Meet our graduate, Michelle:
Meet Michelle, a Costa Rica TEFL certified graduate who is now working abroad and teaching English in Colombia! Originally from Canada, Michelle came to Costa Rica with the hopes to formally teach English after acting as a tour guide to new ESL learners in Canada! Michelle additionally owns her own company teaching health and wellness to community members and company employee’s. With a passion for travel and wish to help people live their happiest and healthiest lives, Michelle became an English teacher!
Teaching in Acacías, Colombia for a local nonprofit
Costa Rica TEFL graduate, Michelle Bancroft, has relocated from Costa Rica to teach English within the country of Colombia! Thirty minutes away, outside of the capitol of Meta, Colombia, lies the New Western Social Project, a nonprofit providing English classes to a small community between the Andes Mountains and the plains. Michelle discovered the nonprofit during her trek through Colombia and has been acting as a volunteer English teacher.
‘Teaching with the New Western Social Project was incredible opportunity. I cannot stress how amazing this place is for the community and how much the foreigners (we are the only ‘gringos‘ in town!) are treated with respect, and have so many opportunities to interact with all the locals and learn from them and explore with them and their families! I have personally felt so welcomed here.’
What was your teacher to student experience like?
‘The people here are also a lot more dedicated to attending and learning, as this is to better their futures and they are not just forced to attend by their workplace. Furthermore, there is a lot around cultural exchange as the students really want to learn about our home countries and our traditions / customs. This interest is because many will never have the financial opportunity to leave the country. It’s also been interesting meeting a lot of people here from Venezuela and learning about their incredible struggles to leave their country and make their way here – often WALKING for 10 days or more just to get here!!! I feel so humbled and privileged.’
How did you prepare yourself to teach English?
‘I feel like Costa Rica TEFL was the perfect preparation for this experience. Their focus on experiential learning was the perfect way to engage my students, young and old, in their english classes. I was able to help create new and more engaging lesson plans because of my experience in my TEFL course. The international community I am now part of is a great love of mine. I love this connection and all the incredible people I have met from all over the world (and made best friends with!) through this program. Six Costa Rica TEFL graduates have just arrived here and are ready to begin teaching English! I cannot wait for them to experience English teaching outside of Costa Rica TEFL, especially since it will be with such an amazing organization! Good luck to all of you future TEFL’ers!’