signora oye vey to hell with perfect
In Italy I could have worked as much as I wanted. Sometimes I worked much more than I wanted, actually. Even in a time of worldwide economic crisis (perhaps ESPECIALLY in a time of worldwide economic crisis), English instructors get work.
Here in Sweden I’m running up against several challenging factors:
1. People generally already speak English very well. (Though there is still need for English instructors, but it seems that freelance work is out of the question.)
2. I don’t speak functional Swedish yet, and even though people generally speak English very well here, one pretty much has to speak Swedish to be employable.
3. I’ve been here less than a month so far, so I don’t have my paperwork all in order yet. I have no reason to doubt that I’ll be granted residency and receive the all-important PERSON NUMBER, I don’t have said number yet and this makes all the difference.
4. Even though I have extensive teacher training, I’m not qualified to teach in the public school system for this country. So (as of now) I’m not able to work in my specific field (high school).
5. Any chance I might have of getting work as a teacher means (a) the job won’t start until August [I can deal with that] and (b) the hiring process is happening NOW or has already happened.
6. Oh yeah, and there’s a world wide economic crisis.
Fortunately, there are several International schools in town that are less challenging in areas 1, 2, and 4, and that would likely be accommodating or even helpful in area 3. I had an interview with one of them but I didn’t get the job. That was a disappointment, especially because the school is a 4-minute walk from my house. I’ve been communicating with the other schools, and one of them agreed to interview me next week even though they don’t have any need for English teachers … just so they’ll already know me in case any needs arise. I’m very ok with that.
Other than that I’m exploring adult schools (for which challenge number 4 doesn’t apply).
There is one private language school in town called Berlitz. It’s a multinational company, and I expect they’ll be rather like what I experienced while working at WallStreet Institute. That’s fine, I guess, for a start, though I don’t dream of working in that kind of environment for any length of time.
And then there’s the option of going way outside my field. Challenges 2 and 3 still exist in that situation, but I could still try popping in at restaurants to ask if they need wait staff or even dishwashers.
At home I feel professional and employable. What a strange experience it is to be an immigrant.