Alexandra Illes

Hæ Hæ!

I am Alex, a 31 year old American from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Go Steelers!). In July, I moved to Reykjavík, Iceland with my husband, Tom, and our two cat children!

We never planned to move abroad and our life was pretty set in Pittsburgh. We own a house there, both of our families are in Pittsburgh, so we weren’t looking to move anywhere let alone another country! My husband is a secondary Maths teacher and in April of 2018 he received a job posting through a teachers group for a position of Maths teacher in Casablanca, Morocco. He jokingly sent me an email saying that he applied for the job. I replied (obviously after checking that the cats could come as well!) “Why shouldn’t we look at living abroad if you are able to teach Maths in English in another country?!”

So long story short, Tom applied all over the world and received many interviews and several offers, but the school in Reykjavík was the best fit for him and they offered me a job as a teaching assistant at the school too. My background is in public health and I was working in clinical research before the move. The move into a teaching assistant role has surprisingly been pretty seamless. I was worried that I would make mistakes, but I have great co-workers who have helped make the transition easy.

It was stressful since we didn’t plan for a large move, so we had a lot of unexpected costs (cost of importing the cats, not getting our U.S. house rented right away, security deposit, 14 bags of luggage, etc.), but it has all been worth it. Iceland is a gorgeous country, friendly people, and Reykjavík feels like being on a college campus. We don’t know how long we will be here, but we plan on using our time here wisely by not only exploring Iceland, but Europe since we can easily jump on a cheap (cheaper than from America) flight!

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