Teaching Abroad: Lessons on Privilege, Neocolonialism, and Unintended Harm by Lena Papadopoulos

How Not To Travel Like A Basic Bitch

The first time I traveled on my own to a non-western country was in 2009 when I went to teach English in Tanzania. I was young (23 years old), and I had the naive notion that I was going there to do something brave and honorable; I wanted to help people. Sure, English was my first language, but I had just graduated with a degree in Sociology. What did I know about teaching? I especially knew nothing about teaching a language.

Teaching Abroad-Privilege Neocoloniasm-Tanzania

I spent a few months after graduation working and traveling, and then I set off to spend a few months “volunteering” (I paid for this, as young volunteers often do) as an English teacher in Tanzania. In the time that I was there, I developed a lot of questions about the ethical implications and impacts of my volunteer role, which gave me far more power and authority than it…

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