FACES OF EXPATRIATION – OMAN
Certainly, it must take an incredible amount of courage with equal parts motivation to decide to leave the home of your birth and move to a foreign land. Whether it is to assuage wanderlust, to seek gainful employment, or just to escape an environment where mutual respect is absent to search for greener pastures, African-Americans are doing just that. Educator Nicole Brewer started her journey as an expatriate first in South Korea but, her journey has now landed her in the Middle Eastern Country of Oman. Nicole shares some insight with the GR team about current home.
How difficult was it for you to leave the US and live and work abroad?
It wasn’t very difficult at all for me to leave the USA. Once I made up my mind I wanted to leave, I found a teaching job online applied and left back 2009. I haven’t looked back since.
What field do you currently work in abroad? What other countries have you worked/lived in?
I’m an English teacher abroad currently in Oman. I’ve worked here for 5 years now. Previously I taught in South Korea for 3.5 years, as well as studied abroad in Germany a year and did a 3-month internship in South Africa for my graduate studies.
What challenges do you face professionally? Culturally?
The only challenge I’ve faced professionally is the lack of career growth working abroad in Education. Culturally, I haven’t faced many challenges. It’s always an adjustment period when you get to a new country but I wouldn’t say it’s been a challenge.
Are there any resources that would assist foreigners in acclimating to life abroad?
I highly recommend online travel communities such as the one I’m a Co-Founder of iluv2globetrot on Facebook. It’s great to be able to connect with other expats living abroad. It really depends on the company if they assist with getting you adjusted once you land. The EPIK program in South Korea was really great with that, not so much so with my current company in Oman.
Tell us about your journey to pursue your profession abroad?
I feel very blessed to have had the opportunities that I’ve had abroad. Prior to teaching in South Korea, I didn’t have an teaching experience. Once I got to South Korea, I went on to get my TEFL certificate, which in turn helped me to get the college teaching position I currently have in Oman.
How difficult is it for a foreigner to find employment abroad? What does the process entail?
I would say it takes a lot of research in order to find a good job abroad. I wrote a book entitled “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad” in order to assist those interested in moving into the ESL field as times have changed since I first started working abroad.
What are 3 things you would advise anyone considering moving abroad?
I would advise people to do their research, reach out to others in online communities that have moved to the destinations they are interested in for advice and to take your time when deciding on a location. Weigh all the pros and cons.
Do you enjoy living abroad? Do you like where you currently live?
I absolutely Love living abroad. It’s the lifestyle I’ve come to enjoy being able to travel the world. I’m happy in Oman, it’s a great country with great people.
What are opportunities for continuing education are there for expats where you live?
There are opportunities to study Arabic for expats living in Oman. I’d say more people tend to do online study programs while living in this region in order to pursue their MA or Ph.D.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned since leaving the US?
I’ve learned to live day by day and to go after my dreams since leaving the US.