rowing up in South Dakota my entire life I never thought about living abroad. I came to Northern with the plan of getting my education degree and finding a teaching job somewhere nearby. However, nothing ever goes to plan. I had to take a Spanish class as a requirement my sophomore year of college and I ended up falling in love with the language.
I studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, this past summer and that experience completely changed my life. There is a vast difference between visiting an area and becoming completely immersed/living there. I knew immediately after my month in Chile I HAD to live abroad. I attended an international job fair for educators in Boston recently and had several interviews with schools all around the world. The question every school asked me was, ‘Why do you want to teach internationally?’ The answer to that is simple. I am too comfortable in South Dakota. I realized after Chile that going completely out of your comfort zone, doing things that absolutely terrify you, are essential for personal growth and development. Living internationally gives you an authentic lens of the people and culture.
I accepted a position as a grade 7 English and History teacher for a school in Vilnius, Lithuania. I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure where Lithuania was before my interview. I’m not an expert on the world or traveling; I get lost driving in Aberdeen. You don’t need to be an expert navigator or speak another language to travel. The generosity of other cultures will surprise you. Studying abroad made me realize there are so many beautiful areas to see, wonderful people to meet, and amazing food to try. Money returns, time does not. Get out of your comfort zone and experience the world!”
- Karlie Brown, Sioux Falls