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Laura R's Testimonial

Profession: Associate at Elian responsible for drafting policies and procedures for all jurisdictions,

When did you Volunteer? I undertook a 2 month placement in September 2012

Why did you volunteer?  I was told about the charity when working at St Brelade's College and heard great things about the teaching scheme. I also knew Becky personally and wanted to get involved in charity work after spending time travelling and experiencing different cultures. The education centre sounded like the perfect match for me after completing my CELTA qualification and wishing to embark in charity work and seeing the benefit provided to the local community in Bukit Lawang solidified my reasons for getting involved.

Overall experience in 3 words: Rewarding, challenging and heart-warming

Best part of teaching? Seeing how enthusiastic and encouraged the students were to learn English. The students were so eager that the whole teaching experience was immensely rewarding.

What did you learn from your experience? I learnt a great deal about the Indonesian culture and kindness of people, even when you cannot converse in the same language. It made me realise that you can build connections without actually having to speak the same language.

Best bits: Seeing the smiles on the students’ faces when playing interactive English games. Having in-depth conversations with the adult class teaching them about issues that are not discussed at home or at school. Feeling a part of the community.

Favourite activity/trip visited? I visited Pulau Weh which is a small island off the north coast of Sumatra. It’s a beautiful island and flights from Medan are very cheap!

Must bring item? Ear plugs and a Kindle

Other: This is a fantastic, cultural experience in a fascinating area of the world. The teaching is challenging but rewarding and you will fall in love with every single one of the students as they are so friendly, eager and excited to learn. It is important, however, that you have experienced travelling in rural places and can cope with basic living conditions and considerable spare time on your hands. It is not for everyone, but if you do choose to undertake the teaching placement programme, it will stick in your heart forever.