In March of 2013, my husband Scott (my new husband as of 10 days ago!) and I decided that we were going to wholeheartedly pursue an adventure abroad and professions in international education. In August of 2013 we signed up with a consulting company, Search Associates and began the emotional roller coaster of searching for the country, school, and positions that felt right.
We submitted 50 applications to international schools in over 40 countries and we landed a total of six interviews. Preparing for a Skype interview took on a whole new meaning to the interview process. Sweatpants and a fancy button-down became our go-to interview outfit. We found the perfect blank wall in the house and strategically stacked books to lift the laptop to the right height. We got good at this!
Days before we left for the Cambridge Search Associates fair to interview with schools from all over the world, we had a Skype interview with the International School of Myanmar. A place that was as close to our first choice, Thailand as it gets, but a place that was so off our radar that we hadn’t yet considered.
The interview went well, the leadership was strong and the potential seemed limitless. Myanmar isn’t on the radar of most people and hasn’t been for over 50 years. But Myanmar had found us, and in every way this opportunity felt right. To be sure, we had a much needed sushi dinner, lots of sake and developed a long list of pros and cons. I don’t know if it was the sake or leap of faith, but that night we made the decision to take the offer.
We signed a two year contract with ISM. Scott took a Kindergarten position and I took the position of high school counselor. With our hearts full, our spirits bold and our heads held high, we said “let’s do this!”