Czech national Lada Nobilisova took a Global English TESOL course before heading out to beautiful Queenstown, in the South Islands, New Zealand, to teach English.
We asked her more about her journey.
How did you come to be living and working in New Zealand, Lada?
I arrived in the UK in 2001 to improve my English. That one year turned into six and I started planning my next move. My partner’s friends were raving about New Zealand and so we decided to give it a go and shift to the other side of the world. We based ourselves in beautiful Queenstown which is a transient place (before Covid) in the South Island, full of people of various nationalities. Lots of overseas students come here to learn or improve their English so it’s perfect if you want to teach the language!
I started an online TEFL course with Global English. It was really helpful and I would highly recommend it. A couple of years later I flew back to Europe for a month and completed a CELTA course.
I approached one of the language schools (Language Schools New Zealand), had an interview, and had to teach a lesson while being observed by the Head of Studies. I got hired and got started.
What are your students like to teach?
Many want to improve their confidence when applying for a new job; a lot of students also have to pass the IELTS exam and gain a certain band score to obtain a work visa and are highly motivated to learn which makes it a lot easier for us teachers. They also absolutely love living here in Queenstown.
What's it’s been like as a non-native speaker working in the EFL industry there?
New Zealand (and Queenstown in particular) is a place where lots of different nationalities work, live, and study. It is therefore not uncommon for "foreign" teachers to lead English classes. In Queenstown in particular you will hear a lot of different accents. It is also easy to find private students.
What advice would you give anyone considering coming to NZ
NZ is a must-see. The two islands are totally different from each other. Tropical north with beautiful beaches and warm climate, glaciers, lakes, and mountains in the south. Friendly people and something for everyone.
Sounds lovely. What about visas?
Immigration rules have become a lot stricter since I arrived 14 years ago. I started on a working holiday visa. Only 1200 spots are issued each year (this was prior to Covid and applies to Czech nationals only, not sure about other countries). I kept renewing it and then applied for a partnership visa (my partner has both Australian and British passports) followed by residency.
Eventually, after being here for almost ten years, I applied for citizenship and an NZ passport.
Thank you, Lada, for sharing your experiences. Queenstown sounds wonderful and we always enjoy hearing how TESOL can transform lives and open up the world.
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