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Why I left Brooklyn for Nigeria and Never Looked Back

Adapted from Travel+Noire

Meet Kristen, 35, from Brooklyn. Before moving to Nigeria she worked as an Elementary Special Education Teacher in D.C. public schools and then at a small private school in Brooklyn. She now works as the Learning Support Coordinator at an American International School that is supported by the U.S. Dept of State in Abuja, Nigeria.

We had the chance to speak with her about her experience as a Black Expat.

Travel Noire: Why did you decide to move abroad?

Kristen: Well, I’d been an Educator in the states for quite a while, but I started to see a bunch of other teachers of color on social media talking about their careers in “International Schools abroad.”

They all seemed super happy, professionally fulfilled and challenged, and they were always traveling somewhere! I wanted some of that! I did some research and once I found out I met the requirements to teach in International Schools outside the U.S., it was a wrap!

TN: How did you end up in Nigeria?

Kristen: Crazy story! One night, I was looking up various International Schools on the continent. I stumbled across my current school and liked what I read, so I immediately got my resume together and quickly sent it off directly to Head of School. To my surprise, he emailed me right back and scheduled a Skype interview. Few days later, we spoke and had a great interview, but I ultimately ended up not moving forward with an offer from him(in all honestly, I was hesitant about moving to Nigeria). I regretted my decision and even reached out to him a few weeks later to see if the position was still available, but it wasn’t.

However, a few months later, someone, who eventually became a great friend (who also accepted an offer from the same school) posted in a FB group that a last minute Elementary position opened up at the school! I reached out to the Head of School right away and because we’d already interviewed and he spoke to my references months prior, he offered me the position on the spot and sent me a contract the next day, with the condition that I had to be in Nigeria in a month’s time. That was the end of June 2016. I got here Aug. 4

Read more of the story at Travel+Noire

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