Change is something that most people struggle with. It can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. One way to make change a bit easier is to seek out the advice of those who have had similar experiences. Such is the nature of an international school community, that for most, change is inevitably just around the corner. No matter how well adjusted we may be, change is an exciting time and scary time. It's exciting to start something new and scary to think about leaving something behind. In our effort to make life's transitions a bit easier, we catch up with some of our Alumni and ask them "What do you wish you had known about..."
This round we caught up with Bonnie Lam, faculty alumni ‘21 who shares with us what she wishes she had known before deciding to work abroad as an international teacher. Bonnie first left her home in Canada to teach abroad in 2012. After her first placement in Yanbu International School in Saudi Arabia, she made her way to ISKL. From 2015 to 2021, Bonnie taught high school Physical Education, Health, Sports Science, and Human Anatomy & Physiology. After the close of the 2021 school year, Bonnie relocated to London with her partner. She is now teaching middle and high school Physical Education at the American School in London.
What I wish I had known about working abroad as an international teacher:
“The friends I make along the way and their families will become my family for life.”
“I will never find food as good, or as cheap as they are found in the places that the particular food originates from.”
“It is actually possible to pack everything I need in a backpack for a weekend (and dare I say a week) away.”
“Year-round summer and sunshine beat months of short days and long cold nights (There, I said it!).”
“It’s not a lifestyle that everyone understands, but I am sure it’s the best decision I have ever made for myself.”
From Bonnie’s responses, I think we can be reminded of something we all know too well, but are likely to take for granted; spend your time cherishing the present rather than worrying about what the future may hold. Easier said than done for sure! Even so, it’s always too good to be reminded how fortunate we truly are, and to eat all the Roti and Char Kuay Teow we can before leaving Malaysia!
Is there something that you wish you had known before undertaking something new in your life? Let us know! We are eager to share the experiences and helpful tips of our Alumni students, parents, and faculty. Email us your list at [email protected]
Written by: Kendra Jones & Bonnie Lam