When it was getting closer to the time to move to the UK, I started to panic (read: totally shitting it) about money & finding a job. I’ve always worked and this would be the first time I wouldn’t actually have work. I’ve never left a job without another one lined up.
Freaking out, I was on Facebook one night, scrolling through my feed, and in a nomad / travelling group I follow, someone had posted about teaching positions at a summer camp in Bulgaria. I had never taught before and had never been to Bulgaria, but thought it might be a good opportunity. Flash forward a few weeks & a Skype interview, and I was given the job.
I arrived in London in mid-June and was only here for a few days before I ended up back on a plane for eastern Europe.
I spent about a week in Sofia before I moved on to Blagoevgrad for a few weeks of teaching. I was employed as a Career Orientation teacher. In this role, I was responsible for a variety of things, but predominantly to help students prepare themselves for finding work. We built CVs, talked about career options based on interests and skills and did a series of mock interviews. At the end of each week, the students had to do a presentation in front of all the other students. Additionally, I was responsible for taking the students on tours, with one being to Rila Monastery which is beautiful.
What did I learn?
I’m not a teacher. I don’t particularly like teaching. I think, upon reflection, I would probably do a better job of it now than I did back then. It was difficult to keep the students engaged because of a variety of things, but it mostly came down to the broad age range in the classroom (13 year olds & 18 year olds). Teaching something as broad as career orientation to people who were years away from actually being old enough to work was difficult, so I was constantly trying to re-jig my curriculum. Additionally, the students were from 10+ countries, all with extremely varying levels of English, so my lesson plan was also adjusted based on that a lot.
What I did learn about myself was that I needed to work on my confidence. I also learned that I truly loved Bulgaria. It was such an incredible place. The food was lovely, the people were friendly and welcoming and it was mega cheap.
In Sofia, I stayed at Hostel Mostel for half of my stay and an Airbnb for the other half. I would definitely recommend Hostel Mostel if you’re looking for a cheap & cheerful place to stay. Bonus if you love cats because the place is absolutely crawling with cats + kittens.
Bulgaria is massively cool and totally underrated. Add it to your travel list and I promise you won’t be disappointed.