German-born Trixi Kuballa credits her parents for the opportunity to travel the world and for inspiring her early to learn English. She developed a passion for languages and the exploration of other cultures. Once she finished university in Germany, an apprenticeship with South African Airlines satisfied her desire to interact with people of other cultures but left her wanting more. She returned to school to pursue her Master's Degree in education, with an emphasis on German and English.
Trixi took a substitute teaching position at the Frankfurt International School (FIS) in August 2003, and by December of the same year was offered the opportunity to cover a 5th grade class whose teacher was on maternity leave. She not only loved teaching, but she also found herself inspired by her many colleagues at FIS who had traveled the world as international educators.
Five years later, when Trixi was ready to spread her wings, she decided to apply with Search Associates and attend the London Job Fair where she accepted a job teaching English as another language (EAL) at the United Nations School in Hanoi, Vietnam. She called this move "my big adventure."
Trixi has worked in International Baccalaureate schools for 13 years, seven outside of Germany. Having attended the Search Associates London January Fair three times and Search Bangkok once, Trixi is a great advocate:
"The support of Search Associates at the fair was the most helpful for me. Being able to talk to them about schools, positions, and countries was incredibly helpful, and [it] often [determined] where I went. The fact that there was always someone to turn to and bounce ideas off--and the broad knowledge Associates have about different schools-- was the most important thing for me."
The Search Associates website has also proved instrumental in Trixi's job searches. She was able to research information about schools' programs and packages. Trixi also appreciated the ability to contact schools in advance of the job fairs and have her information available for recruiters to view and contact her. She continues,
"[The web site] was very helpful for me to create a list of interesting schools with direct links to their websites."
Her collaboration with Search Associates has helped Trixi land teaching positions at the Franklin Roosevelt International School Lima, Peru and the Canadian International School, Singapore. Currently, she teaches at the Stuttgart International School in Germany. Her advice to prospective overseas teachers is simple:
"Do it! It is an amazing experience. Working abroad has given me so much in terms of my teaching experience but also meeting wonderful educators. I am currently back in Germany but would not be surprised if I go abroad again."