I have been thinking about moving abroad for quite some time, but I also like my work very much, so I don’t want to stop teaching.
Of course I could go somewhere and teach in English (my English is fair enough, and the mathematics and physics curriculum is pretty much the same everywhere), but I do feel strongly about my native mother tongue. It is after all the language that Hans Christian Andersen and my namesake Søren Kierkegaard wrote their wonderful works in.
So where (except maybe Bornholm) could I go and teach in Danish, but still feel like I had moved far?
The answer is so simple and elegant: Greenland.
The former Danish colony has a constant need for teachers at their gymnasiums and the nature is supposedly breathtaking. As you may know, I’m quite the out-doors kind of person!
I have never enjoyed cold weather, but the snow and low temperatures shouldn’t matter that much. As I understand it, it is only cold there for a few weeks in winter, and then you get pleasantly warmer weather, as the sun rises higher on the sky. After all, there is a reason it is called Greenland and not Whiteland. There does seem to be some other caveats, but I have been reading up on the issues and conditions of moving from Denmark and working at a gymnasium in Greenland. The Gymnasieskolen magazine has an interesting article on the topic and none of the issues seem like deal-breakers to me.
It seems alcohol is quite expensive, so it will be hard giving up drinking completely (or cutting down enough for it to not hurt my economy to much), but some of the other stuff, like expensive fruits and little or no daycare for children isn’t really relevant for me.
It will of course be hard to leave behind family and friends, but when I consider what chance of a lifetime this can be for me, it really is a no-brainer. I have of course spend a lot of time contemplating this decision lately, but today, April first 2011, I have finally made my decision. I will however stay in Copenhagen for one more year, both to finish my Pædagogikum (Dip.Ed) and to figure out what to do with my stuff. What to bring, what to store and what to trash, since moving stuff from Denmark to Greenland is quite expensive. I also have to figure out exactly how I will manage my living arrangements. But I’m quite excited about this opportunity, and convinced that the practical stuff will work it self out over the coming year.