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Volunteers' Stories


Isabelle Bamber           


Teaching Children in Schools on a voluntary program in Malaysia


I would recommend this placement to anyone who likes adventure, children and who are not afraid to testing new things and learning about the cultures of this place. I feel I have learned a great deal of things out here, on the culture and the people but especially myself.

I enjoyed and still enjoy every single minute of this placement, thanks to my foster family, Albert, the children, the teachers and the nature of the place. The family I am staying with are absolutely fantastic and full of character. They have been so kind to me, very friendly and funny. They treated me like their own and made everything easy for me. I really enjoyed their presence.

Since I have been here I have gained much more patience with everything and everyone. I have also gained communication skills with non-speaking English people, which is difficult at first but then you find a way of communicating with them.

I have definitely gained experience of being with children, teaching them, playing with them and learning from them. Teaching is an art and you must try and be as creative as possible when teaching so the children enjoy learning.

I've done so many activities out here, climbing the highest mountain in south east Asia, Mount Kinabalu, climbing the hill outside Tamparuli village with my local friends, going to the hot springs with the family and the tip of Borneo, going traveling in my week off to KL, the Perenthian Islands and jungle trekking in Taman Negara (National park). I have met some incredible people on the way!

Can you describe a typical day?

I wake up in the week at 6.50, have my shower and eat my breakfast. Breakfast is always prepared by my foster family who wake up earlier and who are almost always gone to work by the time I am up!

I walk to school at 7.20, which is a 30 second walk from the house, and start lessons at 7.50. One period is half an hour but all the lessons are doubles so I teach one hour each class. I teach almost every period up till 12.20, lunch time. I have lunch at home, prepared by the nanny and then I have a nap between 1 and 2 pm because teaching really is tiring!

At 2pm I have my drama class in the youth hall and so I am on campus until 4. I teach the younger children between 2pm and 3pm (they are preparing a play called Snow White) and the older children between 3pm and 4pm (who are practicing Cinderella). The play will be held on Thursday 30th September for all parents and children.

At 4pm I come back home and read my book or watch TV till 6pm when the foster parents come home and then we either eat dinner at home or we have "Happy hour", which is when all the friends get together at someone’s house and bring food and we all eat together, or sometimes we go out to eat. I usually go to bed quite early, between 9.30-10.30pm.

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