Interview with Nicholas Welsch-Lehmann, Peru Q & A

PERSONAL PROFILE

What is your name, age and nationality?

My name is Nicholas Welsch-Lehmann. I am 21 years old and have a dual American/German citizenship.

What is your education level and background?

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Have you travelled abroad previously, and if so where?

I lived about half my life in the U.S., and half in Germany. I lived in Spain for 4 months.

What motivated you to teach abroad?

There were a couple factors that came into play when I considered working abroad. I wanted to learn Spanish while supporting myself, and at the same time learn how to teach. I also wanted to live in South America for a little while, too, since I’d never been there before.

What did you want to personally achieve with this experience, and have you succeeded?

Though it’s been a little too short of time to gauge how successful the whole experience has been, I personally want to become at least semi-fluent in Spanish while I teach here in Cusco.

Did you apply for the program with a friend or on your own?

I applied on my own.

Did you know anyone who had taught abroad before you?

No, I hadn’t known anyone else who taught abroad.

What were some of your concerns before you began teaching abroad?

The standard of living was one thing that I worried about slightly before I came to Peru. Living in a country with much less knowledge of the language than I was used to was also slightly unsettling, but I find myself adjusting little by little.

TEFL PROGRAM INFORMATION

What made you decide to do a TEFL course and choose TEFL Heaven?

I chose TEFLHeaven because their website was easy to navigate and simple to use. I wanted to do a TEFL Course because I was interested in getting paid to live abroad – and getting TEFL certified and teaching English was the simplest way to fulfill that dream.

What made you choose a face-to-face TEFL course over other options?

I didn’t consider any other options seriously. A face-to-face TEFL course was the only real way that I considered teaching English.

Which TEFL program did you do?

I did my TEFL program in Cusco, Peru.

What did you enjoy about your TEFL course?

I enjoyed the daily classes and grew very close with my fellow TEFL students. My teacher was exciting and interesting, and though the class was for more than 6 hours every day, I never felt bored or distracted.

My TEFL trainer taught us by example – instead of just telling us about the confusion that many new students face when they begin their English, he actually taught a basic class for us in Afrikaans so we could see exactly how those students would feel.

How prepared did you feel for your teaching position?

I was very prepared for my teaching position, especially after the Practical Teaching Week, which composed the final week of my TEFL course. Additionally, the preparation materials and the course content of my TEFL course were all very instructional and useful. I couldn’t have been much more prepared for the position.

How long have you been teaching in Peru and how long do you plan to stay?

I’ve been teaching in Peru for about a month – I’d like to stay for another 6 months.

How did you secure your English teaching job?

I interviewed straight after my TEFL program, and was subsequently accepted onto the staff. I had to do two consecutive interviews and then was offered the position.

What type of school or organisation do you work for?

I currently work for an English language school in Cusco, Peru.

What does a typical working week look like for you?

I have two morning classes and three evening classes, and I have a break from 11-4.

What age group or range to you teach?

I teach ages from 16+.

What do you most enjoy about teaching your students?

I love being in front of the class and showing the students all kinds of new topics. I particularly love discussions and debates with my students.

How did you get your work visa?

My work visa is yet to be organized – it’ll be organized through the institution that I currently work for.

How did you find somewhere to live and what is it like?

I found a place to live with some of the other teachers, who offered me somewhere within my first week.

COUNTRY INSIGHT

Peru is a very interesting country. One thing I really like about Peru is that it has a pretty active nightlife. Free salsa lessons, and dance clubs, and the like are cheap and there is always something going on. If you don’t have dietary restrictions, you can have a lot of new interesting food in Peru – you can eat in Peru. Peruvians are very polite, in certain contexts. Peruvian men can be overly passionate and persistent. Restaurant service customs are very different from those you might expect in a Western country.

Peru is filled with tons of monuments and historical landmarks that are a delight to see. Sacsayhuaman, Macchu Picchu, and Qorikancha have all been highlights during my time abroad.

What are your monthly expenses?

Rent: 500 Peruvian Sol (PEN) / 154 USD

Food: 200 PEN / 62 USD

Other bills: 100 PEN /  31 USD

Social life: 150 PEN / 47 USD

Transportation: 50 PEN / 15 USD

Phone: 0

Would you say you are able to live comfortably on your monthly salary?

For sure.

ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE ENGLISH TEACHERS

What advice would you give someone thinking about teaching abroad, and would you recommend teaching English in Peru?

I would most definitely recommend teaching English in Peru. I’ve had lots of fun here and I think that anyone else could also come here and have a good time. Though the working hours can be difficult, I would 100% recommend that anyone in doubt stop, being a wuss and get down here for the teaching.

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