About Me

My name is Amanda Isberg. I am the Third Grade teacher at an American International school called, Colegio Internacional de Carabobo, in Venezuela.

My interest in teaching began while working on my Bachelors of Arts in International Studies at the University of Oregon (graduated June 2007).  I interned in Yokosuka, Japan, and Gaeta, Italy for three months each at a summer camp while earning elective credits at my university. I loved the experience of working with children while living overseas and I began thinking about becoming a teacher full time. My decision to work with children overseas was further strengthened by a four-month experience teaching ESL as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Azerbaijan.

While interning with Camp Adventure Youth Services through the University of Northern Iowa I had the opportunity to see some amazing places in Italy!

While interning with Camp Adventure Youth Services through the University of Northern Iowa I had the opportunity to see some amazing places in Italy!

I officially began my teaching career in the United States as a second-grade intern teacher while I was completing a Master of Arts in Teaching at Lewis & Clark College in August 2009. After graduating and getting my teaching license, I was a substitute teacher in Portland, Oregon in grades pre-kindergarten through grade eight.

Following my passion to teach while discovering new cultures, I taught ECE at the American School Foundation of Chiapas (in Mexico).  I then moved to the Eastern hemisphere and taught second grade at an international school in Beijing, China. Desiring a return to sunny Latin America where I could speak Spanish and dance salsa to my heart’s content, I found Escuela Las Morochas.  Finally, I wanted to work at a bigger school with more opportunities, so I moved within Venezuela to teach third grade at CIC Valencia.

When not actively teaching, I love to try new recipes, go salsa dancing, practice yoga, and explore new places.

If you want to stay up to date with me on my latest travels and tips follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.

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58 responses to “About Me

    • Thanks for visiting! I am hoping to dig up my journals about my time in Azerbaijan and blog about it. I was last in Azerbaijan in 2007 so I’m sure some things have changed, however, I still get a lot of questions about Azerbaijan because there aren’t a lot of expats and travelers who go there.

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  1. It is interesting to read about you and checking your blog. I have some admiration and respect for teachers…and same follows to you. Regards.

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  2. Hello Amanda and fellow 201 blogger. I am a product of the international school system and I love your blog title, teaching Wanderlust. I look forward to reading about your adventures. (PS- I’m a recovered salsaholic 🙂

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  3. Hi Teaching Wanderlust, I am nominating you for the Liebster Award.

The Liebster Award is awarded to bloggers with under 200 followers to try to promote their blog.The rules of the competition are:

    The nominate must provide a link to the person who nominated them.
This is my link: http://kleesbutterfly.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/liebster-award-nomination/
    Provide 11 facts about yourself.

    Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
    
Choose 11 more people and ask them 11 questions.

    Have fun!

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      • I have been here since October last year so not that long! Turkey is an awesome country, so much variety and differences between the different parts. If you are interested in finding out more I have written about my travels around the country. Unfortunately I will be leaving soon, moving on to new adventures but I definitely recommend it!

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  5. Hey girl! Glad I stumbled across your blog – I spent a year studying at the University of Oregon and had the BEST time! I’m also a teacher now, and hoping to live and travel abroad with it soon. I look forward to reading more about your adventures.

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    • Welcome to the blog!

      Don’t you love UO? I was an excellent high school student with a great scholarship that would pay 90% of “unmet need” to any school in Oregon or Northern California, and the only school I applied to was UO…because I fell in love with the campus while visiting friends. haha. It all worked out for the best!

      Good luck getting your first international teaching job!

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      • Wow – I’m not surprised. The campus is beautiful! I miss it there everyday…the football games, Milky Way cafe, the spinach dip from the halls canteen haha.
        Thank you! Got a job here in England for September but only planning on sticking around a year or two before searching abroad 🙂 x

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  6. Dear Amanda,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Venezuela, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expatand your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,
    Joyce

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  7. amazing blog, I´m glad I found it 🙂 how was ur experience in Azerbeijan?? I volunteer in Skopje (Macedonia) and I met some peace corps volunteers who were working in the balkans 🙂
    now I’m following you to keep reading about your trips and work!
    all the best
    PedroL

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  8. HI there
    Thanks so much for the follow !! Your life is awesome and I love the bio. Glad you got a chance to live and teach in the USA although Portland is sure less sunny than California !! My wife Diane thought about ESL teaching before we met but stuck with nursing instead. Strangely, unlike teaching, nursing pays terribly in most of the world except the USA so she stuck it out here with me. Now that I got laid off and we’ve saved a lot we can enjoy an early retirement.

    I totally relate to your desire for a return to Spanish because even though we loved Ecuador, the thing that mostly made us choose SE Asia instead was the lack of English speakers. Also love your interests; we also love yoga and new recipes but not so sure about salsa dancing; it looks fun but I am a horrible dancer; lol

    I also respect how you’ve gone all the way to a masters in teaching. We will follow your journeys and hope you do the same for us.

    Best wishes
    Roba nd Diane

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    • Hi Rob and Diane,

      I only had a brief chance to look at your blog before school this morning so I really look forward to catching up with your travels later! Early retirement has been a goal of mine for the past few years (but a very unlikely one as a single teachers) and I love to read blogs giving a little insight into that world.

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      • Hi Amanda

        Thanks for the kind words. You look too young to retire early and for you life is way different anyway. Both Diane and I had “jobs”, especially me. Although Diane is a nurse, neither of us enjoy our field but nursing pays very well in The Bay Area and for me, wasting 30 years as an operations guy in finance was a good trade off for learning how to invest and budget properly. We now have enough assets to live comfortably at for 10 to 15 years with the sale of our house and then we can tap into retirement funds.

        The difference is we both hated work. You obviously have a passion for it so we encourage you to pursue it but always save and invest whenever possible. As a single person it’s not hard to accumulate wealth; we have no kids so that makes it possible for us to save a lot. If you don;t mind the personal question, what is your ethnicity? I’m just curious

        Besides, you are so attractive I’m sure some man will want to marry you !!

        Enjoy your day !!

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  9. It sounds like you guys have it all figured out! If I hated my work I would do everything I could to get out of the “rat race”. As it is now, I have only been teaching for about 6 years total so I am still learning and growing. It is true, I have a passion for teaching and can’t imagine wanting to stop. Perhaps one day I will cut it back to 1/2 time or perhaps I will change to a specialist role.

    My mother always called me a Heinz 57 American Mutt. My ancestors are mostly from Germany, Sweden, and Britain.

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  11. Hi,
    I have an interview with Escuela Las Morochas for an elementary teaching position. Can you tell me a little bit about the school?

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    • Hi Nancy! There is now a new director and I only know one expat who is still there (but looking elsewhere) so I can’t tell you much about the current school system. However, while I worked there there was only 100 or so students pre-k through grade 12. I loved the kids and families at that school and the city is a really calm place to be. I wrote a whole post about why I loved Ojeda so much: https://teachingwanderlust.com/2014/11/28/ciudad-ojeda/. Good luck for your interview!

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  12. I have just finished a comment on your Puno-La Paz-tour, before I got here to your intro-site.
    As a matter of fact, I am a teacher too, though I have been on early retirement since 2003, heart rythm-problems, with several operations. But I am really fine now, no problems there. But I loved teaching: the danish system has one year of prep-school and 9 grades, plus one optional, if you feel like improving your achievements.
    Danish teachers are trained to be generalists, even though we come out with 2-3 main subjects, mine were biology and history. Later on I took an ekstra in nutrition and cooking. So if you want some recepies of danish cuisine, I can provide; well, not Noma, that is! 🙂
    Our daughter went to Guatemala to study spanish, worked in a NGO with an international brigade building a sports-ground in the hills, and went home hitchhiking through Mexico. Next she went to work in Sucre, Bolivia, working with NGO Dialogos on their clinic, at the same time studying medicin at Sucres university. That is why we had the opportunity to visit her. We felt so comfortable in Bolivia, loved it every minute, and never felt unsafe, a lot of nice and friendly people: I guess, your experiencies cover ours: if your attitude is right, you will be met likewise.
    Now you have my mail-adress, feel fre to use it, I shall be happy to answer all your questions, if I can, that is 🙂
    Best wishes
    Aage

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the note Aage!

      I loved Sucre, Bolivia and wouldn’t mind spending more time there.

      There is an international school in Copenhagen, Denmark that I would LOVE to teach at, but it is so good that nobody wants to leave. I think I will focus on SE Asia and the Middle East for my next round of applications!

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      • You could try at the schools, who have the IB, International Baccalaureate. My daughter was happy with the one at Nyborg Gymnasium, not so far from Odense. It was quite an international atmosphere, with pupils from most of the northern hemisphere. All subjects, bar the languages, were taught in english.
        By the way: I use The Hospitality Club a lot, and have had people stay for a night or two. That is also the way we found a friend in Lima, with whom we experienced the big earthquake in 2007: it is nice to have a local to help you in those circumstances!

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  13. Amanda, you have lived in some really amazing places! It’s the epitome of slow travel to live and work in a culture while exploring it. I hope you are able to collect an incredible group of friends all over the world in your work!

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  14. Dear Amanda,
    I love reading your blog! You have such a bright spirit and I always feel uplifted somehow after reading about your adventures or school life. In any event, I’d like to alert our superintendent here to your blog if you wouldn’t mind. I work for Saudi Aramco and don’t know if you’d even be interested at all in coming here. It’s an amazing place to work in every way. The Latin population is huge in the largest compound (Dhahran) and I’m sure there’s salsa dancing there! In any event, you can contact me personally if you’re interested and I could direct you onwards even if just for a future reference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Valerie,

      I’m so happy that you are enjoying my blog! I have thought about teaching with Saudi Aramco, but for some reason I thought they didn’t hire single people. A compound full of salsa dancers sounds fantastic as do the well resources Aramco schools I’ve read so much about! I will be sure to contact you the next time I am applying for schools!

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    • Hi Katherine. Thanks for visiting. I did see this article a few weeks ago. It is a very accurate description of what shopping/life is like here. I just went to two stores today looking for eggs and the one store that had them had a line going around the corner- just to get eggs.

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  15. Hi Amanda. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year. I just want to send you a thank you note. When I started to consider teaching abroad last school year, your blog helped me to have peace of mind with all the “what ifs” going through my mind. I have now been teaching in Kuwait since September and have no regrets about my move. I blog about my experience as well. Best wishes to you!

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    • Hi Janeen! Thanks for visiting my blog. I am so happy to know that I was able to help you find your way overseas. I will start following your blog so I can read about your adventures in the Middle East. Best wishes to you too!

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  16. Dear Amanda,

    Your webpage is highly motivating, thus, I am prompted to leave you a note. Like you, I am an educator too. I am a traveling professor and an international education adviser. I am passionate about literature. I wish to send you a private email as I need your assistance to apply for a teaching job in Medellin. I am planning to migrate soon after I found a great teaching opportunity that would enhance my teaching career.

    I am a Filipina of Spanish ancestry.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hey there! I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I am a 3rd grade teacher and getting ready to go to a recruitment fair this December for the AASA. Through all my research, I am struggling to identify a list of “non-negotiables” when it comes to a contract. What are things that international schools should offer their teachers abroad? Any other advice?
    Keeping you and Venezuela in my prayers!

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  18. Hi Amanda,
    Thanks for your blog. I’m researching teaching outside of the US and was happy to find it. I’ve taught preschool and elementary special ed in the states for the past 6 years and I took a sabbatical for 2016-2017 so that I can travel and become fluent in Spanish and return to my classroom bilingual, as most of my students and their families are native Spanish speakers. With the way my schedule worked, I am able to begin teaching in early March and teach until late June/early July before returning to my school for the 2017-2018 school year. It looks like you have been teaching full-time on traditional schedules in your travels, and it looks AMAZING! Do you know of any schools in Venezuela, Mexico, or anywhere else that you’ve travelled that currently hire experienced expats for less than a year, or even for steady substituting?

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    • Hi Jen, thanks for visiting my blog. You might try talking to the American School Foundation of Chiapas about subbing full time, but most schools hire locals for that purpose. You could try moving to an area that has multiple English speaking schools (maybe Mexico City) and see if you can get subbing jobs now and then by sending your resume to multiple schools. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

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