Francis O'Brien has been in English Language Teaching for over 25 years. He first qualified as a secondary school teacher in
the UK in 1989, when he took a PGCE (Post-Graduate Certificate of Education) at Warwick University. Francis soon
moved abroad and arrived in Surabaya where he worked as an English lecturer at what was then IKIP PGRI. He
enjoyed the experience immensely: curious students and helpful colleagues. Francis learned a lot there.
He stayed in Surabaya until 1998, and earned his RSA D-TEFLA in 1995 in London. Francis taught in a small
university in Surabaya and also for The British Council, where he taught mainly business classes in hotels and
companies. He had to zoom around in taxis and cars to get to classes, a bit of a challenge when it rained. After that
there was a long spell outside Indonesia.
Francis had a year in St. Petersburg in Russia, still as a teacher, and then in Taipei as a Senior Teacher. Although the
two places were very different, he loved them both. St. Petersburg is a beautiful and historical place, and Taipei
buzzes with energy and fun. During this time Francis obtained his Masters in Education from Manchester
University. Hong Kong was next, where he taught at universities while obtaining an MBA from Leicester University.
Francis went back to Europe for a while, teaching at the universities of Rotterdam and Eindhoven. It’s a very
different academic environment there and he was able to gain valuable experience working with students there.
Francis left the land of windmills in early 2014 and has been back in the land of tempe and nasi goreng in Surabaya
since early 2014 and Francis is loving every moment.
Listen to Francis talk about his work at IALF: