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Hello everyone, I am currently a high school senior looking to get the f**k out of america! After looking up the town I live in (Bellingham) on google, I came across one of Winston's blog posts on the curse of bellingham. Almost everything that he stated about bellingham was true. I've been wanting to leave the us for so long. My family lives in ireland as my mom is an irish immigrant and I am an Irish passport holder. The problem is, I dont know where to even start. I'm thinking maybe applying to college abroad or getting a TEFL certification. If anyone can help me with some advice, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Winston for bringing me here, and its nice to meet everyone!
Welcome l. You're certainly in a good position getting attuned to these issues so young, and your Irish passport is a ticket to the entire EU. I definitelyly would look at going to a university in Europe. I believe Germany has now eliminated tuition for everyone, including foreigners, so you might want to take a look at some of their many fine universities. If you decided at some point you wanted to move on to less westernized locales, like eastern Europe or Asia, taking a TEFL certification course -- which would cost you around $1,200 and a month of your life -- would certainly be a ticket to doing that. With a degree and that certification you could teach English pretty much anywhere in the world. Even in the EU if you want, with that Irish passport. Most of us with just U.S. passports can't get work in the EU because the visas are hard to come by.
Thanks so much for the advice Jackson. I will look into TEFL courses, the problem is there's so bloody many of them. I heard that CELTA is alright so I might try them when I graduate. Other than that, do you have any advice for German Colleges? I should probably become semi-fluent in German, which 2 years of German in high school under my belt, I'm partly there. Anyways thank you very much for the advice, I hope to see you on this forum more often.
I don't have any personal familiarity with German universities. The University of Gottingen has a long-standing great reputation for academics, and I knew someone who went there and liked it very much. I'd certainly check out the universities in Berlin. There are great universities all over the country. Going back at least to the middle of the 19th century, Germany really has been the center of the universe as far as the life of the mind goes. With some time out for a couple of world wars.
Maybe two things you should look at. Going over there and traveling around, if you can, to see what place you really get a feel for. And also, many of the programs in several of the German universities are taught entirely in English. It's great that you've got a leg up on learning German, but you might want to go somewhere you know you won't have to stretch too far out of your comfort zone.
CELTA is definitely the gold standard for TEFL training, and would maximize your employability. There are people here -- Cornfed, for example -- who will tell you that it is extremely intense and takes virtually all your time for a month. That's why the International House in Moscow offering intrigues me. Their CELTA course is part-time, stretches over two months, and classes meet just twice a week. That's more along the intensity lines that suit me.