One of anything is a dangerous number. One friend, one school, one line of skill, one business, I think is very difficult. Having only one social network—like the school—is like putting yourself at the mercy of the one community that feeds you.

I recommend making as many new friends as you can when you are new to an environment. You could speak to so many different people. It will certainly not only make your experience more enjoyable, but also make you more valuable. People will appreciate you more. And in a weird way, conflict is less likely to happen when you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Note that this could eventually come back to you in adverse ways too, because people gossip and news travels. Your reputation travels with the people you work and socialize with. But this should not deter you from diversifying.

Socialize outside of your school community. Network and learn the options you have in life in your new country. Seek out what everybody else around you is doing. Pick people’s brains about the possibilities you have out there. You can even look into ways of how other people are making money. Get involved with other projects. Get different potential avenues for acquiring skills. Get new and better ideas for yourself. This is also a case of putting your eggs in different baskets, as you aren’t focusing all of your attention into one group.

Focus on being positive. When problems arise, try to understand what the problem is. Whenever I have an obstacle in front of me, I try to find different options to improve my situation and see how I could have contributed to the mess I am in.

I try to reach out to a co-teacher sometimes. Or go on message boards. I also use Skype and call my parents. I reach out on online chats. I never really focused on one person and pointed a finger to hold them responsible. I look for other areas in which I can solve my problem. This is something I recommend you do in the teaching environment. Be open to thinking that there are solutions to be had anywhere and that anybody, anywhere in your immediate surroundings, has the ability to give you the key that will help you solve your problem.


We live in a very abundant world. We’re in a world of opportunities and options, that we can’t even begin to fathom. And I’m not just saying that poetically. I’m saying that as a fact of life. We can’t even imagine what is around us right now, just literally feet away, that could lead us down a direction that will change the trajectory of our lives forever. We have no clue. Keep flexible and embrace the immensity and vastness of the opportunities before you, especially when given the privilege of teaching overseas.