Teaching English in the Colombian Capital

Impact: 9
Support: 9
Fun: 8
Value: 9
Safety: 9

I had a fulfilling eight weeks on the Teaching English project in Bogota, Colombia. The stint was, in truth, more challenging than I had expected it to be. The vast majority of our students, all of whom endured difficult pasts and were placed in a rehabilitative home, spoke hardly any English and I had to conduct classes in my limited Spanish. There was also relatively little institutional knowledge we could work with and the unpredictability of our class configurations proved to be an obstacle. Our local team was, however, very supportive from the get-go and played an important role in ironing out certain issues. After navigating a steep learning curve, I found myself feeling a sense of fulfillment in teaching our students. It was hard work ideating and preparing our lessons but detecting a sense of achievement in the eyes of a few of our students, who found satisfaction in being able to construct English sentences, made all our effort worthwhile. In addition, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to teach and get to know our students and I was blessed by their warmth and respectfulness towards us volunteers. I was also blessed by the local team and fellow volunteers, and I'm glad to say that I've made friendships I will keep for life. The premature and abrupt end to my programme, however, brought about by the COVID-19 situation, left me feeling that I had unfinished business in Bogota. I'm nevertheless thankful for my time there and would happily return to serve on the project again in the future.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed