Slobodan might look like Mr. Bean (his words, not ours!), but he’s anything but a goofball. This hard-working, intrepid and adventurous young man has traveled the globe extensively. Learn more about his journey to [spoiler] TEFL teacher in Cambodia as a non-native English speaker!

Tell us about yourself! We’d love to know about your background, what drew you to teaching abroad, and more. 

My name is Slobodan and I am 33 years old. I come from Bosnia and Herzegovina. After I finished my formal education, I decided to leave my home country and move to the United States of America. I lived there for eight years, and then it was time to change continents. I picked Southeast Asia because my sister lives in Singapore; I wanted to be closer to her. 

Slobodan, TEFL teacher in Cambodia

You’re currently a TEFL teacher in Cambodia. Awesome! Tell us about your unique journey to working abroad as a teacher—including your TEFL course experience.

My TEFL journey was totally unplanned. I learned about Premier TEFL online and the next thing I know, I was checking their website. They had all kinds of internships and one of them was the Cambodia internship. The price was right, and it also included a TEFL course. It took me about four weeks to complete the 120-hour TEFL course and then the next stop was Cambodia.

What advice do you have for non-native English speakers who dream of teaching English abroad someday?

Just do it, don’t let the fact that you are a non-native speaker stop you. It is true that job opportunities are slightly limited if you are not a native speaker, but just do the TEFL course and get some teaching experience by volunteering. If you really want it, you can become a teacher 🙂

Temple in Cambodia

What are some challenges that you have faced and how have you overcome them? What have you learned for future similar situations?

The only thing that really shocked me was the traffic. There are absolutely no rules, but after some time, the chaos becomes a new normal. 

What’s next for Slobodan, what career path or adventure are you currently working on?

I really don’t know what is next. I might go back to Singapore and get a job there, but I am thinking of staying here a little bit longer. Or maybe I will pick some other TEFL internship, who knows? 😀

Thank you for taking the time to share your magnificent story with the Premier TEFL community. Happy travels!