Patrick Thoendel

Before coming to CIE I lived and worked in Japan for 2 years teaching English to everyone from 4-year-old children to 70-year-old pensioners. Despite the challenges of working in Japanese office culture I really enjoyed the work and the lifestyle. In 2006 I joined the Peace Corps and was sent to the Republic of Georgia, where I lived and worked as a secondary school TEFL volunteer for 2 years.


I began to see international education as a career and more than just a way to travel. This realization among other things prompted me to extend my PC service to the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, where I spent 2 years teaching at a boarding school in an isolated region near the Kazakh border.


This 6-year roller coaster ride left me a changed person. I discovered a love of foreign languages and the low intensity chaos and confusion that typifies working in polyglot multicultural environments. In 2011 I came to CIE to gain the skills that would allow me to work in a development context, creating the kind of education that doesn’t perpetuate exploitation and oppression.


After graduating from CIE in 2013 I spent a year coordinating the on-campus language and culture programs for SIT in Brattleboro, Vermont. There I cut my teeth on program and curriculum design while supporting the implementation of programs like Jovenes En Accion and the foreign language component of the SIT on-campus Master’s Program. During this period, I also worked for Holyoke Community College as a part-time language specialist, teaching classes at the Springfield Adult Learning Center. In this fulfilling role, I worked with groups of immigrants and refugees teaching survival English courses and supporting them as they transitioned to life in the US.


In 2015, I transitioned to Singapore and began a new chapter of my career in Southeast Asia. I spent five years in Singapore working at Raffles College. At Raffles I was a lecturer in the college bridging program helping international students to prepare for undergraduate study and transition to college life in Singapore. In this role, I worked collaboratively with the teaching team to not only teach English for Academic Purposes but also to design and implement critical thinking, creative thinking, and professional writing courses as part of an academic diploma program.


In 2020 I transitioned to Fulbright University Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City and began building the learning support program for this startup institution. FUV accepts students from diverse backgrounds and with varying levels of educational attainment. It provides a Western style liberal arts curriculum with English as the medium of instruction. Learning support at FUV focuses on helping students from rural and low-resource contexts transition from traditional Vietnamese schools to this new model of education. In my role at this institution, I manage the design and implementation of the FUV Bridging program, the College Readiness Initiative, and integrated learning support initiatives for the student body.[4-23]


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