Halloween Party in Russia

Halloween is widely celebrated all over the world, but this has not been the case for so long for Russia. Russians only recently started part-taking in the festivities that Halloween has to offer. Let me tell you about my Halloween party  while I was teaching English in Russia.

The week leading up to Halloween in Russia we could all feel the excitement rising as we were preparing and decorating our classrooms to give it a real spooky and festive feel. We had bats hanging from the curtains, Jack o lanterns with candles inside on the tables, black cats up on the cupboards, spiders in webs on the walls, ghosts hanging from the ceiling and more. Everyone was super amped for the big day to come, including me.

On the 31st October all the kids came to school very excited and proud of their outfits. One girl dressed up as a butterfly fairy, another as a pumpkin, one came as Maleficent (my favorite of course) and so the list goes on. In class I focused on a Halloween themed lesson, where I had flashcards (and a real) pumpkin, bats, black cat, sweets ghost etc. The kids reacted well to this lesson as the classrooms had been decorated in the same way so they understood it much better. I then taught them a Halloween song which they loved and sang along to the best of their ability.

For our craft lesson, I gave each child a paper plate which we then painted orange, and we stuck cut out eyes, ears and a skew mouth to try and replicate the look of a real Jack o lantern. They were thrilled with the outcome and later on couldn’t wait to show their parents what they had made!

Before lunch all the kids gathered around and made ginger bread man cookies, they were each given a cookie cutter and asked to cut the dough into this shape, for some this was the first time they had done this and we could see the eagerness and enthusiasm to do this. Once the cookies were baked in the oven, they were able to decorate their cookies with sprinkles chocolate sauce, etc. They could then take these cookies home to share with their family.

After nap time, we had a lady come in and entertain the kiddies with an ancient Russian tale with a Halloween twist to it. Of course it was all in Russian so I did not understand anything but judging from the giggles and huge smiles on the kids’ faces I think it’s safe to say that they had a ball. We then had the opportunity to take some photos and just enjoy the afternoon before everyone went home. I think it is safe to say that everyone (including teachers) had a super day, celebrating something a little out of the ordinary for Russians but I’m sure in the years to come, it will be celebrated just as much and regularly and to the extremes as that of the West. We are all looking forward to the next Halloween party in Russia as I’m sure it will be even bigger and better!

Apply English teaching jobs

Travel Alone to Teaching English in Thailand

I decided to travel alone overseas for the first time to teach English in Thailand.  Anyone that has ever traveled anywhere knows the thrill and excitement that comes with it, seeing new places, experiencing new cultures, trying different food, meeting people etc. It is all great and once you start travelling it’s like the travel bug bites and you simply can’t stop. It becomes a way of life. It is however a whole different ball game when you travel alone. It is somewhat scary, entering the unknown all on your own. Airports become this big scary bustling place with people running everywhere and soon you can feel quite overwhelmed.

Saying goodbye to my family and friends at the airport was one of the saddest days of my life, not knowing when I would see them again. I felt very uneasy and I started doubting whether I had made the right decision to go work overseas, but I went along with it and everyday things got a little easier. Thank goodness for social media, it really does make it easier to keep in touch with people on the other side of the world. Thailand was amazing, it truly is the land of smiles and super spicy food! I met some of my best friends to date there.

My next trip was to Laos for a visa run and this was quite interesting as there is simply just a river and a bridge dividing Thailand and Laos. I thought these two countries would be similar but I was in for quite a surprise as things were very different in Laos, the people were not as friendly the bread was amazing though! (Bread in Thailand somehow always needs to be drenched in either condensed milk or some sweet sauce.)

My next adventure took me to Vietnam, we had the absolute best time, sight-seeing tanning on the beach, swimming in the sea, riding scooters without helmets until the cops stop you and realize you are a foreigner then letting you go. Again Vietnam is so different to its neighboring countries but it left me breathless and in awe a couple of times.

Travel in Cambodia

A few months later I decided I wanted to go see Angkor Watt in Cambodia which was also a solo trip and this holiday absolutely changed my life, it was the most calming and mind-blowing experience, walking around all those ancient watts and just taking all the natural beauty in at the same time. The people I Cambodia were so helpful and nice that I did not want to leave. I still reminisce about this place.

The fact of the matter is travelling solo is obviously very scary at first and a lot of people would rather go with someone than alone, but I feel like you learn so much more about yourself when you go on your own. You truly get to know yourself and get to reflect on life and all it has to offer. The biggest thing is leaving your comfort zone and once you have done that the world truly is your oyster!

In terms of my time teaching English in Thailand, I had a wonderful time at my school.  I found my job through On the Mark Education which was a very pleasant company to work with.  They helped me through the whole process, from getting a job interview to accept a job offer.  Teaching English in Thailand is relatively easier than other countries I would say as the program I signed up for was only a 4 month contract. This program gave me a glimpse of what teach English in Thailand is like and it turned out amazing for me. 

Apply English teaching jobs