Question: Any tips on finding work in Ukraine?
Teaching English is the easiest and most obvious choice. You might be thinking, “But I have absolutely no experience teaching, and I don’t really know all the terms for grammar and stuff.”
No problem. You wouldn’t be the one teaching them grammar. What you’d be doing is simply talking to them, and helping them with pronunciation. You may not realize it, but as a native speaker of English, you have an amazing, world-class skill: You can express yourself fluently in English, and you can understand virtually anything you hear or read in the language. There are billions of people in the world who are trying to achieve one tenth your level of understanding and fluency in English. In short: You are a world-class expert in English, and any Russian school would be glad to boast having a native speaker on their staff.
That being said, it does help to do some prep work. Maybe read a book about ESL (English as a Second Language), to gather some ideas for class. Speaking of which, for my own prep work, I actually brought the game Pictionary to Ukraine when I moved here. I figured it’d be a fun game for the class. They’d have to read the card, draw the picture, and everyone of course would have to guess out loud in English. But here’s what happened…
One girl had to draw the word ANGLE. Easy enough. Should just be the letter L, right? I mean, something like that, anyway. I would draw a right angle. But inexplicably, she starts drawing a man. And then she draws wings on the guy.
“Angel!” someone screams out, and the artist beams with pride that they guessed her word. I didn’t have the heart to tell her: ANGLE not ANGEL.
Later, a kid had to draw the word COUCH. He thinks for moment, truly stumped, then, like the girl, starts drawing a man. An angry man. Then he draws another man lying on the ground in front of the first one, sweating. He then adds a whistle in the hands of the first man he drew.
“Coach!” someone yells out.
These kids know geography, though. Americans should be ashamed. (I know I am.) One kid drew a fast, accurate outline of Europe, then added in the major country borders as an afterthought (after the kids already guessed ‘Europe’.) Another kid had to draw Germany, and did so very precisely, hardly pausing to think.
This one time, I tried to explain the sport of baseball to one of my classes. You’d think that’d be easy to do, but believe me it isn’t. Why are there three strikes, but four balls? By comparison, soccer is the easiest sport in the world. (Just don’t ask them to draw a picture of it.