Life as a Swansea University Graduate, by Sheridan Cole

Me on graduation day. July 2018

I graduated from Swansea University in 2018 with a degree in English language and TESOL. My main reasons for applying to Swansea were the integrated CELTA course and the extensive module selection that was available. The CELTA course perfectly supplemented the degree course as it combined teaching methodology with practical teaching experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Swansea University, moreover, I attribute my personal and academic growth to the course content and the lecturers. 

During the summer of 2018, I completed my dissertation two weeks early in order to pursue the new doors that were opened with my qualifications. On May 10th I flew to the south of France for six weeks to work at a Summer Camp. I was privileged to work alongside fun and vibrate colleagues as well as a supportive director. It provided an informal teaching experience whilst creating daily activities to entertain the campers.

My location when teaching in the South of France. May 2018

During July and August, I worked at an International Summer School in Essex. I was primarily a Junior School English Teacher but also participated in the weekly trips, group activities and sports activities offered to the students. The students flew from different parts of the world and it was a delight to teach young learners from China, Russia, Thailand and Spain to name a few. Once again, the experience was very positive and enjoyable due to the supportive staff and management. Finally, the summer was completed by a two-week camp experience in Italy. This job was smaller in comparison to my previous experiences but was very positive nevertheless. I stayed with a host family who made me feel very welcome and this was the perfect way to finish the summer. 

On my first day of teaching placement

On the 29th of September, I relocated to Abu Dhabi to start my new position as an English Teacher in a Government School. The initial two weeks were spent preparing for my placement. This included medical checks, obtaining ID cards and formal inductions. The City itself was very impressive and I was feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness at starting my teaching journey. 

After the introductory two weeks, I received my teaching placement and moved to a rural village two hours away from the bright lights of the city. This was a stark contrast to my previous experience as the location was considerably smaller and more traditional than the modern city counterpart. It was initially quite a hectic period. Professionally, I was teaching 4 classes and adjusting to my new timetable. Whilst personally, I was trying to source appropriate long-term accommodation. There were highs and lows, but I remained optimistic throughout this time. I developed a routine and each day provided opportunities to learn about a new culture, new language as well as develop my teaching practice. 

Me in the classroom before distance learning started, March 2020

July 24th 2020 marks two years as a Swansea University graduate and I am proud of my achievements thus far. I continued my education in the form of a distance-learning Masters in Education from the University of Exeter which will be completed in April 2021. I am still working at the same school placement but the once foreign culture and environment has become familiar and a home away from home. I am still optimistic for the future, wherever that will be during these unpredictable times. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog entry. I tried (somewhat successfully) at keeping it brief. If anyone reading has any questions about the application process or wants me to elaborate on moving abroad then feel free to contact me on my email, Have a good day.