GeoVisions Blog

Teach In Thailand With Students Aged 11 To 60

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Mon, Sep 24, 2012

Each week, GeoVisions posts an actual email from a Conversation Corps tutor, a Conversation Partner or a full time teacher abroad on a GeoVisions program.  We call the series, Help Me Teach Abroad.

Our Help Me Teach desk is manned by Betsy Bruneau, a full time ESL teacher here.  She gives teaching assistance to GeoVisions' participants by phone, email and Skype.  It is a FREE service that GeoVisions provides to all of our participants and they can have access to Betsy before they depart and during the program.  If we can help you be an amazing teacher or tutor, you will be happy, your students or host family will be happy, you will tell people they should try this out and we will have a repeat family and school.  And that's how we want to roll.

Browse By Tag BoxYou can find a lot of these posts by clicking on the Help Me Teach tag.  You can find that over on the right side of this screen.  The tag box looks like this one.  We put all of our Help Me Teach posts right there.  And who knows...one of these days we'll have enough to make up our own E-Book, which of course we'll give away for FREE.

Hi Betsy,

I've just arrived in Thailand to teach a mother, grandmother, and her young grandson .... Ages 11 to 60....there might be some other people coming too.

I have no idea where to start and looking at the resources. It doesn't seem to help me to assist with people who speak zero english and me no Thai. They really have no English so I can't even rely on one to translate or to lead...they look to me...I have an iPad and am using Google Translate which has been my saviour...so far we are concentrating on greetings and body parts...I've also shown them YouTube videos of Australia. They are all absolute beginners with no confidence and no English.

I'd appreciate any kind of suggestions, assistance, resources, anything you can suggest....

Kind regards

Kieran

Teach in Thailand with GeoVisionsWow, Kieran, you are really brave.  I think there is a lot you can do so please don't worry so much.  I am an ESL teacher in Connecticut where I also teach high school social studies and special education.  I have worked with children of every age and have taught a few years of night school.  Every age group has something to offer and I found the adults one of the most fun groups with which to work.

You will find out very early what each member of your group is capable of.  Many new speakers of English know some words but feel funny speaking.  Many can read or understand, but not speak.  You will probably find that there will be a leader, of sorts, in your group for which you can rely to translate or give you an indication of what the others are capable of or willing to do.

Since you are teaching adults, you need to assure that your lessons are high interest.  So begin by talking about the culture from which you come.  What do people do there for fun?  Where do you live?  What is the geography like?  Share pictures, magazines, photographs, postcards, etc. Show them pictures of your family and friends (if you are comfortable with this).  Show them what an 11 year old might be doing or what school is like.  Write key words on a board or piece of paper.  Use maps to find distance from Thailand to your hometown.  Take note of what countries you would travel over or through.  YOu can include other things like oceans, rivers, mountains, etc.  This will undoubtedly spark some discussion from which you can glean who your stronger English students are.   Do this kind of thing for more than one day.  You can ask them to write about what they like about Thailand or where they have traveled.  If they can't write it in English tell them to write in Thai or to draw a picture.  Trust me, this is not babyish.  Your subject matter is not juvenile, that's what makes the difference.

Next, bring in pictures and photographs of famous people and places around the world.  Ask them to name them and then write them on the board.  This also should spark some interest.  They can be pictures of current leaders of the world, pop stars, athletes, musicians, dead presidents, whatever.  Do the same with the land marks.  Then give a brief written description of each person or place.  When you are finished ask them to choose which person they would like to most meet or which place they would like to visit.  Ask them to explain why they made this choice and to write a brief explanation.  Focus on the conversational piece of it.

Text used with Conversation CorpsYou should focus on their interests even though they are different ages.  Google Translate is lovely and so is youtube.  Are you from Australia?  Why not show them pictures of your family and friends and introduce titles at the same time.  Then ask them to introduce their family and friends through titles.

You can provide a writing prompt every day.  There are many on the internet.  Make sure they each have a Thai/English dictionary.  Tell them that they can answer first in Thai and then translate it.  Writing prompts are high interest and usually involve their own opinions about something.

Find articles in the newspaper and use google translate to develop questions for you to give to them.  I think you are on the right track.  Play simple games together, like card games.  Remember every time you talk to them you are using English and displaying proper usage.  Do jigsaw puzzles together to talk about colors or landforms.  Have them create books of geographical land forms by looking for them in National Geographic or on line.  My students love this activity.  You can do it at the same time, using Thai. 

You can also focus on what they would need to know if they were to travel to an English-speaking country.  They would need to be able to ask for directions, order food, follow directions, take a bus, etc.  Ask them what they would like to know how to do and role play.

I have lots more ideas, Kieran.  Write me when you know more about the members of your group and the levels of English.  I can't wait to hear.

Betsy

If you have comments for this tutor on Conversation Corps-Spain, feel free to use the Comments section below.  This is an open community and we're all eager to learn.

Tags: Conversation Partner, Conversation Corps Thailand, Help Me Teach, Thailand

Black Hole Tourism Or Volunteering To Teach Abroad In The Desert?

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Wed, Sep 05, 2012

Dry River Bed in FeynanTake a look at this photo.  What do you see?

Let me ask a better question.  What DON'T you see?

The obvious answer here is that you don't see buildings, streets, cars, animals or people.  You also don't see smiling volunteers with shovels who have just pretended to save the world through volunteering.

You are looking at a dry river bed in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, which covers 300km of land, making it the largest reserve in Jordan.

Hard to imagine, by looking at this lonely dry river bed, Dana Biosphere Reserve hosts a wide array of flora and fauna.  Over 800 plant species thrive within the reserve, three of which are unique to Dana.  449 different animals have been recorded, including threatened species such as the sand cat, Syrian wolf and spiny-tailed lizard.

AGeoVisions volunteer in Dana Reservend because everyone likes to rely upon photos of happy volunteers doing great work, we don't want to be left out.  So here you go.  This is a photo of one of our happy volunteers doing great work in Feynan.  No...really.  It's one of our volunteers on the program caught doing his work.  Welcome to the GeoVisions' Conversation Partner at an Eco-Lodge program in Jordan.

Before you read further, this is where we put in the fine print.  You can't go as a group and maybe you can go as a couple. That depends on a lot of factors.  You can take your laptop and your mobile phone.  But it will be a rare occurance if they work.

Still interested?

We hope so.  We need to keep a full rotation of GeoVisions' tutors at the Feynan Ecolodge.  The hotel staff and local Bedouin community are relying upon GeoVisions to bring volunteers (and only 1 or 2 at a time) to the Ecolodge to tutor the hotel staff in English and to tutor the local Budouin youth in English as well.

Constructed in 2005, the Feynan Ecolodge lies at the western edge of the Dana Biosphere Reserve.  The ecolodge is owned by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and is the first of its kind in Jordan.

On this GeoVisions program the volunteer you see above has an unparalleled opportunity to experience Jodan's wilderness, teach its native people English, which they have requested to learn, explore its ancient history side by side with the locals, with a minimal impact on the environment.

Road to Feynan LodgeFly to Jordan and get picked up by our staff.  We will drive you to Amman where you will stay at a hotel.  During your 2 or 3 days in Amman you will have a tour and receive a formal orientation about Jordan, the Middle East and your volunteer project at Feynan Ecolodge.  Oh...more fine print.  You won't fly to Feynan.  You won't go by luxurious motor coach.  This is your ride to the desert and Feynan Ecolodge--your GeoVisions volunteer project for 1, 2 or 3 months.  And the photo below is the prize at the end of this road.

Nested in the hills of Feynan lies the EcolodgeDo you see it?  Right there on the far left side of this incredible photo.  The Ecolodge.  Your home and your volunteer project.

Hailed as one of the top fifty ecolodges in the world by National Geographic Adventure Magazine, the solar powered Feynan Ecolodge offers the most developed eco-experience in Jordan; an experience made possible by a unique partnership between EcoHotels and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, a Jordanian NGO devoted to the protection of the Kingdom’s finest natural landscapes.

Feynan EcolodgeWhat will you do at Feynan on GeoVisions' Conversation Partner program? Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to share your language with the staff of Feynan Ecolodge on a daily basis.  Your primary reason for being there is to provide English conversation. The staff likes to have six, 2-hour sessions each week of English instruction.

GeoVisions’ Conversation Partners going out to Feynan go to a location without Internet or cell service. The primary reason for going is to teach English to the local artisans, the staff of the ecolodge and to volunteer in the local Bedouin school.  If these people learn English, the drivers can earn more tips to take care of their families, the room cleaners can be promoted to other positions...even the front desk.  Guides can have English conversations with guests and earn more tips.  The artisan women can converse in English, explain their crafts, and earn a better living. The work these volunteer tutors do improves the lives of hundreds of people, forever.

Not only do these volunteers give their time and their money, they give up their iPhones and laptops for 1 to 3 months and volunteer to disconnect from the world for the privilege to connect to these local people for no other reason but to improve life and strengthen families in Feynan.

Enjoy this great 4 minute video shot by the staff at Feynan.


Tags: Conversation Partner, Responsible Travel, Jordan

Smell That Coffee: Teach Abroad At A Hotel In Colombia

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Thu, Jul 26, 2012
You
Are you a male or a female?  Are you in good health?  Is English your first language?

The hotel with you will tutor the staff in EnglishThe Assignment
Tutor hotel staff in English.  Hotel staff means the people who clean the rooms, work the front desk, cook the food and the people who keep things running.  All the staff at the hotel want to improve their English.  The minimum length of your assignment needs to be one month.  But you will start where the last tutors left off.  You may stay up to 3 months maximum.

Where you will live, eat and teach
The hotel is small.  18 rooms and 4 suites.  The hotel is located outside of Armenia.  The owner of the hotel is committed to having his staff improve their English.  You will have your own private room (and bath) and you will have all of your meals from the restaurant at the hotel.  Because you will tutor the staff, your room and all of your meals are FREE.  Your room and private bath is framed with a spectacular view.  You will be surrounded by Panaca National Park and many coffee farms.

Floating down the La Vieja RiverOther Activities
The local school has welcomed other tutors to help them out a few hours each week.  You are welcome to go to the school and tutor children in English in what GeoVisions calls "the English corner."  This activity gets you out of the hotel, gets you in front of children who want to improve their English, and gets you involved in the community.  Improve your Spanish, take Salsa and Merengue dance lessons or using bamboo rafts, ride down the La Vieja River.

We can tell you that the owner took our last tutor there on some tours.  That isn't to say he'll take YOU, but if he likes you and you're doing a great job we see no reason you won't get to see a lot of the area, improve your Spanish, and learn more about rural living in Colombia.

Dining hall at the hotelHow We Help You
You will be supported by our own ESL Teacher on staff, Betsy.  She runs our Help Me Teach desk.  She is available by Skype or email.  Just let her know what you need help with given what the staff needs to learn and she'll provide a lot of personalized help.

You will also have a FREE membership in the ESL Lounge.  There you can download games, worksheets, flash cards and other aids to help in your classes and make your classes fun.  We provide our own teaching materials also, which you can download and take with you, or download at the hotel.

We have a manned 24 hour emergency service and you have the best travel and medical insurance out there.

swimming pool at nightExperience
You do not need to have teaching experience to qualify.  You will be interviewed by Skype, you must be a native English speaker, and you need to have excitement about teaching English in a very beautiful and very relaxed setting.  GeoVisions has sent tutors to this hotel already, so you will have notes as to what lessons have been used and where to start.  You will be expected to do the same for the next round of tutors coming in after you.

What Do I Do Next?
Hate this idea?  Click here.  Love this idea?  Click here.

We are looking for our next tutors to send to Colombia to live and tutor at this hotel. Contact Us if you want to be the next tutor at a hotel in Colombia.  Because we can accommodate only 1 tutor at a time, space is limited.

Tags: Conversation Partner, Teach Abroad, Colombia, Volunteering Abroad

Volunteer Abroad: Do You Fit In?

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Tue, Jul 24, 2012

A GeoVisions volunteer abroad with her host brother and sisterYesterday I wrote a post about "How I See You." I thought I would follow up that post with actual comments from GeoVisions' volunteers in-country right now. I hope you'll read some of them to see if you think you fit in.

After about 3 days from arriving at your project or host family, we send an email asking if you arrived safely, how you're feeling, where you are located and how we can get in touch with you. About 2 weeks later, we ask you to write back in 25 words or less describing your situation.

Most people come to us realizing they have offered to volunteer abroad and that they are not on a tour. It isn't GeoVisions' responsibility to make sure you're enjoying yourself. That's all on you. What we provide at GeoVisions is a project that needs your help (no matter how little or how much) and a place to live along with food and great insurance. What you do on your own is totally up to you.

I'm amazed (only infrequently) how many people expect to be pampered and how many people expect that they are going to go change the world. If you are one of those types of people, don't volunteer abroad with GeoVisions. Please…go bother one of our competitors and make their lives miserable.

To see if you fit in, here are actual comments from our volunteers abroad right now. If you like what you see, you fit in!

All of these comments are coming from the right place. These volunteers aren't writing about themselves and what they had hoped to do or change. The are writing about the experience and what it takes to be of service abroad. They certainly do fit in.

So in 25 words or less (OK...a few don't know how to count) here are some of the "fitters-in" at GeoVisions.

Enjoy!

I would say it is very hard, adjusting, which I am still doing. But worth it to see another part of the world. I have had my good and bad moments but am just waiting till i settle in more and feel more comfortable here. I have barely slept here which is not a good thing at all, and sometimes feel isolated by the language barrier.

My programme, working with two children, 4 and 9, is very hands on and one to one. The whole family are getting involved in helping me with Spanish and practicing sentences in English together. They are a very busy family so there are always things to write and draw about.

It's a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and learn about a different culture.

Two volunteers in PeruAn amazing experience, a great way to experience local life in Spain! Great people, fun kids and inspiring culture.

4 hours a day teaching English at the Camp. Challenging, but fun. A lot of free time for fun and travels. Provided with a safety net that feels like family.

I could have not asked for a better family to be paired with. They are all so welcoming and loving; I feel as though I am really a part in their family. This experience has been splendid in every way.

This is very challenging, but it is a challenge worth taking! Although I am spending a lot of time helping the family with their English, I have had plenty of time to explore.

It is an exciting adventure. You are truly surrounded by the culture and learn the life style and customs of the family you work with.

I love it!!! I'm having the time of my life plus I got placed with an amazing family. I can't believe it's almost one month :(

It is a life changing experience. It opens your eyes to the astonishing similarities to be found in every couture and the captivating differences that make each nation, each region and city, unique.

It's been a lot of fun. I've gotten to know a lot of the people in the town I'm staying in and the family really well. I wish I was traveling more but there is still time.

A very different experience, a cultural adventure, language immersion, lots of childcare, lots of opportunities to meet other young foreigners.

It is fun and difficult at the same time. Every day is different. It takes a lot of patience.

Very interesting exchange of culture and language. You will make a lot of new friends.

Everything has been going very well in Jordan. I've been learning a lot. Culture shock wasn't too bad. The main difference is the food, but I acclimated quickly.

Colombia is awesome, food, weather, and people are extremely friendly. The weather has been in the high 70's early 80's. I'm glad I made the switch from Bogota to Quimbaya. I'm surrounded by coffee and banana farms. Have a good day.

teaching in a classroom in ChinaMoscow is such a fascinating city! It's fast-paced, huge, with tons of people and things to see. I'll find myself wandering the city in random directions just because I'm bound to find interesting places. The language barrier can be tricky sometimes, but that is mostly just because I hate to be such a foreigner, I try and fit in as much as possible.

This has been the hardest thing I've ever done. I have grown and learned copiously and feel that I have been changed and strengthened tremendously by this experience.

No matter what part of the world you are from, good people are good people. Despite any of our differing beliefs, my host family and I have found common ground and really care about each other.

A great opportunity to connect with a different culture while giving something back.

I love my experience in Costa Rica. Words cannot even explain how much I have gained from it. I have grown in confidence so much, it has been absolutely amazing. I am forever recommending it to my friends or random people even.

Tags: Conversation Partner, Reasons To Volunteer Abroad, Conversation Corps, Thank You To Our Volunteers, Volunteering Abroad

Teaching Abroad: How I See You

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Mon, Jul 23, 2012

Teach English in ThailandSo here you are at GeoVisions.

We have some really nice people on staff here and they are probably making you feel special. Let's face it…you are special. Our staff will bend over backwards to make sure you know how special you are and how important you are to us and to your new hosts abroad.

And then there's me. Those really nice people here at GeoVisions try to make sure I rarely get on the telephone. Sometimes I sneak in when everyone's gone and talk to participants. I just got off the telephone with someone who is headed abroad to teach for a year. I called her to make sure she knew what she was getting herself into. I was a teacher many years ago and this person who leaves fairly soon to teach abroad had been teaching here in the U.S. for a few years. But heading off to Asia for a year to teach English requires a highly flexible person. Someone who can wing it, can write lesson plans onsite and not bring them when they fly out. Someone who can adapt to some very strange living accommodations and faculty colleagues and enjoy themselves.

During this 15 minute conversation, she said, "You're not making me feel very comfortable. "And my response was, "That's not my job. I don't care if you're comfortable. I care if you're flexible." And of course that's why the staff here keep me away from telephones. I'm often referred to as Mr. Grumpy.

You're a teacher. You're special. You're going away for a year to teach abroad and you're leaving your family and friends behind. You're adventurous. This is a year you will never forget. You have a great deal of patience and it isn't enough for you to stand and deliver. You want to roll up your sleeves and be involved in another culture.

English teachers arriving Bangkok.You're a volunteer. You're a hero. You're going to volunteer abroad your time and talents. You don't need to stay home and be pampered. You are walking to the beat of a different drummer and you're open to exchanging your culture with another and open to many different experiences.

You're an Au Pair. You're going to care for someone else's children as they were your own. You are headed to do a job I'd never consider doing…E V E R. In some cases you'll have to take language courses and you'll have to learn a new language and drive where you don't fully understand all the signs. And above all, you'll have the safety of your host brothers and sisters paramount…nothing will be more important. I have no idea how people do this job, and I'm amazed that you cannot wait to get started.

How much fire do you have inside to listen and learn? I know, I know. Your project is to tutor or teach. But I know you'll never allow yourself to go and just simply do that task. You're going to listen and you're going to soak up everything your new country and your new hosts throw at you.

I see you as someone who will bring more back than you take with you. After a few weeks in-country, you will hear from us and one of the questions we'll ask is, "In 25 words or less, how would you describe your program to someone?"

Here are a few answers we received last week:

A great opportunity to be a part of someone's family.

It is fun and difficult at the same time. Every day is different. It takes a lot of patience.

A very different experience, a cultural adventure, language immersion, lots of childcare, lots of opportunities to meet other young foreigners.

It is a life changing experience. It opens your eyes to the astonishing similarities to be found in every couture and the captivating differences that make each nation, each region and city, unique.

Thank you for volunteering to teach English in Asia.It is an exciting adventure. You are truly surrounded by the culture and learn the life style and customs of the family you work with.

This is very challenging, but it is a challenge worth taking!

It's a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and learn about a different culture.

I just didn't see anyone there write about what they are teaching other people. Everything I read indicated all these tutors and teachers are learning. That's how I see you. That is why you will be successful.

Now…who wants a phone call from Mr. Grumpy?

Tags: Conversation Partner, Teach Abroad, Au Pair, Conversation Corps, Make Something Happen, Volunteering Abroad

Conversation Partner Italy-Two Volunteer Blogs

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Mon, Feb 27, 2012

CP ItalyRobin Vaughn is an amazing cook, an amazing teacher and an amazing traveler. GeoVisions is so lucky to have Robin in Italy right now living with a host family and helping Italian teachers there teach English. Robin will be in Italy February, March and April.

Robin is very active with her host family. She keeps them busy…and they keep her busy as well. She's a great teacher. She also writes a travel journal on the GeoVisions Community Pages. You want to click the link below that will take you to her travel journal and read her entries and look at her photos (and cartoons).

In addition to that she writes a cooking Blog, A Bird In The Kitchen. I have subscribed to the cooking Blog because the recipes for Italian cooking (which she's doing onsite all the time) are amazing and the photographs capture all Robin is experiencing these 3 months.

If you're interested to know how you can use the GeoVisions Community Pages, Robin has it going on. You can learn a lot looking through her journal pages.

If you're interested in Italian wine and food…check out that food Blog of hers.  I'm sure you'll be a subscriber, just like me.

A bird in the italian kitchen blog logoAnd if you're interested in Conversation Corps-Italy or the program Robin is on, Conversation Partner-Italy…her two Blogs will help you make up your mind to choose one and put your butt in an airline seat.

And if you're interested in one of our THREE summer camps, being a counselor and teaching some English during camp activities…Robin is in the Marche region, exactly where two of the three camps are located.

Italian Summer Camp
This camp is on the ocean, you live in an apartment and bicycle to the camp each day.  You can view a video of last year's camp experience right here.

Italian Summer Camp-Macerata
This camp is a 30-minute train ride to the beach.  You live in student accommodations or shared apartments.

Coming Soon:  Italian Summer Camp-Naples

Robin's two Blogs are model Blogs and you can't go wrong taking a few minutes to look them over. We hope you'll be in touch and let us help you get to Italy.  Perhaps you'll add to Robin's recipes.  Or you'll start a painting Blog...or you might write your first novel.

Tags: Conversation Partner, Conversation Corps-Italy, Teacher Blogs, Conversation Corps, Italy, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad

Some Real Ideas To "Help Me Teach" Abroad

Posted by Global Work And Service Team on Thu, Jan 26, 2012

Language textGuest Post by
Betsy Bruneau
Help Me Teach Desk
GeoVisions

So, you are traveling to a new country to teach conversational English as a member of the Conversation Corps or as a Conversation Partner! What an opportunity. If you don't already know, soon you will learn where you are staying and the age of your "students." Now it’s just a matter of figuring out what to cover while you are there.

My name is Betsy Bruneau and I am a teacher of English language learners. I have worked with children of every age and have also taught adult education. And I also run the Help Me Teach desk here at GeoVisions. I'm here to help you with very particular issues. All of the help I provide during your program is specific to your own situation. Feel free to email me anytime.

I can honestly say that there are advantages for teaching every age. Even if you are working with students in a capacity that you did not expect, chances are you can find your niche with them. Remember to have fun. This is an adventure in teaching conversational English so it is less formal and the possibilities are endless.

If you are teaching children of any age, be sure to check with their parents and guardians to determine what they expect from your stay. You can do that even before you depart your home country. Often, they will want you to work on a specific skill in order to prepare their children for an upcoming task, test or visit to an English speaking area. If you are teaching adults, the same applies. Several of the tutors who are teaching adults right now are preparing them for a component of their job or an upcoming test.

The first couple of days may be awkward but try to imagine yourself welcoming a tutor into your own home. They will want to know a lot about you. So bring some personal affects with you. They will, most likely, be interested in seeing pictures of your family and friends. They will also want to see the region of the country from where you come. Bring postcards of places you have visited or pictures of your hometown. Bring American magazines and newspapers. If you are teaching teenagers, they would probably love to see more about how American or Canadian teenagers live. If they are interested in sports, music, art, etc., bring media that
focuses on that area.

a tutor a spainBe prepared to answer questions about your life here. They may want to know about government or politics. They may want to know what the fascination is with American sports or the Kardashians. There are so many possibilities. Be sure to brush up on the goings on of the country that you will be visiting. This will allow for some back and forth between you and your family and also reassure them that you are interested in their lives and their country.

A few years ago my family hosted a sixteen year old from Germany for the academic year. We spent the first couple of days just finding out about each other and sharing pictures. We talked about favorite meals, pastimes, hobbies, etc. We talked about the expectations that we had of each other. It was not awkward because we didn’t rush into anything. Try to take your host family’s lead. And when you arrive, arrive prepared to show your hosts that you are serious about this venture.

Most of all, have fun.

I hope to be hearing from you when you're on your project if you need any help.  And if you want to reach out before you depart, do that too.  I spend a lot of my time working with GeoVisions participants even before they leave for their assignment.  Don't be shy!

Tags: Conversation Partner, Conversation Corps, Help Me Teach

The Joy Of Quiet Conversation Volunteering Abroad In Jordan

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Fri, Jan 20, 2012

Feynan LodgeI'm not sure where I found the Blog, A Little Adrift by Shannon O'Donnell. I'm glad I did. I highly recommend her travel Blog. She started traveling in 2008 on an around the world trip. Now she travels at her own pace and documents everything that happens on the road.

Shannon wrote a post about Feynan Ecolodge located in Jordan's Dana Biosphere Reserve. I was thrilled to see the post because GeoVisions has an incredible Conversation Partner program at the Feynan Ecolodge. We supply them with English tutors for the staff. And by staff I mean front desk workers, maids, restaurant workers and even the guides.

As the post points out, we need English tutors to live at the Ecolodge to help staff with their conversational English. And if you're looking for a place to recharge the batteries, look no further than Feynan.

Woman at the Feynan lodgeIf you any interest in Jordan, conversational English, ecolodges or finding a place to just "be" and have time to disconnect from the Internet, Feynan is a great place. I hope you'll read Shannon's post about her experience at Feynan. She posted some great photos too!

This is a great time to revisit Pico Iyer's NY Times piece last December entitled "The Joy of Quiet." Iyer writes, "Nothing makes me feel better — calmer, clearer and happier — than being in one place, absorbed in a book, a conversation, a piece of music. It’s actually something deeper than mere happiness: it’s joy, which the monk David Steindl-Rast describes as “that kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.”

If you read Shannon's post about her experience at Feynan and then take a look at Iyer's article, and if you have any desire at all to travel to Jordan, contact us. We can put you up at Feynan Ecolodge and make sure your room and your meals are covered. We only as 20 hours a week of your time to help all of the staff there speak conversational English. And as you see in these articles, you'll gain much more than you give.

Tags: Conversation Partner, Teach Abroad, Jordan

Mai-Pen-Rai! Come Teach Abroad In Thailand With GeoVisions

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Wed, Jan 04, 2012

We have this amazing program in Thailand (for degree holders or not) to Teach in Thailand.  You will earn a full time salary and have great benefits.

Or, you can join the Conversation Corps and live with a family and teach them conversational English on Conversation Corps-Thailand.

Or, you can come to a summer camp and be a camp counselor (coming soon) and during all of the activities with the kids, you'll speak English.

And maybe learn a little Thai.

And learn all about Mai-Pen-Rai.

Watch the video and contact us.  We have families along the coast waiting for you, and 150 full time teaching jobs available each month.

Enjoy the video.  It only takes 3 minutes and it's amazing!

Mai-Pen-Rai!

Tags: Conversation Partner, Teach Abroad, Conversation Corps Thailand, Conversation Corps, Thailand

Volunteer In Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey Scholarships Available

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Wed, Jun 15, 2011
Amman landscapeIf you have ever wanted to volunteer in Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey, you can now apply for a scholarship to help out with your volunteer expenses.

America's Unofficial Ambassadors is offering scholarships to GeoVisions' volunteers in Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey.  Scholarships up to $5000 can be used to cover program fees and/or travel.  Applications for the scholarship are being taken through August 31, 2011.  The funds can be used for 2011 or 2012 program dates.

In Jordan, you can use this scholarship for:

Conversation Corps-JordanLocal Bedouin girl
Conversation Partner-Jordan
Mentoring in Aqaba
Feynan Ecolodge

In Lebanon, the scholarship can be used for

Conversation Corps-Lebanon
Conversation Partner-Lebanon

In Turkey, the scholarship is available for

Conversation Corps-Turkey
Conversation Partner-Turkey

You can read about the Mosaic Scholarship and then there are links to the rules and regulations, and the application.

IstanbulThe underlying premise of America’s Unofficial Ambassadors (AUA) is that private American citizens have to do more to improve America’s relationship with the Muslim World.  Read more about AUA here.

By December of 2012, AUA plans to have 1000 Americans commit to at least 1 week of service in the Muslim World.  We are very proud to be an approved organization of AUA, and our programs in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey rank high enough to qualify for the scholarship.

Contact us if you have questions. You should work your application with GeoVisons along with the application for the scholarship.

We welcome any comments about the programs or the scholarship.

Tags: Conversation Partner, Reasons To Volunteer Abroad, Jordan, Conversation Corps-Jordan, Conversation Partner-Lebanon, Lebanon, Conversation Corps