Over the course of 3 weeks we visited several schools and multiple classrooms in each school, all teaching English. The youngest students were grade 7 and the oldest were university graduate students. I had the opportunity to interact with about 1600 students, so, while deep interactions were not common, our team was able to have a huge impact in giving students an opportunity to interact with a native English speaker, and to receive a message of people to people friendship. While the classes were fun and the students were incredibly welcoming, the real enthusiasm and meaningful interactions often took place right after a class when they were freed from the formality of the classroom. This program was an extraordinary experience.
I would note that, while this program is expensive for the volunteer, participants often learned that we were not only unpaid for our work, but we covered all the costs of our participation in the program. This was meaningful to them and, I felt, contributed to their deepened appreciation of the program.