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Jimalee Sowell

Go Overseas Writer

Jimalee Sowell has been teaching ESL for nearly fifteen years. She taught in South Korea for ten years, but left Korea in 2011 to pursue her dream of volunteer teaching. She volunteered in Cambodia, Uganda, and Ecuador. Following her time in Ecuador, Jimalee relocated to Dhaka, Bangladesh where she has been working as an English Language Fellow since 2012. After finishing her time in Bangladesh, where Jimalee will go is unknown, but it’s likely that she will continue to teach ESL.

Eckerd College
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Yes, I recommend this program

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience with World Teach in Ecuador. There were parts that were easy and fun; there were parts that were difficult and frustrating. If you decide to do WorldTeach Ecuador, go into it knowing that you have no idea what your experience will be like, but it will certainly be an experience. The volunteers who had too many expectations of their job, their homestay, their city, of learning Spanish well, and so on, were the ones that were disappointed. Adaptability is important in Ecuador as in many countries of the world.

It has been mentioned in other reviews that Ecuador can be dangerous. This is certainly true, but you can and should adopt certain kinds of precautions and strategies that will keep you safe. It's better to find ways to skirt the dangers than just stay at home saying something like, "Oh, I thought of going to Ecuador as a volunteer once, but didn't."

Other reviews have mentioned that their jobs changed while they were there. Though that is not common, it could happen. Unfortunately, some things are beyond the control of WT staff. My job was dissolved about six months through my term for various reasons, but I was able to get another job through WT, and as a result was able to live in two very different regions of Ecuador, which was a blessing.

The Ecuador WT staff were great. They promptly responded to problems and concerns of volunteers. They provided a good orientation with information about Ecuador and teacher-training sessions. Best of all, I always found them caring and concerned.

Going to a country like Ecuador as a WT volunteer should not be about your expectations of what you think it will be like. But if you are open to experiencing Ecuador as it really is, you should have a great time with WorldTeach Ecuador.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing, it would be the homestay requirement. I think that homestay should be optional.

My Interviews

WorldTeach: Ecuador Volunteer Teaching (Year)