Instead of working in a dark office fetching coffee and making copies or following around a politician prepping for election season, this summer I decided to take on an internship that is much more exciting, interactive, and practical. I knew I definitely wanted to get a TEFL certification, but to earn credit for my university I needed to have a plan for the entire summer, which meant I couldn't wait around to get a job after TEFL. Lucky for me I found CREAR through the TEFL website and planned to volunteer here for two months after getting certified. Going from TEFL to a CREAR volunteer is surprisingly uncommon, which is why I want to tell you, my fellow college students, about this great idea!
I arrived to Samara a week after being let out for summer break and completed the four-week Costa Rica TEFL course. Yes, what they say is true. The course is a lot of work and sometimes you might ask yourself why you are doing more schoolwork when you are meant to be taking a break from studying! But trust me, it's definitely worth it. For one, you're still in the mind set of being a student, which means you can take in all of the practical methods you learn throughout the course (and appreciate your past teachers' work). Second, in four weeks you earn a certification that will set you up for a future career before you even earn a college degree (which for me is coming up in May anyways). And third, you will feel like you actually accomplished something big during your summer.
After TEFL I went straight to volunteer at CREAR as an English instructor for the new 4-6th grade class and after-school program instructor. I co-teach with another girl, Megan, who got her TEFL last fall, every day and have been developing the curriculum for this new class (that maybe someday one of you reading this will take over!). My responsibilities as an after-school program instructor include planning an art craft to go with a book for Library Hour every week and organizing activities for the art class we provide at a neighboring town El Torito every day. As a volunteer in July I also planned activities for our two-week camp while the kids are on their mid-year break from school. To say the least, I get to work with the kids all the time, which is great for someone interested in being a teacher or similar career.
The TEFL course carries through with its life-long guarantee of job search assistance, but even now a month after my class graduated, the five other classmates are still not working yet. That being said, volunteering with CREAR is a great way to easily give back to the Samara community while you job hunt! I hope those of you who have gotten to the bottom of this blog will consider following my path by getting TEFL certified and then volunteering with CREAR. Cheers!
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