Yurena Soriano Lopez: From Spain to the UK, US, and now China!
Meet Yurena Soriano Lopez! Originally from an island in Spain, she has now taught in three countries and next school year, will add a fourth to her list: China, where Yurena will teach first grade at the International School of Dongguan. Catch up with her below:
Hello Yurena! Please introduce yourself and describe why you wanted to teach overseas. Was there a compelling call or story behind it?
I come from an island in Spain that is almost like paradise, and a lot of people don’t understand why I moved from there. Sometimes I don’t understand either, but I guess my thirst for adventure, exploring the world and leaving my comfort zone is stronger. I have taught in Spain, United Kingdom, United States and now I am going to start a new adventure in China.
Congratulations on your new position at the International School of Dongguan! How did you know when you found the right fit?
I had 7 interviews before the right one, and I really had a good feeling with the principal. It was just something that I didn’t feel with the others.
What research did you do before accepting your job?
I had only 24 hours to accept or not the job. Those 24 hours were exhausting. I read about the city, I joined a lot of groups in Facebook and talked with international teachers and with people who were living there, I watched videos in Youtube about the city, I learned about the school… at the end of the 24 hours I was feeling like my head were going to explode!
What inspired you to sign up with a service like ISS, and how has your experience been?
I think it was really easy the process of signing up with ISS and the web page is very clear and easy to understand. My experience have been really positive because I found a job. It was difficult for me at points because I am not American and when I went to the job fair, some schools told me directly that they could not interview me because of my accent. They thought some parents were going to complain. At that moment I really thought it was going to be impossible for me to find a job but fortunately, I was wrong.
What advice would you give to educators looking to recruit overseas for the first time?
Just follow your dreams. In some moments you may think it’s impossible, but it is possible. You only have to have a very open mind. Remember that what you do and the people that you’ll meet are going to make the place. You can go to the “worst” city in the world, but meet wonderful people to have fun and enjoy it with — and then you will love that city!
Thank you so much for sharing your story and encouraging words, Yurena! We love your open outlook, and can’t wait to hear about your adventures in China.
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