Unpacking: An International Teacher's Exploration Into Life and Learning Abroad
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With the growth of globalization, people and cultures are coming together like never before. As an international teacher, I am an example of this phenomenon. After six years abroad, the last three working at an international school in Mongolia, I returned to Canada noticeably changed and struggling to understand the impact of my experiences. Limited literature on the international teacher experience has led me to engage in this self-study in which I use methods of narrative inquiry to better understand my personal journey of learning and change over the three years that I lived and taught in Mongolia. As I unpack my journey, the artifacts that I remove from my backpack trigger memories of the moments that hold significance. I further ‘unpack’ my vignettes, drawing out the issues that have impacted my changing identity. As newly qualified teachers seek positions in the competitive Canadian job market, the international arena remains an appealing option. It is my hope that this project will serve to instigate self-analysis in the reader and serve as a focal point for discussion on issues that could arise while living and teaching overseas.