Interview with Kayla & Ciaran teaching English online in Bali
Tell us about yourselves!
Hi! We’re Kayla and Ciarán from Ireland! We are both primary school teachers and are now teaching English online in Bali! We have been here since mid-November and have no plans to leave anytime soon.
Why did you both move to Bali? What were the advantages and disadvantages of moving to Bali especially during COVID-19?
We moved to Bali as we were hoping to explore more of South East Asia. Bali has been on our bucket list for years and when we discovered we could get a long-stay visa, we packed our bags and booked our flights! The advantages of moving to Bali during covid far outweigh the disadvantages in our opinion. Bali has a tropical climate which we love, so it was good timing to escape the cold winter at home in Ireland. We are very grateful for the less extreme restrictions here in Bali and can live fairly normal lives with a current curfew of 9pm.
The disadvantages of moving to Bali right now are mainly that there are some restrictions which means travelling between islands can be more tricky and some businesses are closed for tourism. It can be expensive to buy a long-stay visa as there are no tourist visas being processed currently. But we think it has definitely been worth making the move so far.
Tell us about your experiences with studying with The TEFL Institute of Ireland? What courses did you study? Do you feel your courses helped prepare you to teach English online?
We both studied the 120-hour TEFL course. We found the course layout to be very organised and easy to follow. If you answer any questions wrong, you are invited to read through the material again and answer when you are more informed. The course was thorough, but by no means overwhelming. We are both primary school teachers so we were already familiar with a lot of the information. We both agree that it is an excellent course for any first-time English teachers!
What is the process like to find a job teaching English online? Any advice for anyone who is looking for an online teaching job?
The process of finding a job teaching English online is relatively easy! There are numerous blogs and websites that list companies that are hiring and there are also very helpful Facebook groups. You must have a TEFL certificate to teach for any company, and some require a bachelor’s degree. Make sure you meet all of the company’s requirements before applying.
What was the process like to move to Bali?
Moving to Bali was very simple once our visas were issued. We had to take a PCR test 72 hours before flying and have a print out of the negative result as well as other necessary documentation to enter.
What COVID-19 restrictions were/ are in place? (in the airport, quarantine, and Bali)
When arriving to Bali, we were fortunate in that we did not have to complete any necessary quarantine once we provided our negative PCR. I understand that now anyone flying into Indonesia must undergo a 5-day quarantine in a hotel in Jakarta at their own expense, before flying on to Bali. During these 5 days, they must take another three PCR tests to confirm that they do not have the virus. There are different hotels which are allowed to take passengers for quarantine from incoming international flights. These vary in price and standard.
Social distancing and face masks were required at all times in the airport and are also practised in supermarkets and shops in Bali. Once eating or drinking in a restaurant or bar, you can take your mask off but must wear it when entering and leaving the premises.
How are you both finding teaching English online? What are your classes and schedule like?
We are really enjoying the freedom and flexibility that comes with teaching English online. We have a few hours we are committed to book every week and can add in more hours to our schedule if we wish to teach more. Typically, we are teaching in the mornings and in the evenings during the week. Our students are from China so it is great being in the same time zone as your students! I teach both children and adults while Ciarán teaches adults only.
Tell us a bit about where you are living in Bali and your lives outside of teaching.
We are living in Canggu, Bali which is where the majority of expats in Bali are based. It is a lively area with countless cafés and restaurants that have the most incredible and affordable food! Outside of teaching, we are members of a cross-fit gym and train there most days. We have met so many amazing people and have made friends for life there. After the gym and between teaching, we might meet friends for lunch and usually take a long walk on the beach for sunset.
Any plans to travel anywhere else this year?
We plan to see more of Indonesia while we are in Bali. It is a huge country with so much to see and do so we have no other plans for travel this year yet after Indonesia!
Any tips for travelling/teaching online during Covid-19?
This has been the most unpredictable and challenging year in many ways and travel has been no exception. If you are very keen to travel and can’t wait until the world starts opening up as normal, I suggest you keep updated with restrictions and opportunities which exist in different countries. The best way to do this is to check with airlines who fly there as they will most likely have all of the up-to-date information. You will also need to be aware of what countries are offering to travellers in terms of visas, especially the ones which permit long stays. For obvious reasons, short-term travel is not advisable or possible at the current time.
Be mindful of the time zone you are in if travelling to a new country and plan on teaching English online, as you want to teach hours you are happy with while making the most of your time in a new location!