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Has anyone done Footprints volunteer in Georgia?

 
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olddirtyspatula



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:56 pm    Post subject: Has anyone done Footprints volunteer in Georgia? Reply with quote

Has anyone used footprints to go to Georgia? Supposedly leaves on the 15th and 30th of every month, short contracts, free airfaire and room/board... tiny stipend though ($275USD).
I'm sick to death of my career field (social services) and looking to start ESL. I only have a BA and 120 TESOL course. Would this be a good way to kill time until I can look for a real contract with the beginning of regular school years, or is this a scam?
I have a car payment in the US but I could probably save up enough to keep me covered for a few months...
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PeterBar



Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 145
Location: La France profonde

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might be better posting this on the Russia forum - I know they are 2 seperate countries, but, the Russia forum covers a lot of the old FSU countries.
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Sadebugo



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 518

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone done Footprints volunteer in Georgia? Reply with quote

olddirtyspatula wrote:
Has anyone used footprints to go to Georgia? Supposedly leaves on the 15th and 30th of every month, short contracts, free airfaire and room/board... tiny stipend though ($275USD).
I'm sick to death of my career field (social services) and looking to start ESL. I only have a BA and 120 TESOL course. Would this be a good way to kill time until I can look for a real contract with the beginning of regular school years, or is this a scam?
I have a car payment in the US but I could probably save up enough to keep me covered for a few months...


I haven't done Footprints but taught in Georgia last year with my employer (US government). I did love the country and students but wouldn't recommend it for you. My impression is that this program is mainly for retirees/volunteers and not for those who need a source of income. Why don't you go to Korea, Taiwan, or China? With a BA and TESOL cert., you should be more than qualified for entry level positions in those countries and would be getting a reasonable salary as well. Search the job boards on Dave's for opportunities.

Hope this helps a little.

Sadebugo
http://travldawrld.blogspot.com/
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olddirtyspatula



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hadn't thought to look in the Russia section, great idea!

Incidentally, Sadebugo, I had already stumbled across your blog when I was looking up information on the country. Your pictures are beautiful.

I'm thinking of pursuing it anyway, largely because the short contract wold be a great way for me to evaluate whether or not this is really for me without making a large commitment.

Thank you all for your replies!
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Sadebugo



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 518

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

olddirtyspatula wrote:
I hadn't thought to look in the Russia section, great idea!

Incidentally, Sadebugo, I had already stumbled across your blog when I was looking up information on the country. Your pictures are beautiful.

I'm thinking of pursuing it anyway, largely because the short contract wold be a great way for me to evaluate whether or not this is really for me without making a large commitment.

Thank you all for your replies!


Well, then I encourage you to go for it. Please keep in touch with the board and let us know what the program is like. Who knows? I may decide to go for it myself someday.

And, thanks for the comments on the blog. I look forward to seeing any pictures you take of Georgia.

Sadebugo
http://travldawrld.blogspot.com/
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BocaNY



Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey olddirtyspatula,

i am planning on going to Georgia with Footprints in Feb. When where you thinking of applying? I agree with Sadebugo you wouldn't be able to save money but I think it would be something great to do and keep me working in the ESL field until I get into grad school.
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cks



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well your experience is going to be hit or miss. If you are a woman, (sorry didn't research your profile) it will be more difficult. You are going to be staying in a host family and will be treated like a Georgian girl no matter if you are 20 or 40. They kind of do the same for men, but with a bit more freedoms. The Georgians are very warm and loving people, but there are many negatives as well. But I do think that it is a good experience and great way to kill some time while being abroad.

If you have a great host family and school, then it can be one of the best experiences of your life, but the opposite can also hold true. And you have no control over where they send you. I know many people trapped in villages and bored out of their minds.

I am not in the program, but I am writing you now in my cold flat in Georgia wearing many layers of clothes and sleeping in my winter hat. Central heat, 24 hour running water, normal toilets, hot water on demand, things that work, and electricity at all times is foreign to me nowadays. But I still love it here (but get frusterated). I am however a free soul and not living with a host family. Your experience is going to depend on factors beyond your control. If you can adapt and live without luxuries, then go for it! Yikes, I gotta go grab my hot water and take a shower before the water is cut off at ten!
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Sadebugo



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 518

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cks wrote:
Well your experience is going to be hit or miss. If you are a woman, (sorry didn't research your profile) it will be more difficult. You are going to be staying in a host family and will be treated like a Georgian girl no matter if you are 20 or 40. They kind of do the same for men, but with a bit more freedoms. The Georgians are very warm and loving people, but there are many negatives as well. But I do think that it is a good experience and great way to kill some time while being abroad.

If you have a great host family and school, then it can be one of the best experiences of your life, but the opposite can also hold true. And you have no control over where they send you. I know many people trapped in villages and bored out of their minds.

I am not in the program, but I am writing you now in my cold flat in Georgia wearing many layers of clothes and sleeping in my winter hat. Central heat, 24 hour running water, normal toilets, hot water on demand, things that work, and electricity at all times is foreign to me nowadays. But I still love it here (but get frusterated). I am however a free soul and not living with a host family. Your experience is going to depend on factors beyond your control. If you can adapt and live without luxuries, then go for it! Yikes, I gotta go grab my hot water and take a shower before the water is cut off at ten!



I'm glad to hear you're still hanging in there! Oh, how I envy you (despite what your wrote above).

Sadebugo
http://travldawrld.blogspot.com/
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cks



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still love it here Russ, but I am a free soul and not held hostage by a host family or school so I am able to have the best experience. I still say that people should go for it. I don't care about the lack of luxuries but I know that some people will have a problem with it. I know of 2 girls who are stuck in a village and having a multitude of problems. They are still loving the rich culture, music, and beautiful scenery.

And I have never been big on kids but I am so in love with the precious children here and want to adopt half of them. Teaching the refugees has also been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. After I teach them, I go and take a Latin dance class with them that was funded by the Czech organization People In Need.

Come stay with us Sade! We have a spare bedroom on the 9th floor with a view of the Caucausus! When I have time, we should make a thread about all the pros and cons of Georgia.
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Sadebugo



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 518

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cks wrote:
I still love it here Russ, but I am a free soul and not held hostage by a host family or school so I am able to have the best experience. I still say that people should go for it. I don't care about the lack of luxuries but I know that some people will have a problem with it. I know of 2 girls who are stuck in a village and having a multitude of problems. They are still loving the rich culture, music, and beautiful scenery.

And I have never been big on kids but I am so in love with the precious children here and want to adopt half of them. Teaching the refugees has also been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. After I teach them, I go and take a Latin dance class with them that was funded by the Czech organization People In Need.

Come stay with us Sade! We have a spare bedroom on the 9th floor with a view of the Caucausus! When I have time, we should make a thread about all the pros and cons of Georgia.


I may take you up on that. Right now, I'm awaiting my next assignment but it's not looking good for Georgia unfortunately. We'll see.

Wow! I wish I had a view like that. You are the luckiest person in the world!

Happy Holidays in advance.

Sadebugo
http://travldawrld.blogspot.com/
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olddirtyspatula



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:45 pm    Post subject: Thank you all for replies Reply with quote

cks- I am a woman and have consistently heard that the experience is very different for women than it is for men, but sadly I think that is a fact of life, espeically travel. Women in America and other industrialized countries are accustomed to a freedom and way of life that is just not standard across the globe, so a reduction in ease and equality is a a cost of travel I'm already expecting, almost regardless of where I go. You men, I hope you appreciate how lucky you are...
But then again the city where I'm from has a high crime rate so I'm already accustomed to not walking by myself at night, being followed and harassed if a skirt is too short, knowing my surroundings at all times, etc. Women are vulnerable no matter where they go, including USA.

BocaNY- I am leaving with the February 28th group. Yourself?
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bagohmm



Joined: 17 Feb 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi all, am considering the 1 semester teaching in georgia, anyone have any info on the counrty, what it's like for foreigners? Are you told what city you'll be in prior to departure etc.?
spent a year in korea so if anyone could compare it to that it would be awesome
thanks for any info
Wink
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BocaNY



Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Thank you all for replies Reply with quote

olddirtyspatula wrote:
cks-
BocaNY- I am leaving with the February 28th group. Yourself?


I am trying for the February 15th group if I can get all my paperwork together. (Need to get one more ref letter). If not then hopefully the 28th group.
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GladToBeFree



Joined: 27 May 2010
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.....

Last edited by GladToBeFree on Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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cks



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:38 am    Post subject: Re: Thank you all for replies Reply with quote

[quote="olddirtyspatula"]cks- I am a woman and have consistently heard that the experience is very different for women than it is for men, but sadly I think that is a fact of life, espeically travel. Women in America and other industrialized countries are accustomed to a freedom and way of life that is just not standard across the globe, so a reduction in ease and equality is a a cost of travel I'm already expecting, almost regardless of where I go. You men, I hope you appreciate how lucky you are...
But then again the city where I'm from has a high crime rate so I'm already accustomed to not walking by myself at night, being followed and harassed if a skirt is too short, knowing my surroundings at all times, etc. Women are vulnerable no matter where they go, including USA.

The lack of luxuries and central heat is possibly the most tolerable part. Are you Ok with having little freedom and the lack of the same liberties that men are entitled to have? Crime and being harassed is not the issue. Being the subject of gossip, having all of your actions under surveillance 24/7, listening to the students and society constantly say- "men are more clever than women", watching the women being treated as servants, and pretending to be a virgin (don't mention a boyfriend or ex), is not so easy. The women are seen doing all of the work and the men are seen smoking and drinking. But again, on the short term there are many pluses. And you might be put in a liberal family in Tbilisi.

On Women's Day, one of the teachers asked the kids to draw pictures of how they see their mother. Many of them drew pictures of washing machines and dishes. One of the kids wrote this Georgian expression that meant, "my love and my slave". At the market the men did their typical- "lets take shots and drink to Women's Day". We asked, "Where are the women", Response- "They have to work".
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