Loredana Illiescu,
from Romania,
teaching in El Gouna, Egypt.

Loredana and friends at the Pyramids

Loredana and friends at the Pyramids

Which School did you previously teach at and in which town/country was it?

I was a teacher in Bucharest, Romania. I was teaching Physics for 2 years in Romanian National schools and spend 4 years at International British School of Bucharest where I was teaching Physics and Mechanics. I also spent 1 year at Cambridge School of Bucharest teaching Physics and Science.

What gave you the idea to teach internationally?

I have always wanted to teach abroad. It was really my dream. I was reading about teachers living and working abroad, about their experiences in different counties and I wanted to experience everything by self and also, I wanted to get more experience in teaching and build up my confidence.

How difficult was it for you to find a job and what route did you take?

I can really say it was not too difficult for me. I uploaded my CV onto the TIC website. After a while I have received an email from the agency asking me what I think about El Gouna, Egypt and if I am interested in getting a teaching position at the school. I accepted, and then I had an interview with the school. The interview was very different, they asked me to send them my ideas about some experimental theories in Physics. After a week they asked me if I want to accept their offer as a Physics Teacher at El Gouna International School, Egypt. I have accepted and this is my second year as a teacher in Egypt.

What kind of curriculum do you follow and is this any different in the way you taught before – if so, how have you coped with this change?

I teach English National Curriculum for Key Stage 3, the same as in my previous schools, so it didn't make any difference for me and Edexcel for Key stage 4 and 5. I didn't teach Edexcel before but I was familiar with the requirements of this Curriculum. It was not difficult for me to teach the Edexcel Curriculum.

What are the children and staff like at El Gouna?

The students are excellent, lovely, friendly and I really enjoy teaching them. They are all from different countries and different cultures, but in the end I feel like we are a big family. The staff is also very friendly and I can say I now have some very good friends here among my colleagues. We are all almost the same group age (27-36) which has helped us to become friends and support each other, especially being away from home.

What have been the best and worst (if any) experiences you have had in your first year in Egypt?

My best and worst experience is related to one of the year groups I have taught in my first year in Egypt.  It was a little difficult at the beginning because teaching the class Maths in their second year of preparation for the IGCSE Exam, I didn't have any record of what the previous teacher has covered in Year 10. The best experience was to see their exam results. Excellent!

What has the experience been like for you socially?

Coming to Egypt has changed my life. I have met wonderful people, in and outside the school. The people here are friendly and helpful. Outside of school I am taking part in lots of social activities. I am taking lessons in Latin dancing with professional dancers from South America, who are all lovely. We are now a big group and we go together to different social events. We spend time together relaxing, doing workshops, going snorkeling and playing volleyball on the beach. I have met the Volleyball Olympic Player, Alexanders Samoloivsky in this group and now we are good friends. 

I am taking tae bo lessons, 3 times a week and every time I am free I can find for sure some new interesting activity here. I have seen the pyramids a few times of course and Cairo is my favorite city for shopping. There are some other places to visit here in Egypt and I hope I will do so soon.

What are the most striking differences about living and working in Egypt?

I didn’t have any difficulties in adapting my style of living here in Egypt. El Gouna is a touristic place, so I did not have to adapt to another country’s way of life too much. It is very similar to Europe. It was difficult in the beginning to adapt myself to the climate in Egypt. There are very hot summers and no rain. I miss the weather and climate back home; the green, the rain, the clouds.

What advice would you give to people in the same situation as yourself who are considering teaching internationally?

My advice is to be confident, be honest and keep everything simple. That’s my motto: keep it simple. I actually use it with my students and myself and it is really working.

Is there anything TIC could have done during your recruitment process, or since that would help you with your future career path?

TIC really helped me a lot in getting this job and I really hope they will help me in the future as well. Many thanks TIC. 

Loredana socialising in Egypt

Loredana socialising in Egypt

Back to Case Studies

Want to share this content?