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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 

Volunteers' Stories

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MARK SIMMS
British

Teach English to Unprivileged Children in  Buenos Aires, Argentina

         

I had no problems making it to the hostel and I was welcomed by Adriana and then Gary. I'm really enjoying myself so far (and I'm sure I'll continue to do so). Lack of a good night's sleep has been the only problem as the nightlife is pretty late here, and I often have early starts in the morning. I took last night off so I'm feeling fresh today.

The hostel is great. I get on well with the other Travellers people, and the staff who run the hostel are so friendly and helpful. I've been out most nights since I've been here, with Travellers people and some Argentineans we have met.

I'm teaching at 2 schools as an assistant in English lessons for 9-11 yr olds. The kids are really sweet, and the teachers very welcoming. I'm also doing a couple of one-on-one sessions - one at a boy's home, the other at a hospital. The boy's home is quite disorganised (as you'd expect) and I just teach whoever turns up. They normally know virtually no English but my basic Spanish is enough to get us through the lessons without any problems. It would be better to be able to see the same boy(s) regularly but the realities of a boy's home make that very unlikely.

At the hospital I'm teaching a 50-yr-old doctor, who speaks very good although not totally natural English.

I feel I am gaining an insight into Buenos Aires life by experiencing life inside some BA schools, and meeting many local Argentineans. I feel that I wouldn't get this opportunity if I was here purely as a tourist.

I have enjoyed working with the kids (9-10 year olds) and being able to help them with their studies. They are generally enthusiastic and keen to chat to me about life in England. So overall it's been a really good start.

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