Wednesday, 29 August 2012

ITTP Monthly Guest Writer: July 2012 Onsite Graduate

For this month's Monthly Guest Writer, we thought we'd take a breather from focusing on local and international companies and organizations which we either recommend or for whom we are corporate partners with. The whole list of past 2012 Monthly Guest Writers can be viewed here in the Categories section. Of course, it's great that ITTP is business partner with the likes of Lufthansa Airlines, with UniCredit Bank and that we for example have used this section of the blog to highlight local artists and well known student international travel sites. We also found an awesome pizzeria which we felt overwhelmingly deserved a bit of free ad space - a true jewel in the rough. We would like to thank again these companies for agreeing to be associated with the ITTP product and for taking their time to submit their article information.

However when you are running a people business, a direct Client based business, then it is the Client who is the most important aspect of the business and so far we have invited one of our past Graduates from days gone by (who attended the ITTP TEFL-Prague Onsite course in September 2005) to contribute as Monthly Guest Writer.

This month we have again invited in a Graduate of the ITTP Onsite Program, but this time a recent Graduate from July 2012, and it's our honor to bring you Mary's feedback of her ITTP TEFL Prague experience. THANK YOU again so much Mary for taking the time to contribute and for originally adding your ITTP review to the leading independent and unbiased reviews website! Here in Mary's words is this August's Monthly Guest Writer article:

Mary at Kutna Hora (Click on photo to enlarge)
Kids grown, three years until retirement from a successful career in teaching, is it already over? Surely I am too young to simply stop teaching; I am still energetic and love the classroom and the positive energy it generates.

I have always had a propensity towards travel, but lacked the funds and opportunity to do so. Could now be the right time?

As I pondered the above questions, and talked to many people about international teaching jobs, I was directed toward Prague by people who had similar experiences. I aptly checked online, and through the positive reviews and the more than adequate correspondence with Neville, decided that ITTP/TEFL could give me the experience I needed and possibly quell my urge to travel, at least temporarily. 

Before I had a chance to second guess myself, I made the deposit and began the process. Thanks to the people involved across the pond, as Neville says, making the deposits and corresponding via email was the easy part. 

I arrived in Prague months later, to find myself scared to death as it began to sink in that I was alone, and traveling was completely out of my comfort zone. Being away from family and friends that love me unconditionally was daunting, and I began to wonder if I had made the right decision. After an uneasy night in a hotel, I ventured out to meet some of the nicest, coolest, and most helpful people I have ever met. My roommate was immediately helpful and kind, I couldn’t have asked for a better friend. 

When arriving to class, late of course since I am challenged when it comes to directions, Mila, our instructor, was kind and understanding. The class was small, which concerned me since I was worried about making acquaintances. Worrying about anything, when it pertained to my trip, proved to be futile. The people in class were so remarkable and intriguing; we had a fabulous time in and outside of the classroom. There was not one bad moment in Prague, a few awkward ones, but not one bad one. I felt completely safe in and outside of the city. 

The choice of ITTP apartment option which I went for was a bit outside of the city, which I enjoyed because it gave me an authentic view of the culture, minus the throngs of tourists. I also enjoyed it because it was comfortable and very clean, thanks to Neville’s fastidious care.

The historic knowledge I gained from this fabulous city, as well as the experience and instruction from Mila, was such a positive experience that I am finding it difficult to put into words.
I chose to return home to my husband and career since I have three more years until I fully retire from the American educational system. I am hoping to relocate and teach overseas when my husband is retired as well. 

Upon my return to work; I was surprised to discover I would be teaching a classroom of students who spoke English as their second language. I would also be team teaching with an international teacher from Australia. I felt well-prepared for this group of students because of the useful strategies Mila taught me, as well as feeling empathetic to my partner, as I briefly experienced the loneliness that accompanies relocating to a foreign country.

I plan to return next summer and tour parts of Eastern Europe with a friend. As I am hoping one day to teach internationally, I am confident that my month in Prague prepared me, and helped propel me into the next phase of my career.

Mary Murfin
MMurf62 [at]


Hezky den!/Lovely day!

Neville :-)