Teach Abroad - Republic of Georgia, Teach Abroad Programs

Reflecting on Teaching in Georgia, as a “50 Something”

by Ethyl and Keith St. Peter, Greenheart Travel English teachers in the Republic of Georgia

We arrived in Georgia August 1, 2011. We lived in a large village of about 70,000 people near the Black Sea. The public schools were on summer holiday so we began our time in Georgia teaching police officers. When it was time for school to start, it was decided that the police program would continue and we were asked to continue teaching at police stations rather than at a school. (We had previous experience teaching English at a military academy in China.) We agreed and ended up making some good friends.

We have talked with a gal who works in the police academy in Tbilisi. We told her that we are considering going back to Georgia if we can teach police once again. She said that if the program is still going strong in the fall she would love to have us back!

Why did we want to teach in Georgia? We had kept our eyes open for such an opportunity for several years. TLG offers many perks like providing round trip airfare, a small salary, a mobile phone to use while you are in Georgia, and they even find a host family for you to live with, which really helps you adapt to your new surroundings and language and immerses you in their culture.

Case in point: We lived in a large Soviet-era apartment complex. Day in and day out it was fairly awkward as we walked past our new neighbors. They didn’t know English and we didn’t know Georgian. One of our host family’s neighbors were having a wedding and insisted we attend because they wanted us to bring our camera and take some photos. As we waited for the bride and groom to arrive, someone told us that this was to be a traditional Georgian wedding and that this custom was fading quickly. To be sure, it was much different than any wedding we had attended before, but the greatest benefit was how it helped our relationship with all of our new neighbors thereafter. They made a point to try and say hello and to include us in whatever activity they were doing in the common yard.

We belong to the 50 something crowd. Most of the people in our group were “twenty somethings” so we were the minority. However, we enjoyed getting to know each of them and had fun in the week’s training. It was really refreshing to be around so many warm and positive young people who were willing to face unknown challenges to make a difference in an unknown culture. We are proud of all of them.


About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.


7 thoughts on “Reflecting on Teaching in Georgia, as a “50 Something”

  1. This is a wonderful opportunity, and anyone who is looking at this should check it out. I wanted to go to Georgia, but am not eligible, as I am over 60. That seems strange, as I spent a month in rural Nepal last year and two months in Kathmandu this year, have CELTA, two degrees, and teaching experience. We tend to think that we can do anything our culture allows while in other places. If you are in your late 50s, do not let this one go by.

    Posted by beverleypdt | September 1, 2012, 9:02 am
  2. Hi Jane, we’re so glad that you found the article helpful! We’ll pass along your comments to Ethyl and Keith and hopefully they can comment about their experience in this thread. Please let us know if you have any questions about our Teach in Georgia program if you are looking to take advantage of your next few months of freedom. 😉 We also have a teach program in Vietnam that is for a shorter contract, as well as a Language Exchange homestay program that is 1-3 months in select countries in Europe and in Thailand.

    Posted by Greenheart Travel | August 6, 2012, 10:05 am
  3. Thank you for the post. I’m a 48 year old professional woman and will be free of employment in the next few months. I have taught internationally, and was researching opportunities to do so again, and came across Greenheart and then this post. It was very helpful to read something from an older person, like me.

    Posted by Jane | August 4, 2012, 10:15 pm
  4. My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    Posted by Jay William | August 2, 2012, 7:09 pm

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