Nicole Ortiz


Achieving novel experiences as an adult requires venturing beyond the comfort zone…beyond the minutia of the 9-5 world of swivel chairs and so-called “TPS reports”…beyond what is considered conventional or “normal.” Dissatisfied with the lackluster life of the American “daily grind,” I sold my home and essentially everything that I owned in the States for something more substantial…even more substantial than the accumulative worth of all my possessions: experience.

I arrived in Prague in September 2013 unsure of what exactly I wanted, but quite sure of what exactly I didn’t want. I desperately needed a change from my 60+ hour work week of teaching and serving in the States.

The Language House TEFL program in Prague changed my life. The end.

It sounds like a stretch, right? This is not an exaggeration, but rather an understatement, as I cannot begin to count the ways in which my perspective on life has been (and continues to be) forever altered (for the better) from living and teaching abroad. Originally, I planned to stay in Prague for just a few months and then teach in Asia, where the pay promised to be better. Now, one and half years later, I have acquired a 2 year Visa and secured a 2 year contract at an International Elementary School here in Prague, which affords me the amazing ability to travel regularly throughout the year. I continue to see new things and meet new people who challenge my thoughts and ideas about the world.

Your experience with TLH TEFL and with Prague will be whatever you make it to be. Prague represents something different for everyone, but for me TLH TEFL was the door to a new life.

Living and teaching in the Czech Republic is not always easy, novel, or fun. The struggle has never been so real as the moments I’m eating beans from cans or wandering a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets at 4am. However, I have chosen to stay for the unforeseeable future (unexpectedly!), as Prague continues to gift me castles, cheap beer, life-long friends, and TIME. Time to travel…time to walk in beautiful parks….time to share drinks in divey pubs….time to appreciate and enjoy the simplest of pleasures life has to offer. And that’s pretty sappy, but also pretty damn cool.

If you’re indecisive or questioning whether teaching and living abroad is for you, consider how fulfilled you are in this current moment and multiply that by any number bigger than 1. It’s worth it. There’s always more to see.

Nicole Ortiz
Nicole Ortiz