Digital Nomads Among Us. Based on the Interview with Semi-Nomad Jean Kollantai

Many speakers from 14 different countries have taken part in III International Transdisciplinary Online Conference “Connect-Universum-2016: Digital Nomadism as a Global and Siberian Trend”. One of the key speakers is Jean Kollantai, who teaches Academic English to native speakers of the Russian language in Tomsk State University.

Jean Kollantai decided to choose international practice when she was receiving her Master’s education in Alaska, and got interested in Tomsk State University. When she visited Tomsk she liked it in spite of the fact that it was cold in September. At first Jean had practice here but later she organized a seminar on Academic Writing. After that she signed a contract with Tomsk State University, and now she lives and works in Tomsk. She helps prepare articles for international journals and teaches Academic English to native speakers of Russian.

Jean Kollantai is a very creative and open person. She likes travelling and has already visited such countries as Italy, China, India, Canada, and some countries in  Africa. Moreover, she wants to visit Central Asia and some places in South America.

Speaking about digital nomads, Jean mentions that she has met them rarely. Generally, she knows some people who work remotely for different companies. They organize projects or provide consultations in various fields. Often those people do not seat in offices during their working day but they do not also travel so much.

In Jean’s opinion, to become a digital nomad is not difficult for people, whose professions are connected with translating, editing, foreign languages, computer jobs or organizing touristic trips. Of course, the phenomenon of digital nomadism is topical now; that is why it is really interesting for both researchers and practitioners. If someone wants to become a digital nomad they should be ready for problems with visas for other countries, registration in the place of stay, and Internet banking. As for Russia, digital nomads can have some difficulties with registration.

Jean Kollantai names herself a “semi-digital nomad” because she seems to live in two countries at the same time. She is always connected with Alaska in order to know if everything is alright with her home. However, when Jean leaves Tomsk she continues her job with translations and articles for the University. When Jean stays in Tomsk she manages her not-profit organization that was created 30 years ago. In that time Jean Kollantai had to run it with a pen, paper, and a telephone. But this organization has got an international status now, and Jean can control it via the Internet.

Where does Jean Kollantai always find her inspiration? She takes it from yoga classes, and from her special idea that “the world can be a little bit better if everyone gets on with each other”. The best thing for Jean is the opportunity to be useful for the society, be able to give something, inspire, and help someone. It allows Jean to meet every new day with a smile.