Leon, Nicaragua Teaching English Q&A With Joyce Dubuc

Granada, Nicaragua Teaching Q&A With Joyce Dubuc


English teacher in Granada, Nicaragua

What is your citizenship?


What city and state are you from?

Ottawa, Ontario

How old are you?

67, yes, Really!!

What is your education level and background?

I have some college, and have many years in public service.

Have you traveled abroad in the past?


If you have traveled abroad in the past, where have you been?

China, Kenya, Tanzania, France, Spain, The Netherlands, US, Mexico,Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru. (Only two more continents to go.)

If you have studied abroad in the past, where did you study?

I have studied Spanish in Mexico & Nicaragua.

What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad?

Seemed like an interesting thing to do!

What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad?

Whether I could do it.

What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad?

One asked me if I had my will written!!

Joyce teaching English to children in Nicaragua


Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy?

I had heard good things about International TEFL Academy Nicaragua. I had been looking at the course for some time, then thought I’d better just do it!

Which TEFL certification course did you take?

180 hr course in Léon, Nicaragua.

How did you like the course?

It was intensive…but great! Great staff and great fellow students.

How has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position?

Really, it has given me a lot of confidence. Teaching practicums and then discussing what went well, what didn’t go so well, with an observer was a real help. It also gave me a way to think back on each class I teach now.


Which city and country did you decide to teach English in and why?

Joyce teaching English students in Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua, as I’d been here before

How long have you been in this country and how long do you plan to stay?

I have been here since September, here until at least March, and I will probably come back next fall.

What school, company, or program are you working for?

Education Plus Nicaragua

How did you get your work visa? If you didn’t get a work visa, please elaborate on working under the table without a work visa.

Here on a tourist visa, quite common here, it needs to be renewed every 90 days.

Tell us about your English teaching job!

I volunteer at Education Plus Nicaragua helps out kids in a very poor section of Granada. They take an holistic approach to assisting the children.  As the public school system is not the best, and only runs 1/2 a day, EduPlus has classes in remedial Spanish, as well as English classes. Another goal is to ensure that the children are aware of a bigger world out there….there is more than just their barrio.  They are also provided with a nutritious daily meal, toys, a playground and lots of love from the volunteers.

How did you find somewhere to live and what is it like? Do you have roommates?

I studied Spanish at Casa Xalteva in Granada a few years ago.  They assigned me a host family, and they are still my “Nica family”.


Please explain the cultural aspects, public transportation, nightlife, social activities, food, expat community, dating scene, and travel opportunities in your country:

There is a large active ex-pat community in Granada. There are a lot of restaurants, bakeries, etc owned and run by ex-pats.  There are lots of volunteers, ex-pats and tourists in Granada who all lead a very active social life. Meeting great people from all over the world is a real bonus. There are several yoga places, gyms and spas, all for a fraction of the price back home. Nicaragua has endless travel opportunities…hiking up, or sliding down volcanos, kayaking, stand up paddling, horseback riding, surfing, it’s all here!

Joyce taking some time off from teaching English in Nicaragua

What are your monthly expenses?

I pay $90 a week for full room & board. I probably spend another $100 or so on drinks, snacks, yoga, taxis.

How would you describe your standard of living?

While the house I live in is not up to North American standards, I am served 3 meals a day, my laundry is done (and put away) my room is cleaned daily…I live like a spoiled teenager!

In your opinion, how much does someone need to earn in order to live comfortably?

$500 is probably enough. A taxi is 40 cents, a haircut at a fancy salon is less than $8.

Joyce enjoying time with Nicaraguan friends


What advice would you give someone planning or considering teaching abroad? Would you recommend teaching in your country?

I love Nicaragua! The people are great, food is good, weather is terrific! You need to keep an open mind…things are different here, but come & find out!

Click here to see what another Leon TEFL graduate, Janet, has to say in her Q&A interview about teaching English in Nicaragua!


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