YL Extension Course Cancelled

After a year of setting things up and preparing for the YLE course, I received an email from the training centre a few days ago informing me of the course’s cancellation. I had just finished teaching a class when I read the email and I just sat there staring at the words because I couldn’t believe it.

Two weeks ago, the tuition was fully paid. One week ago, the flights were booked. A few days before, I had finished the pre-course task. Now, the course no longer exists. I was beyond disappointed. I had spent a year thinking about the course, imagining what the certificate would look like in my portfolio, and looking forward to the opportunities it would open up for me in my career.

I thought about how I was originally supposed to do the course in May, but decided to defer to November — I could have been certified by now. All the what-ifs and the regret. Today, however, I feel better. I know that it’s out of my control and, if anything, perhaps it was exactly the way it was supposed to happen.

The YLE course will be discontinued in 2017, so 2016 is the last year that it will be offered. I considered applying to a different centre in another country, but the thought of going through the application and interview process again is not appealing. Not to mention that anywhere else will be more expensive.

I definitely still want to get certified. The alternative is the IHCYLT (International House Certificate in Teaching Young Learners and Teenagers). My Academic Manager suggested it and talked me through it and I did my own research as well and I’m convinced that it’s a good option. I wouldn’t need to travel or take leave from work, no additional expenses for accommodation, and it’s also more affordable since I would get a discount as an International House employee.

We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, I need to attend to all the refunds for the cancelled course.


One Month Done

As of the 27th, I’ve officially been living in Vietnam for a month — It flew by so quickly. This is the same amount of time I spent in Ho Chi Minh City for the CELTA course back in 2012. 

A few days ago, I completed a 14-hour weekend. I taught for 7 hours on Saturday, and another 7 on Sunday. I started planning for the lessons a week in advance and it took over my life. At the end of Sunday, I was exhausted. I had a terrible sore throat before heading home and assumed I was going to lose my voice. The next day, I had symptoms of falling ill. I suppose it was down to exposure to lots of children every day, lack of fluids and sleep, and not to mention a poor diet. Fortunately, I only had a bit of a runny nose for a day and then it was gone. I have another 14-hour weekend coming up. Hopefully, it goes better. 

After four weeks of teaching, I’m adjusting to my work pretty well (aside from the falling ill part). I’m getting used to the course books and levels and the way things are done. It’s definitely been challenging, but a very welcome one. To be perfectly honest, the job in Malaysia was a walk in the park compared to this. I can already feel myself improving in so many ways. 

In terms of lifestyle, Vietnam is about as different from Malaysia as it can get. The first week living in my apartment, I went out to buy some home essentials as well as groceries and toiletries. It was admittedly a bit of a struggle for me because I didn’t know where to find anything, whereas in Malaysia, you just need to step into the nearest mall and everything you need will most likely be there. At the end of the day, I just wanted to be in a Cold Storage or Watsons. But once you know where to find things here, it obviously makes things easier, although there are things that are not easy to find or that you can’t find at all — I haven’t had much success in finding herbs and spices or certain toiletries that I use. 

So overall, I’m quite happy with my job and I’m very comfortable in my new home, which, on a side note, is very conveniently located which allows me to walk everywhere instead of taking cabs, so I’ve been getting a lot of exercise. I think I’m adjusting quite nicely. In terms of homesickness, I’ve already had my first visitor, another scheduled in a months’ time, and I’m set to spend the holidays back home. 

Things are good.