UNC Around the World

Entrepreneurs, social workers, teachers, actors and volunteers are among the 800-plus UNC alumni living and working abroad. Ten graduates share their stories following their life-changing decisions to take their talents to countries spanning the globe.

KaylahStarring on an English-Language TV Program in Taiwan

Those who watch the English learning program “Studio Classroom,” from San Francisco to Vietnam to New Zealand, may recognize Kaylah Woody as one of the television teachers.

But there may be a day soon when they know her as the voice of a main character in Choobieland, an English-languge children’s cartoon, which teaches life lessons and friendship and is produced in Taiwan.

Woody, who graduated from the Theatre Education program, helps Studio Classroom produce magazines, and the television programs that accompany them, through teaching on television, acting in skits and script writing. She tours the island a few times a year to teach in person and helps run an English Bible study program — it takes about eight hours to get from one end of the island to the other. Two days on the job are never alike.

videoWhen she moved to Taipei, she knew only Chinese greetings. After four months of Chinese lessons, she still uses a translator in meetings, but she can order a meal in a restaurant and survive in a grocery store.

“I can’t have a conversation,” Woody says. “But I can get by.”

Woody always wanted to work overseas, and when opportunity came along through an agency, she grabbed it. Taiwan had the best offer among the countries that she considered.

“I’m a Christian, and I believe God opened the door for me to come to Taiwan,” she says. NV

Watch a clip of the program

—Dan England is a Greeley journalist.




• Learn a foreign language — Many get a job simply because they can speak the language over there.

• Get some experience abroad — A stint in the Peace Corps or internship overseas builds the résumé.

• Teach or volunteer — Opportunities abound in those two vocations, even for first-year teachers. If you’re willing to go anywhere, you will get a job, and usually schools will help you with the paperwork.

• Do it — It’s difficult, and the transition, especially at first, will probably be tough. But it’s worth every experience.

• Think outside the box — The jobs available overseas are probably different then in the U.S. But that means opportunity as well. Find a way to combine your skills.

• Go somewhere you didn’t expect to go — Many interviewed for this story wound up in a place they didn’t expect to go but also wound up loving their lives there.

• Use an agency — There are many agencies and opportunities online. Just be careful about which agency you use.

• Understand it’s going to be different — You left the U.S. to experience other cultures, so enjoy the differences and embrace them, even if that means changing the way you dress or act in public. Life overseas is a new adventure. Treat it that way.

—As told to Dan England by graduates
working abroad