Sarah Tomlinson

Master of Arts in Teaching – TESOL

Education: BA, Russian Civilization, Smith College and TEFL/TESOL Certificate, International TEFL Academy
Location: Mountain View, Calif. / Mongolia
Occupation: University teacher and Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Mongolia

Why did you choose USC Rossier?

When I returned from teaching English in Istanbul at the beginning of 2013, I was lost as to what to do next. After speaking with my mentors and friends, I decided to look into a MAT in TESOL program and saw that USC Rossier was a very highly respected school. Although I was a little apprehensive of an online program at first, I realized that USC Rossier offered me a lot of flexibility while also offering strong academics and a fieldwork component. I’ve come to realize that it was one of the best academic decisions I have made.

What do you love most about teaching?

Teaching English as a second language has been the most rewarding career of my life. It allows me to learn about different languages, cultures and people, while also supporting and helping people learn the American culture and the English language. In addition, I love the relationships and friendships I have built, not only with my students, but also through my teacher preparation at USC Rossier.

What is your most memorable moment as a teacher?

I would have to say my most memorable moment of teaching has to be the going away party one of my groups of students threw me during my last month teaching in Istanbul. My students took me to a fish restaurant that overlooked the Bosphorus, where we ate, drank and celebrated our time together. They were so wonderful and appreciative that they made me realize how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to teach English abroad, especially in Turkey. I still speak to many of my old students and look forward to the opportunity of returning to teach English at a Turkish university.

What is next for you? What do you plan to do after graduation?

I was recently informed that I received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Mongolia and that I will be offered a teaching position at a university somewhere in the country. In addition, I will have the opportunity to work with the U.S. Embassy to help with English language programs in the city I am placed in, which will further encourage cultural exchange between America and Mongolia. It’s an amazing opportunity, which I am truly lucky to have received. 

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