The Bitter Truth......from a teacher to all Immigrants who are professionally qualified.
Teaching is a very exciting yet, challenging profession. Many years ago, when I used to be in school, many of the teachers did not have a teaching degree and for them, it was often a part time job that gave them pocket money. The concept of making teaching into a career came in much later when doing a degree in education was considered to be mandatory. My teachers only taught, never once did they show any empathy. It is not the same anymore, thankfully.
People move on from school and finish college, find a job in the field they want and thanks to Globalization, they decide to move to another country. Often, the whole idea of moving can be seen as an opportunity to do better and improve our economic as well as social status. In a society where instant gratification is something that is demanded, people who emigrate often have unreal expectations and this leads to deep depression.
In my 16 years of teaching IELTS to highly skilled professionals like doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists etc, I found that an important part of my lesson was devoted to motivating my immigrant students and to make them once again believe that they can do it! By the time they come to me, they feel defeated, bewildered and often close to going back home because they have no faith in their abilities any more.
How sad is that? Very! What is worse is the fact that they often go to private tutors from their own country who make them into cash cows, teach them all the wrong concepts and the result is that they fail to get their desired band scores multiple times. So, to all the new immigrants who have come here, listen up. You are all an amazingly brave lot of people who have taken a very bold step in your life. Yes, life is going to be hard, but, you need to give yourself a timeline of 5 years to get back into your professions once again. Nothing is instant in a new place. Here are a few things you can do to make yourself feel in control again:
Stop all the negative talk that goes on inside your head. Every time a voice tells you that you are a loser, put a stop to it. You are NOT. Avoid meeting people from your own community, if they are always negative about their life or about the country they have come to. They will drag you down. Pin a sheet of paper on the wall and write down what your goal is. Below that, list how you will achieve it. As you achieve each step, mark it on that paper. Sometimes, we need to visually see how far we have travelled. Actively find a tutor who can help you and guide you to get your scores. The good ones will be an investment for you.
Read, Listen, Watch!
Read magazines like Newsweek, Time, National Geographic, The Scientific American, read, read, read.......not books but magazines. That way you are exposed to different topics and topic related vocabulary. It will help your scores in all the 4 skills. Know that the only way to master a language is to surround yourself with it. Speak it, listen to music in it, read it and watch all TV shows in the target language. Believe me, it's not a waste of time!
Be aware that your emotions and your mind will go through phases when you relocate. At first, everything will be fantastic in the new country. Slowly, there will be disappointment, annoyance, anger, resentment and finally there will be acceptance. This is normal. Go through the emotions but don't get dragged down by them.Believe in your self. Have faith in your abilities. Be flexible and know that there are thousands of people who would give an arm and a leg to be where you are. Don't discuss your successes or failures with anyone except your family. People are complicated and really, it is not their business , so don't discuss with them. Keep a journal and write all the things you are grateful for. Visualize and see yourself in your profession, happy and content. I have been there, I know and understand how you feel.