers. There are even some different spellings to get used to! I felt a minor “culture shock” in this respect.

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