Miossi shares world-teaching experiences at library

Michelle Miossi, a 2007 graduate of MHS, spoke at the Monticello library on Dec. 20 about her experiences teaching in New Zealand, Vietnam and Brazil. This was the final part of a series called "Arm Chair Traveler." (Photo by Kim Brooks)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Monticello Public Library hosted world traveler Michelle Miossi on Dec. 20, the third speaker in a three-part winter series called “Arm Chair Traveler.”

     Then idea is to bring in locals who have traveled to other parts of the world and share their experiences with those who feel homebound during the cold, winter months.

     Miossi has certainly been to various corners of the world since graduating from Monticello High School in 2007.

     All of her experiences stem from her international teaching positions.

     Miossi went to Iowa State University with a passion to teach. She was able to student teach in New Zealand during her senior year at ISU.

     “This was how all of my adventures began,” she said.

     Her trip to New Zealand was Miossi’s first time out of the country.

     She worked with students in fourth and fifth grades, a mixed classroom. Miossi said the homeroom teacher at the school was responsible for teaching the kids all of their subjects.

     After college, she attended an international career fair at the University of Northern Iowa.

     “I wanted to see more of the world,” said Miossi.

     She applied for teaching positions in two different countries and ended up in Vietnam. She taught at an American International School where they used common core standards.

     “These were Vietnam children whose parents wanted them to have an American education,” explained Miossi.

     She was in Vietnam until 2011. While there, on her time off or away from teaching, Miossi got to explore many cities in Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh, Mui Ne, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Hanoi, Dalat, Sa Pa, Ha Long Bay, and Vung Tao.

     Miossi said everywhere you sent in Vietnam, people drove or rode on motorbikes because they were cheaper to operate than taxis.

     She said in Ho Chi Minh, the city is divided into districts, with some more Westernized than others.

     “You’d walk a few blocks and see people in poverty,” she said of the contrast.

     Many of the cities she visited have beautiful beaches and mountain scenes.

     The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, Miossi explained is extremely Communist still today.

     While Vietnam was her first teaching job, Miossi wanted to continue that streak and moved to Brazil in 2012. She remains there until her contract runs out in another year or so.

     Rio de Janeiro, or Rio, has garnered international fame since the 2016 Summer Olympics. Miossi said she was able to attend some of the events in Rio during the Olympics: soccer, beach volleyball, trampoline, ping pong, and track and field.

     “Rio is my favorite place,” she said. “I go way too often because it’s such a cheap flight.” Miossi lives in Belo Horizonte, a city of five million people about 200 miles north of Rio.

     Miossi and her friends were able to purchase cheap tickets to a women’s beach volleyball match, Team USA vs. Australia, in which USA won.

     The school she teaches at in Brazil uses an international-based curriculum.

     “It’s the biggest international school in the city,” she said.

     Since she’s been in Brazil, Miossi has traveled to Salvador, Ouro Preto, Serra do Cipo, and Iguazu Falls.

     Throughout all of her travels and extended stays, her family has been able to visit as well, bringing pieces of home (Monticello, Iowa) with them.

     “It’s all been really great experiences,” said Miossi.

     When asked about where she plans to go next, “That’s a good question.”


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