EF Education First Teachers

Peace Corps Testimonials

Matthew Vincent

RPCV Ukraine, 2013-2014

Why did you decide to go to China?

I’ll be honest, I came to work for EF in China merely because I had never been to this part of the world before and I wanted to see what it was all about. I think China is and will continue to be one of the world’s most influential cultures, so I decided it would be a good idea to get some hands-on experience about this place.

How did your Peace Corps experience help you to be successful living in China and working for EF? 

My experience in PC Ukraine is one of the most valuable of my entire life and, in terms of my current job with EF, it’s proven to be very helpful. In fact, when I mentioned my PC service during my interview, I saw my recruiter’s eyes light up! That’s because she knows that a RPCV not only has experience teaching the communicative method and developing lesson plans, but also has personal characteristics indicative of working abroad. I didn’t meet a single PCV who didn’t exhibit perseverance and patience in the face of cultural disconnects or a friendly and caring nature when dealing with students. This is why a job like this suits any RPCV.

What are you getting out of this experience?

When I first decided to join the PC, it was because I wanted to serve my fellow human beings, despite the economic hardship, for I truly believe that cultural boundaries are nonsense; that humans are all the same on some deeper level, and that everyone has a fundamental right to possess knowledge. And that goes for me too! Spending my life working and living in foreign lands allows me to gather more knowledge about the world I live in: about the differences between people and how we can bridge them. It’s hard to quantify this kind of knowledge, but the experiences I’m having are far greater than I expected.

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Luke Bash      

RPCV South Africa, 2003-2005      

Why did you decide to go to China?

Through my university studies, I was drawn to Asia before I joined the Peace Corps. There is a lot of rich history and culture while still remaining a quite mysterious place. After finishing my service, in 2006, I decided to go to Japan for a vacation and later for work. After nearly 4 years exploring Japan, I moved to Hong Kong for two and a half years. I am now in my third country, in China, and I am still loving it. I am now living and working in Beijing as a Senior Teacher in an adult school.

How did your Peace Corps experience help you to be successful living in China and working for EF? 

The life as a PCV was a real life changing experience. It took me out of my comfortable environment and forced me to learn more about myself; my ability to be creative at work and flexible while working with others. This gave me the confidence and self-reliance to continue living overseas. Japan, Hong Kong, and now China are not like where I grew up, nor like my PC service, but I can still apply my previous experience and gain more while interacting in these new environments.

What are you getting out of this experience?

I take the third goal of the Peace Corps seriously. Bringing my Peace Corps service experience to my work is a valuable tool when working with my students and colleagues. I have been lucky to have had the chance to live in many countries. I will continue to teach about all the places I have lived and bring China to all the people I will meet when I leave here.

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Dan Thompsan

RPCV, Ukraine 2011-2014

Why did you decide to go to China?

I decided to teach in China as there are a lot of places in Asia that I want to see and visit and I love Chinese culture. Right now I'm currently teaching with EF at an adult training center in Shanghai. It's a big change from my Peace Corps service, but yet at the same time the things I learned during PST have helped me immensely since coming here.

How did your Peace Corps experience help you to be successful living in China and working for EF? 

My PC service taught me how to identify the parts of language that I need to learn first and how to acquire language that will help me to not only survive, but thrive. PC service taught me community mapping and how to be safe in unfamiliar surroundings. But most importantly, peace corps taught me flexibility and how to be creative and improvise when life often throws an unexpected curve!

What are you getting out of this experience?

Teaching in China with EF is helping me to apply what I learned in Peace Corps in a real job situation. I'm finding ways to meet expectations of my managers as well as my students and to add as much as I can to help my students learn English in a fun and exciting way!

••• 

Diana Hunter

RPCV, Ukraine 2012-2014

Why did you decide to go to China?

I had just finished my Peace Corps service in Ukraine, and after only a few months of being home I was already suffering from my wanderlust. I knew I had to get back out in the world and experience a new and different place and culture as soon as possible. I had used EF before when I was in High School and again in College for different traveling programs, so I was familiar with their company and what they had to offer. I did some research and saw they had job openings in China. Since I had never been to Asia before, I decided to apply, and a few months later, here I am!

 

How did your Peace Corps experience help you to be successful living in China and working for EF?

Peace Corps is the perfect training before joining an international company. My time in Peace Corps taught me so many invaluable lessons for dealing with different cultures- such as patience, flexibility, and the importance of maintaining a healthy sense of humor. Moving to a new country that speaks a different language and has different customs and traditions can be challenging. But if you show respect and a desire to learn, most host countries will greet you with open arms and enthusiastically share their culture. A smile is universal, and if you can keep that while going through the day to day adjustments, that is all that matters.

 

What are you getting out of this experience?

So far my time with EF has been an exciting adventure! I have already met so many amazing people and had numerous incredible experiences that I can’t even put into proper words to describe - such as spending Chinese New Year in Hong Kong with my new Chinese family, or learning a pop song in Mandarin to surprise my students with, and the look of shock on their faces when I started singing in their language. To me, seeing and experiencing the world is the most educational and life changing adventure a person can have. I am lucky to work for a company that respects that spark in its employees, and encourages them as teachers, travelers, and most importantly, as people.

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