Intercultural Project: Experience Reports
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Language School and CELTA course
During the first three weeks of my intercultural project I worked for an international summer school in Sussex (on their Easter programme) where I taught English to children from all over the world in order to earn money for the second half of my stay. The remainder of the time I attended a CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) course in London. I only worked with British colleagues at the summer school, and on the CELTA course I was the only non-native speaker. The course was hard work but very enjoyable. While attending it I lived with a British family in North London. I had spent time in the UK before but I had never consciously observed myself from a cultural point of view. I discovered a great deal not only about British culture but also about my own personality. For the first time I really thought about myself in a cultural context and tried to look closely at my cultural conditioning. I discovered that I was influenced in many ways by my new environment. I have also become a dedicated football fan. All in all I would say that it was a fantastic experience.
I spent 10 weeks in Dublin in Ireland. The first week I lived in a hostel, which I only can recommend because you easily come in contact with people in similar situations. After a week looking for a place to stay, I found a flat where I shared a room with an Irish girl. Altogether there were three of us (girls) in the flat. (It wasn’t a big deal looking for a room; lots of students live in shared-rooms and are always looking for someone.)
I worked in a Montessori kindergarten. The children were between 2 and 6 years old and I worked with the eldest group of them (4 to 6 years old). The children are educated in English and French and the “teachers” follow the Montessori philosophy (but in a different way from in Germany!). I really liked the job; it was very interesting and good fun!
All in all the time was really wonderful. I was impressed of the Irish way of living, the kindness and happiness of Irish people and I definitely will go back and visit all the people I met or even stay there for another couple of weeks!
Isle of Skye
Have you ever dreamt of going to the Isle of Skye? I did. Moreover, I did it during my Intercultural Project practical part. My aims, before the trip started, were to deepen my knowledge about Scottish culture and, of course, to improve my English skills. What I really got from the stay was: new friends, a good mood, loads of interesting facts and the two points mentioned above. During the stay I lived with a brilliant family. My primary work consisted of helping with the household. I spent my free time either reading or gathering experience outside. What I now long for is to have a second chance to do the same project.
My Intercultural Project took place in Horsforth - a gorgeous little village 4 miles away from Leeds city centre. I worked with an international archive for Second World War materials and memorabilia: the Second World War Experience Centre. The Centre is run by two enthusiastic people and supported by a bunch of lovely volunteers. Financially, they are dependent on donations from charities or individuals. Professors, students, interested people, etc visit the Centre for research work or to give a hand for some time.
Basically, I did office work like typing, producing databases, answering the phone, making coffee, etc. Moreover, I was able to help out with their journal, do archival work, accompany my employer to do interviews with people involved in WWII, and so on.
Many further reports of this kind are available on the Job Search Database on our Moodle site