A few things you might like to know about Mona Serban, BEd, QTS, CELTA – the person behind SMART Academy of Languages

MONA SERBAN holds a Bachelor of Education Degree from University of Pitesti, with a joint degree in French and English Teaching. Mona graduated in 2004 and soon after graduation she took an English Teaching Internship in Turkey where she had the privilege of working in one of the top-notch private language schools from Eskisehir, a city renowned for its large student population. She worked for an academic year at ONDER DIL where she was in charge of teaching EFL ( English as a Foreign Language) to Turkish students, aged 17-30, from Elementary to Upper-Intermediate levels. She also ran Speaking Clubs for all the above-mentioned levels, seeking interesting and challenging topics for her students.

Needless to say, Mona loved Turkey to bits!! And adored her Turkish experience, so on her return to the home country, without giving it a second thought, she decided to go on a second traineeship. The decision came easy, as she followed her inner calling to study a new language and to venture into remote lands. Next stop: Colombia!

Colombia proved to be everything she had ever dreamed of and so much more! The people, the customs, the tradition, the warmth of the Latin culture, the friendliness of Colombia`s inhabitants were overwhelming. Mona lived in two cities: Santa Marta, on the coast and later on in Medellin, the famous drug cartel of Pablo Escobar. Again, she was incredibly lucky!!! She was teaching EFL ( English as a Foreign Language) in the Language Center of EAFIT UNIVERSITY, one of the best universities in Colombia. She lived one year among Colombian people, picking up the language and calling herself casi-Colombiana:), making friends and living la vida loca :))

Next on the agenda was London, where she went to visit her sister and decided to stay. Her studies were recognized by NARIC UK and she got qualified as a teacher in England. Without too much fuss she landed a teaching job at Access College, a small English school in South-West London and taught IELTS and ran Conversation Clubs.

Two years later she got a sudden urge to go home and out of the blue she booked a one-way flight back to Romania! She worked in a Cambridge-authorized English center where she trained students to sit Cambridge exams, focusing on exam tips and strategies. She taught all Cambridge leves, from YLE to CPE.

This is, in a nut-shell, Mona’s teaching experience abroad. She is extremely happy to have gained this tremendous teaching experience and her teaching qualifications. In summer of 2010 she signed up for an intensive one-month Celta course in London where she enhanced her teaching skills and came into contact with the latest teaching methods and cutting-edge teaching tools.

What is Mona’s next career move?
It was when I sat the CPE in December 2005 that I realized how important it is to hold an internationally-recognized Certificate in English. I personally reaped its benefits on countless occasions: it helped me land an awesome job in Colombia, apply for courses in England – I did a teaching and a marketing course there and it also helped me get qualified as a CELTA-teacher, which is a huge accomplishment! I believe that in Romania the Cambridge Certificates are only now starting to play a really important role in the academic development of our students. I truly believe that the increasing Globalization makes English-speaking skills mandatory, people migrate and relocate to other countries, for different purposes – work, study, personal choices. English really comes in handy and a Certificate in English is of paramount importance. Therefore I wish to teach English with a focus on IELTS, FCE, CAE and CPE and my goal is to offer support to students looking to take such an exam.

Not only did we manage to organize the first computer-based Cambridge session in Pitesti last summer, but we wish to carry on and make it a tradition in our city. Students no longer need to go to Bucharest for this- it can be stressful and daunting. So they can sit a Cambridge exam in Pitesti and I do believe many of them will appreciate this!