Name : Joey Smith
Where are you from? Grew up in the lovely foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in St. Albans, West Virginia, USA before moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to attend college.
What did you study? Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Queens University of Charlotte in 2006, where I majored in Business Marketing and minored in Ancient History. Completed a TEFL Certificate in October of 2009.
What is your teaching experience? Spent time working in ESL and the NGO world before coming to AEG in August of 2011. Moved to Beijing in 2013 to work in Secondary School Admissions Counselling before moving back to Vietnam and returning to AEG in 2014
Why are you in Vietnam? My wife (McNeill) and I moved to Vietnam in late 2009 with the intention of taking time off from life in the US and getting a new perspective on what we might want from our lives and careers. After one opportunity led to another, we decided Southeast Asia (Vietnam for now) is the place where we’d like to make our home for an extended period of time. It’s given us the chance to see the world and experience cultures different from our own that we’re continuously amazed by the growth and energy on display throughout the region. Being able to experience an ever-changing world at such a close range makes it difficult to consider heading back to the US any time soon.
What do you enjoy about teaching? I think the most enjoyable part of the job is being a part of something bigger – the ability to actively participate in working with students to achieve their goals and realize their full potential.
What are your interests that make you stand out? To borrow a phrase from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance, “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what people think.” I think what interests me the most is challenging myself and not fitting into the mold of one stereotypical set of interests. My deepest passion would be a love and appreciation for independent culture, especially music, and I used this fervour to help co-found a music website (www.soundchips.co).
When I’m not contributing to the site outside of work, I like to travel, eat, and explore as much as I can. As a vegetarian, I’m especially interested in how vegetarian cuisine incorporates itself into regional foods, so I’m always looking for the best local vegetarian delicacies, even if it just means exploring a new area of Saigon to see what might exist.
Besides music, travel, and food, I have an undying love for all things WVU Mountaineers athletics through the good times and bad and an unwavering admiration for low-quality, B-grade horror movies and the occasional professional wrestling event.
So there you have it. I guess the best way to categorize me would be a B-grade movie-loving vegetarian musicphile who loves college sports and traipses through Southeast Asia.