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  Home > Job Opportunities > Internships

Programme Pros and Cons

Since first creating the Teacher Intern Certification Programme, Language Link has had over 1500 teacher interns participate in the programme. Though the vast majority of our teacher interns have been an asset to the programme as well as the company, experience has shown that the pre-requisites noted above are not the only considerations that a potential applicant should think about before making a decision as to whether to apply. Stated differently, some of our former applicants did not consider the programme fully before deciding to take the plunge. And though the reasons for applying for the Teacher Intern Certification Programme far outweigh those for not doing so, it should not be a decision made without first giving full consideration to the nine month programme commitment that Language Link is asking the applicant to make. So as to avoid any misunderstanding or confusion as well as provide potential applicants with some food for thought concerning the pros and cons of this programme, please take time to read through the following section.

Reason 1 for applying: I want to enter a programme that will add to my human capital.

Human capital is best defined as the knowledge, skills, abilities and capacities that an individual has acquired during their lifetime (i.e., their present knowledge, skills and abilities) or will acquire at some time in the future (i.e., their capacities) that add both intrinsic and extrinsic value to them. Though this may sound like a mouthful, this concept goes to the very heart of who we are as human beings. Every time we learn something new, we increase our value to ourselves and the community. Though it is true that we often engage in learning activities that are best described as self-fulfilling e.g., snowboarding, cooking, or lifesaving, at other times we do so for the monetary value that they can bring to us in the workplace. For this reason, people take courses that they can use either to get a job or, if they have a job, to get a salary rise.

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Reason 2 for applying: Im looking for a professional international experience that will help me in the future.

While it is true that travel broadens the mind, tourism, even if as backpacker, provides only limited exposure to the real world out there. As the old saying goes, you dont really know someone until you live with them. If ever this were true, it is when it comes to being abroad. Living as part of the population as versus being on the fringe allows you to develop a deeper understanding of what makes the world tick and what it takes to tick along with them. In this respect, teaching English as a foreign language has most other activities that one can undertake abroad beat hands down. You may ask why this is so.

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Reason 3 for applying: Im looking for a safe international experience where I will be working in full compliance with the law.

While there may be a lot to be said for having a Devil may care attitude, Language Link does not ascribe to it. When bringing teacher interns into the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan, Language Link does so in full accordance with the law. Though Language Links Teacher Intern Certification Programme is a training programme, teacher interns are provided with a real world teaching experience. In other words, the classrooms are real as are the students that enter them. Therefore, the teacher intern is an actual employee of the company and not simply a student. Unlike students who need student visas, a teacher intern needs a full working visa.

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Reason 4 for applying: Im looking for an international experience that I can enter with my eyes wide open.

No one likes to be fooled. No one enjoys regret. For these reasons, Language Link makes every attempt to make the Teacher Intern Certification Programme as transparent as possible. Our commitment to transparency is evident from the very start, to wit this page has been entitled The Pros and Cons of the Teacher Intern Certification Program. The more an applicant understands about the programme, the better the decision she or he will make. Of course, transparency does not stop with the last sentence on this page.

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Though there are, no doubt, other reasons why someone would wish to apply for this programme, the time has come to look at the other side of the coin and discover an equal number of reasons why we ask applicants to be absolutely sure that this programme is for them. This programme has been designed with success in mind. If, however, the applicant enters the programme with two strikes against them, then no amount of design can make up for this.

Reason 1 for not applying: You need to save money for your return home.

While it is true that Language Links teacher interns receive a monthly salary, it is only sufficient to meet the teacher intern's needs while living in Russia. On completion of the four week Initial Training Programme (ITP) that Language Link provides at no cost to the intern, the teacher intern receives a monthly salary that, as previously mentioned, will be sufficient for him or her to live comfortably though not luxuriously during his or her nine month academic year stay.

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Reason 2 for not applying: You cant be away from home for an extended period without seeing your family and friends.

Though it may seem self-evident, if you are considering submitting an application for an overseas programme, then the applicant would do well to consider whether she or he can be away from his or her family and friends for an extended period of time. Language Link understands the importance of family and friends, and though nine months may not seem like a long time, it can be an eternity for someone in need of being physically close to their significant others. Therefore, if you are considering applying for the Teacher Intern Certification Program, then you would do well to consider whether you can honour the nine month teaching commitment.

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Reason 3 for not applying: Youre looking for a 9 to 5 job without challenges.

Teaching English as a foreign language is not a 9 to 5 job. Like most language schools, Language Link is an extracurricular educational centre. Therefore, our students come to us to study English either before or after school or work. In other words, our teachers usually work split shifts. Likewise, in that our students come in all shapes and sizes, teachers can expect to teach both young learners and adults with an emphasis on the former.

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Reason 4 for not applying: You have no other alternatives open to you or the alternatives you do have are worse.

This is a pretty powerful statement. Though having no other alternatives is not the same as not knowing what you want to do with your life, both can be equally bad reasons for applying for the Teacher Intern Certification Programme. Being an applicants fallback plan is definitely not an enviable position for Language Link to be in. In such cases, the teacher intern is usually not really interested in Language Link, teaching English or Russia and eventually when confronted with life in the presence of all three will find nothing to keep him or her committed to the programme.

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Though there are no doubt other reasons why it might be best not to apply for this programme, these are the major issues we ask our applicant teacher interns to consider before applying for Language Links Teacher Intern Certification Program. If from the start, these issues are understood and the applicant is still prepared to enter and see this program through to the end, then there are very few opportunities available today that will provide the applicant with such an eye-opening and enriching experience.

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