What’s Everyone Doing this Summer Vacation?

For me, the absolute greatest part of teaching and living overseas is the travel opportunities. From my current school it’s a quick, inexpensive, flight to just about anyplace in Europe.

Amid protests and guilt trips laid on me by family back home, I decided to travel this summer. My brother and his wife took over my house in the States years ago so returning “home” leaves me crashing on the couch or in the spare bedroom. An entire summer is just too long for everyone.

My first stop is Prague, I’ve rented a car and aside from the cost of gasoline I’m having the time of my life. I have a tent and a camp stove and plan to spend just one or two nights a week in hotels. I’m meeting people on summer holiday in camp grounds and really getting a feel for the people and places I’ve visited so far. I have no definite plans, just a map and lots of time.

I’m curious what other international teachers are doing this summer. I’m hoping ISR will post this letter so I can hear from other teachers traveling on summer break.

Thanks very much and have a great summer, Phil. / Tell us what YOU’re doing this summer

17 thoughts on “What’s Everyone Doing this Summer Vacation?

  1. I’ve been spending my summer doing the things I enjoy most and can’t typically do in the country I live in. I read, fish, attend numerous baseball games, take walks in the woods, and simply hang out with those dear to me. I keep it simple and try to reconnect.


  2. I love that people get to travel to new and exciting places over the summer. Every fall I think that I will do that next summer. But come March, when it’s time to start making summer plans, I opt to go home. I just have to go home to see family and friends. I have older parents who can’t travel due to health reason. And I have young nieces and I need to make my mark in their lives. Yes, staying with family is tough, but I’m glad that I do it. Maybe one summer I’ll take more advantage of the opportunities to travel more. But for right now, summers are for being home,


  3. Just had my mother and sister to visit me in Eastern Europe, went to one of the premier resort towns in the ‘Russian Riviera’ (Crimea). Pack up, back to the UK to see some friends etc, then 10 days in Spain. Probably visit the in-laws in Austria, go see some other friends in Europe and then off to a new post in the middle east.


  4. I just finished my 3rd year at ASFM in Monterrey, Mexico and am happy to report that I am a teacher/counselor at the Summer in Switzerland summer camp run at the Leysin American School campus. It is 7 weeks in the beautiful mountains of Switzerland with children from all over the world. Check it out: http://www.las.ch/summer


    1. Hey there. It was wonderful. My take home pay was approx. $4000 USD but you are required to pay your own flight over (which was approx $1400). If you are a teacher, you will teach classes in the morning (4 class periods) and then there is lunch. You would then have the afternoon off to do what you choose. Then there is dinner and a bit of a break before the evening activity. You live in a dorm with the kids and will have some duty time that you have but it is evenly spread out among the staff. If you choose to be a recreation staff member then you have the mornings off but work the afternoon. The week runs Sun-Thurs and there are day excursions on Friday and Saturday. You are required to work one of them each session and can choose to join them if you want if there is space. Otherwise you have the day off. Check out the website at http://www.las.ch/summer.


    2. If you don’t mind me asking, what was your pay per week in Swiss Francs? Did all summer staff earn the same amount?


    3. I’m not entirely sure. You earn the same as the people who start the same year as you and then there is a step up for each year you work there. I think I had like 400-500 francs. They hang on to the money for you and you can get it out whenever you want (there are pay times) either in francs or in euros. At the end of the summer any money you have left you can either pull out in cash or they will wire into the bank acct of your choosing at no cost to you. Hope that helps you out.


    4. I don’t see your response but I have it in my email. The “school” week is Sunday to Thursday. If you are a “teacher” then you work the morning and you have time off in the afternoon until the evening activity. If you lead activities, then you have the morning off and work the afternoons. Fridays and Saturdays are day excursions. Over 3 weeks there are 4 excursions and you will be assigned to one of them. If you are interested in any of the others and and there is space on the bus then you can go and do your own thing or you can do something on your own. For example, last year we took a day and went to Monte Blanc and then another time we went to Zermatt with the group but then did our own thing and went up to the Matterhorn.


    5. Sorry the response box wouldn’t let me continue. There are some duties that you have to do but usually there are about 5 over the process of 3 weeks so it is pretty light. The advantages/perks are you are in one of the most beautiful mountain areas in the world, you get to see some great places, work with some amazing people, and make some money. Let me know if you have any other questions!


  5. Hey,

    Enjoy Prague. Had friends who’ve been there and they loved it!
    My family was in Ecuador for the past 6 years. We flew out of Quito June 20 to Ontario, Canada where we have a cottage/summer home. 2 days later I flew to Bethlehem, PA, USA to do some grad studies at Lehigh U – until July 13. While I am at LU my spouse and 2 kids are enjoying all of the glory and expense of Canadian life, friends and family – and loving it too. On July 16th we all hop on a plane bound for SE China to start a new life there.

    Coming home in the summer has its ups and downs and it’s not really worth writing about in any great length in this context because most expats in this loop already know the gist of the guilt and expense of summer returns. However, my kids love it and we do it mostly for them.

    We do it for the grandpas and grandmas, uncles/aunts and cousins and lifelong friends; for the cottage life, for the way we reconnect with friends and embrace all of the glory of settling into our sibling roles and then at the end prepare to say goodbye and move onto or back to our “real” life overseas. After all, our home is where the homework gets done, the dishes get stacked and home is the place from where we head out to work or school in the wee hours of the morning.

    Perhaps someday I will convince my wife that a summer beach house/bungalow in SE Asia may offer an alternative to yet another Southern Ontario family BBQ, eh!


  6. I am working with Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Program teaching gifted 5th and 6th graders in forensic science for three weeks. I am in a dormitory in the California site with 11 other teachers from all over the world. It is so amazing to be around 9-12 year old kids who are well-advanced their age.
    I am also working as a science ambassador for the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, for one week in July. I will be working with fifteen other teachers from around the United States and CDC scientists developing science curriculum for high school students on selected topics. I am looking forward to these experiences to help me become a better science teacher when I get back to Ho Chi Minh City in August.


  7. I have just completed my first year in Ningbo, China. I had a couple of months back in the UK earlier this year when I had my kidney removed. Now I am well and back in China I am travelling.
    On 2 July I meet 3 friends from the UK in Shanghai. We are spending two weeks in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Ningbo before they fly back to the UK from Shanghai. I will then fly south to Bangkok. After 3 days in Bangkok, I am flying down to Phuket for a week to see a good friend from the UK. I then go back to Bangkok to meet another friend from London. After a couple of days in the Thai capital we will go to Hua Hin followed by Pattaya before returning to Bangkok where my friend departs for the UK. I am then heading north up to Udon Thani followed by a bus into Laos. After some time in Vientienne, I will go to Kunming and Dali in Yunnan Province . In late August I will make my way back to Ningbo.


  8. Wow….Hard to believe it’s summer. It seemed like this school year would never end!!**# I’m glad to hear someone else made the same decision and went traveling . We are not exactly traveling. The wife and I took the kids and flew to the Dominican Republic. We’ve rented a house right on the beach and plan to stay put. There’s surf just out in front, fishing, snorkeling, scuba rental down the road and with the Kindle, we are set. The thought of braving LAX and all the rest off it just didn’t get it this year. When I told the folks of the plan they said they’d come to the Dominican to see us….really they meant to see their grand kids. Have a great summer Phil!


  9. I just retired from overseas schools and my wife and I are trying to build our retirement dream home in the Laurentian mountains,Quebec,Canada. This isn’t an easy assignment as the prices have skyrocketed since we left 11 year ago but we are gradually getting closer to realizing our dreams.


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