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News > Alumni News > What I've been up to since I left Ipswich School

What I've been up to since I left Ipswich School

Rosanna Lloyd (OI 2005-2007) tells us about her amazing adventures.
27 Apr 2021
Written by Carrie Baker
Alumni News

"I left the School in 2007, scary to think it’s been almost 14 years already. I graduated from university with a degree in English Literature in 2010; not the most useful degree in the midst of a recession. With suitable jobs scarce and competition for those jobs fierce, I found myself having to volunteer and take temporary jobs. My prospects took a turn for the better when I decided to become an EFL (English as a foreign language) teacher. My first long-term job was in China.

Looking back, I really did throw myself in at the deep end. After I’d got over the initial culture shock, I had an amazing time. All my students were 3-16 years old but they were not as well behaved as I had hoped. However, there was one group who were a pleasure to teach. They were 5-6 years old and so enthusiastic about learning English. I travelled to Beijing and the Great Wall, Hong Kong, Shanghai and a few lesser-known cities. I also visited a panda sanctuary, celebrated Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), experienced extreme air pollution and (almost) 24/7 fireworks! The cost of living was very low, it was possible to get two meals for the equivalent of just over £1 and buses cost just 20 pence a journey!

My next stop was Japan. Both China and Japan have long histories and similar cultures but the biggest difference is Japan is more expensive and much more modern and ‘westernised’. As a result, culture shock is less of an issue. It’s incredibly clean and efficient and there’s no pollution. I lived just outside Tokyo, never has the description ‘sensory overload’ been more appropriate than for this mega-metropolis. I taught all ages, from toddlers to retired people. The majority were absolutely delightful but again some of the kids were (surprisingly) not very well behaved! I travelled to Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka, amongst others. Kyoto was the highlight, a beautiful city with a lot of traditional architecture; I felt like I had stepped back in time. Other unique Japanese experiences included seeing the famous cherry blossom (sakura), attending an origami workshop, visiting animal cafes, watching a sumo tournament and trying on a kimono.

After that I went to Poland. The students there were all teenagers and adults, incredibly friendly and fantastic in terms of motivation. I started off in a small city, before moving to Krakow. This city has the unfortunate reputation of being the ‘stag party capital of Europe’. Despite this, it was fun to live there. It boasts a vibrant nightlife, as well as quite a big drinking culture, beer and vodka being very cheap. I followed the tourist trail and visited the Wieliczka salt mines and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Visiting Auschwitz was overwhelming to say the least but it was something I felt morally obliged to do. 

I would highly recommend TEFL to anyone considering it. I only wish I’d started straight after university! As much as I would have loved to continue living abroad, I felt I would eventually have to ‘settle down’ and return to the UK. Unfortunately, TEFL jobs in this country are few and far between. I wanted to continue to use my English skills which led me to a Level 4 Diploma in Proofreading and Editing. I achieved a Distinction, largely thanks to my existing English skills.

Since completing the diploma, I have worked with two clients, one being Ipswich School. I’m in the process of establishing my own freelance proofreading/copyediting business. However, if the right in-house job came along, I wouldn’t turn it down. If anyone reading this would benefit from a professional proofreading/copyediting service, or knows of any in-house opportunities, don’t hesitate to get in touch, or spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested."

Rosanna Lloyd (OI 2005-07)


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