Riley Price is a Premier TEFL all star—for real. She is somewhat new to the world of teaching abroad, but she already has proven herself a natural. Her love for wanderlust and helping people find (then cure!) their own is absolutely contagious. Just give us a quick call and find out for yourself! Hailing from Minnesota, let’s hear how Riley ended up in Massachusetts… a brief stop before she crosses dozens more countries off of her long travel list.
Tell us about your journey to Premier TEFL. Where did you grow up, go to school, etc.? Any must-share adventures—especially abroad—with our community?
My journey to Premier TEFL was a fast one! I was nearing the end of my senior year of college, and my cousin who lives and works in the Northampton area told me about the open position for an American travel advisor for Premier TEFL. I’ve had many friends who have taught English abroad and have had nothing but wonderful stories and experiences to tell upon returning home.
I did a bit more research on the company, and I could tell that this was a team of people who have an immense passion for travel, and creating meaningful experiences for anyone who wants to jump into the world of TEFL. My first time abroad truly shaped me as a person, and opened my eyes to the world around us.
The thought of working to help people gain these amazing memories and experiences, and take on these unbelievable opportunities was such an exciting thought to me. I decided to apply, and two weeks after graduation I packed my car and headed east to start a new chapter Massachusetts!
I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota one of the coolest cities in the US (literally!). I went to school at St. Cloud State University where I studied Film, Media and British culture.
I went abroad my sophomore year of college to study in Alnwick, England where I lived in a castle and studied the history and contemporary politics of the United Kingdom. During my time, I got the chance to travel around Europe with some of my best friends, and it was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
One of my favorite moments was in Barcelona when almost half of our study abroad group was staying in the same area and we got together to throw an impromptu dinner party at our Airbnbs, we shopped the open air markets, cooked, played music, we danced, and ate together. It was truly a fantastic moment.
What are some of the funniest, or most poignant, differences you’ve noticed between Minnesota, USA (your hometown) and Ireland (where PremierTEFL is fully-based)?
Weirdly, Ireland and Minnesota feel extremely similar at times. Everyone seems to know everyone in town, and there is the classic “Minnesota goodbye” that always takes 15 minutes longer than it should, have to check in on how life has been since you last bumped into them at the supermarket!
Give us the inside scoop on what it’s like to work abroad. If you’ve taught—where did you teach, how old were your students, what type of school environment were you in? If you haven’t taught—do you plan on it?
I haven’t taught abroad yet, although working for Premier TEFL makes me very eager to do so! This job has really opened my eyes to all of the fantastic opportunities around the world to be able to work and live in a brand new place. I would love to get to South America or Southeast Asia sometime in the very near future!
Now you’re at Premier TEFL! What is your favorite thing about your job and working with future ESL teachers?
I honestly just love getting to jump on the phone and talk to people of all different ages and backgrounds about their next step towards taking a leap into the TEFL world.
Talking to these people about their desires to travel and experience a whole new part of the world never gets old. Whether they’ve never been out of their home country before, or they are seasoned travelers, it’s such a cool experience to get to walk them through all of the experiences and open doors that Premier TEFL can provide for them!
What inspired you to create a life of travel?
To me, this world has always seemed so intimidatingly large, there are issues that we all face on a day to day basis, especially given the current political climate around the world. Travel and experience can really bridge a major gap in people’s worlds. Exposing yourself to a completely new culture and way of life is absolutely vital to creating a sense of connection and understanding between people.
Traveling outside of the US affected my perspective on the way the world works, and how we need to treat each other immensely, and I love the fact that I have the chance to help people open their minds and perspectives to these new experiences!
What has been the hardest part of working abroad, and what advice would you share with future travelers to help them overcome this obstacle?
Not having worked abroad, but seeing our teachers go out again and again, I think the biggest thing that can pose itself as an obstacle for some is the culture shock. Often times, you are stepping into a completely different culture and mindset, and that can be jarring to some.
Initially, it can be very difficult to acclimate to, but remembering that you are there to experience and open yourself to this new place, and the people is going to benefit you so much in the long run.
To some people, stepping out of your comfort zone is not a fun experience, but personally I feel as though it is a totally healthy thing to do every now and then. What fun is life if you just stay where you are completely comfortable for years and years?
What’s a typical day like working at Premier TEFL?
A typical day for me is coming into the US office which is full of other travel advisors from other study abroad and internship companies (they’re a bunch of jokers, it’s never a dull moment), then logging on and touching base with my Ireland team, hearing about what’s been going on on their side of the pond that day and catching up on what needs to get done for the day. The rest of the day is filled with calls, chats and emails about getting people started on their TEFL adventures!
If you could work abroad again (and we hope you do—but don’t leave us yet), where would you go and why?
I’d really love to spend some time in South America, specifically Colombia. There’s something about that country that just draws me to it every time I look into it! Their rich history and upbeat culture, along with the beautiful cities seems to be calling to me. The people seem so welcoming and open and passionate, it feels contagious and I haven’t even made it there yet!
Thanks Riley! We’ll happily send you some juicy lucy’s when your homesickness becomes too unbearable.