So in my Spanish Language Skills class at university yesterday afternoon (well, technically 2 days ago, as I write this at 00:10) we had a really nice lady called Shadia come to speak to us about an organisation called Volunteach Peru. This organisation recruits British students, and only British students, to work as English language teaching assistants at schools in and around Lima, the capital of Peru, South America. As well as teaching the students English, you can get involved with extra-curricular activities, trips and also get to live with and as a part of a Peruvian family.
Since the start of term, we have been discussing our year abroad. As a languages student, a year abroad is virtually mandatory, and helps immensely in not only improving your language, but also in increasing your confidence levels, your ability to communicate, make new friends and will offer lots of valuable life experience. There are three main options for a language student to take for their year abroad. The first is a foreign work placement, where you work for a company in a ‘real’ role and, more often than not, recieve a salary conducive to the amount of time that you work for. Second is an international study placement, on which you go to study at a foreign university where you take classes in the target language (i.e. the language you are studying). Third is a British Council Teaching Assistantship, on which you help teach English in a school overseas. It goes without saying that whichever programme you go on is in a country which speaks the language you are learning.
In my case, I have to choose two placements because I am learning two languages. Originally, I had decided to study in both France and Spain, in Montpellier and Seville. That was until Shadia from Volunteach Peru came into our class on Friday. I have decided to apply to get on the Paid Teaching Assistantship Programme, where, if I am accepted, I will spend 6-7 months teaching in a school, living with a Peruvian family and earning £300 a month!
It’s such an exciting experience and just having the opportunity to apply is absolutely amazing. I’m already beginning to plan stuff in my head – what I will do while I’m there, what I will take for my host family and my students to show them how I live, etc.
I will be applying, hopefully, within the next few days. I am unsure of when I will hear back about whether I have a place or not, but I will have to sit for an interview over Skype. Thankfully, this will be in English, but no doubt I will have to speak in Spanish at some point!
I will keep you all updated!