I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jed Willard, one of the Founding Partners of LanguageCorps, via Skype, to get a bit more background on what LanguageCorps offers and also find out his answer to the question “What kind of person makes a good LanguageCorps participant? ”
In addition to his involvement with LanguageCorps, Jed has traveled extensively in the Middle East and Europe, as well as to a lesser extent in Latin America, East Asia and the Pacific. He has found that a tolerance for dealing with dissonance and, even more, a comfort with it is indispensable to successfully adapting to life in another country. He also noted that charismatic people who are outgoing and perhaps have some unique background to bring to the situation often make the most successful LanguageCorps participants.
He also spoke about the uniqueness of LanguageCorps’ flagship programs, which include TEFL training, guaranteed job placement, pre-departure support and advice, a weeks’ worth of local language training, and regular, continued on-the-ground assistance and support. Whereas some placement programs often just match up applicants to whatever vacant position they become aware of, LanguageCorps assists teacher by taking into account not only their preference for location and conditions but also their educational background and career goals and interests. For example, one pre-med graduate with an interest in pharmacy was placed teaching English at a pharmaceutical plant in China, and in many cases, LanguageCorps is able to assist participants find a local organization where they can expand their knowledge on themes which are relevant and interesting to them in their spare time.
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Do come back later in the week to read about Mr. Willard’s take on why a year abroad – and specifically a year abroad with LanguageCorps – is a valuable experience.