Teaching English Abroad in Buenos Aires: Natasha's Experience

Written by Eleanor Confrey
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Natasha in the Teaching English Project Natasha in the Teaching English Project Voluntario Global

I’m Natasha, I’m 27 years old and from Australia. I’ve just finished my undergraduate degree in Psychology.

What initially interested you in volunteering with Voluntario Global?

I’ve always wanted to volunteer, and through another company, I found an English teaching project at Voluntario Global, as that’s what I’ve always wanted to do. So after that, I did a little bit of research, found out what they were about, and was really happy with the project!

Can you explain what your duties were as a volunteer and what project you helped out on?

So I’m a volunteer for an English school, just outside of Buenos Aires. My duties are pretty much to help facilitate learning. I’m not a teacher, I’m just here to help with teaching. Anytime they need something clarified, or understand what something means, I’m there. However, there have been many times where I’ve taken over the class.

Anytime they need something explained in Spanish, the teacher will take over which is great, because it means that I’m not just standing there, I’m actually involved. Which is the best part about it. I actually love it, I thought it was just going to be me helping out when I could, but that part is just amazing.

What will you take away from your experience?

I’ve learned that it’s very difficult to learn English! Also, doing something like this, you need a lot of patience and a lot of understanding that they’re not going to get it straight away. Working with the kids is also really good, so I work with children and with adolescents as well, and to interact with both of them requires completely different skill sets. That’s probably one thing that I’m going to take away: dealing with different types of ages, you need to be very versatile in your skillset.

What kind of activities were you doing in your spare time?

I try to do a lot of sightseeing. I walk alot and try and see the city. Also, eating a lot, I’ve been trying to eat in a lot of different places, trying different cuisines. I had my first choripan today and that was delicious, it was so good!

Do you think this has helped at all with your studies in Psychology?

I don’t know exactly how, specifically, but I feel like if I hadn't studied psychology, it would be a lot more difficult to work with younger students and also adolescents. I wouldn't be able to transfer those skills easily, and I’ve realised that you need to know that those two age groups work very differently.

The other thing is, after this, I’ve decided to go back to Australia and work with teenagers in schools. I had thought about doing it anyway, and then as soon as I volunteered here, I knew that I wanted to do that. This has kind of lead onto that. Which will also tie in with psychology. I also would like to work with younger children as well and this experience has helped a lot.

What do you love about Argentina?

Oh its diversity, and the different areas. Because it’s such a big city,  it’s not like where I’m from, within the city there are lots of nooks and different places that are within 10 minutes walking. It’s different, and I love that.  And also, there are so many different cultures here - there is such a diverse group of people in this city.

Thanks for volunteering at Voluntario Global Tash, what are your plans next?

I’m going to keep travelling and then next year I’ll be doing my masters. I also would love to do some more volunteering at some point!

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