Katie is originally from Maryland, USA and was with us for the 4 week TEFL Certification Course in Buenos Aires! Hear what she has to say about her rewarding and unforgettable experience with Road2Argentina!
Where did you stay while taking the TEFL Certification course?: While taking the certification course I lived in Palermo in shared apartment with other ‘roadies’. It was a great way to meet other international and local folks that were here for a variety of reasons like internships or volunteering.
A typical day in the life of a TEFL Certification student: perhaps starts by grabbing a cappuccino and a bite of breakfast at any one of the nearby cafes of choice and meeting for class at the Road office by Argentina work time – 10:00 am. A great time to start work if you ask me. The course sessions include studying everything from the ins and outs of English grammar and phonology to Argentine culture, Business English and practical activities that you can then incorporate into your actual lessons. You will teach lessons to real ELL students here in Buenos Aires each week. It is a great way to try out what you are learning and get a feel for what teaching an individual or group will be like in the future.
You also get feedback on your teaching to help you grow each week and hone in on your skills. After class you can go ahead and meet up with friends for the traditional merienda (cafe y medialunas in a great cafe or resto) or you still have time to check out an interesting city site or area of the city you’ve been meaning to venture to. Also, Argentines are active and there are a lot of outdoor sports or workout classes to attend before you meet up with friends for a late dinner, a show, or even to head out on the town – and just see where the long Buenos Aires nights take you.
All that being said, you can see how taking the TEFL course in a vibrant city full of non-English speakers not only adds a lot of fun and excitement to each day, but also gives you a much better idea of what it is like to be a student of language. You yourself experience the many forms and functions that communication takes on in daily life. Not only that but you get to take the course with other students and an instructor who provides support, abundant knowledge, and valuable feedback.
What was on of the biggest challenges you faced during the TEFL Certification course?: One of the biggest challenges I faced in teaching English is trying not to over explain things, no matter what the level, sometimes adding more language is too much and you want to try and show meaning using other tools.
What was the most valuable thing you learned while being in Buenos Aires?: It is hard to say what the most valuable thing I have learned in Buenos Aires is. It could be to overcome fear of communicating incorrectly in a foreign language and just try to do things even when you know it might go wrong or you will be uncomfortable, it’s good for you! And it usually turns out fine if not great!
What was your biggest accomplishment during your time here in Buenos Aires?: My biggest accomplishment was to receive the TEFL Certification. But in addition to that, I have learned a lot more Spanish that helps me communicate with new friends here. I am very excited to continue to build my Spanish speaking skills.
What is a fun fact about Buenos Aires?: A fun fact about Buenos Aires is that it is so nice to walk here, long or short distances you are able to see so much of the city. Also, you get a feel for the people who live here and all of the things they are interested in or do on a daily basis. There is also this great sense that everyday is worth something. While living here I have very happily started to loose that ‘work week blahs and weekend hurrahs’ mentality. Here, it doesn’t really matter what day it is in order to treat it like a special occasion!
What is your favorite memory during your time here?: It’s very hard to choose a favorite memory- that’s a good thing! I loved seeing the performance art and music show Fuerza Bruta, it was fantastic. I have also really enjoyed going to the large parks and going out to eat at great restaurants with meals filled with new international friends and bilingual conversations.
Any advice to future Roadies?: My advice would be to relax and be patient, things seem to take on a different pace here. I would also recommend that when doing the TEFL Certification course you should definitely add on some time at the beginning or the end of your stay in order to travel more around Argentina. I am now wishing I had more time!
Why choose Road2Argentina?: Choosing Road2Argentina has been great for a number of reasons. There is a wide variety of things they can coordinate for you to be involved in from TEFL and Spanish courses to completing a valuable internship or volunteer experience. I have met people doing all types of programs through Road2Argentina making it easy to meet up and take advantage of the activities in the city or Road have to offer! The staff knows their way around the city and have great ideas about what you are looking for during your trip. They check in with you regularly and can answer any question you may have! It has been invaluable to have Road2Argentina as my go-to resource and support system while living abroad!
Like what you heard? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to become a Roadie!