Alumni Spotlight: Sama Al-Obaidy


Sama is 25 year-old from Montreal, Canada and visited Babel in August, 2012. She did her Bachelors in Accounting in Concordia University, Montreal, and worked as an accountant in an educational travel company for close to 5 years. Today, she is completing her masters in Boston University in Computer Information Systems. She loves trying new things, hence her love for traveling. She loves good company (and of course good food always helps).

Why did you decide to teach abroad with Babel Language School?

They were the only association that accommodated a short stay (less than a month) and had good reviews. They answered all our questions promptly and sent over full documentation as well as photos of the homestay family.

Describe your typical day.

We would get up and have breakfast with our homestay family. Depending on our schedule, we would normally head over to the school together; either via subway or by walking if we have some extra time. We would get there early to prepare class material for the day and wait for the students to greet them before our morning classes begin. In the afternoon, we would have lunch at school and take a break. The kids would then return for the afternoon classes!

Our evenings were our free time to discover Antalya. We would go out an discover the (beautiful) city. The school was located in the center of the city so you had access to pretty much everything you want: the beach, the market, the mosques, the restaurants, etc. We even enjoyed diner at some point with a student from abroad that came to learn Turkish at Babel while doing her residency in Antalya.

What made this experience unique and special?

They provided a 4-hour Turkish course which helped interact with the children, and even helped with the rest of our stay in Turkey (and hopefully when we return!) They were very welcoming and it was almost a culture, history and geography lesson all at once. What more can you ask for?

How has this experience impacted your future?

This was actually my first real teaching experience – and if anything, this taught me the importance of listening in communication. I didn’t speak Turkish, and many of the children didn’t speak English. But we made it work, and managed to understand each other!

What was a highlight of your trip?

We asked to visit an orphanage or elderly home so we can do a bit of volunteering during our stay. They made it happen despite it being difficult as there is some security screening necessary. We visited the orphanage and to be able to play with the children, teach them some songs, listen to their own performances; that was a beautiful experience. It was difficult to experience, yet to see how well they are treated, and how amazing their teachers and environment are, was refreshing!