News & Highlights

 

I Am Not a Tourist

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach American Samoa volunteer Anna Bauder, 2016-2017 I am not a tourist. Such a simple truth, but until recently, I found it hard to believe. In full disclosure, I can be quick to judge, and this was manifested when I would look at several of the previous volunteers’ pictures and statements. You see a smiling face, holding a coconut, wearing traditional garb, and some cute caption with intermittent Samoan words – seemed pretty touristy to me. I knew they were teaching. I knew they had struggles, but it had the Instagram effect of being perfectly chosen snapshots. When I applied, I didn’t think I was going to be a tourist. When I accepted I knew there were going to…

Xi Guan: The Cultural Adjustment

Posted by Nolan Sutker in China, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach China volunteer, Wing-Yee Lau, 2015-2016 “Ni xi guan le ma?” Are you adjusted to life here yet? People would often ask me this question when I told them that I’m American. After living in Changsha for several months, I still struggled to produce a concrete answer. Moving to China to teach English was a lot more difficult than I expected. I chose China because I had a Chinese background—my family was from Hong Kong and I had taken two years of Mandarin in college. Little did I know that it wasn’t enough. I didn’t realize that my perspective of Chinese people was limited to the overseas Chinese population. I knew that many Chinese immigrated to other countries during…

The Friendliest People in the Pacific

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Marshall Islands, News & Highlights

This week’s blog post is a throwback to 2009 when Marci McPhee was a volunteer in the Marshall Islands. Marci volunteered while on a leave of absence from Brandeis University. “When you live on a small island that is sometimes no wider than the road you are walking on, and at high tide only inches above sea level, your only two choices are to change the way you think and live, or go home.” – Jack Niedenthal, For the Good of Mankind: A History of the People of Bikini and their Islands, xi. (Bikini is one of the Marshall Islands) It took me awhile to realize that the children were calling to me when they chanted “ribelle, ribelle!” (“white person” in…

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Colombia, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach Colombia volunteer, Andrea Taylor, 2014-2015 Thanks to my time in Barranquilla, Colombia with WorldTeach in 2014, I learned life lessons that I never could have otherwise. Here is one of those lessons that I will never forget. Meet Pedro aka the definition of happiness and quite the tour guide. He is 10 years old and lives in a small impoverished town called Palomino. On a weekend trip to Palomino (a small town near Santa Marta), my friend and fellow volunteer Becky and I decided to rent bicycles for the day. Our first destination was a nearby river. As we made our way up the mostly unpaved roads, we encountered several people walking. A little boy asked me where…

You interned where? An NGO?

Posted by Nolan Sutker in News & Highlights

The inside scoop on what it’s like to work at a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) – by Anna Abrams, Content Marketing Intern at the WorldTeach US office, Summer 2016 Like most undergraduate students, I started my summer internship search during my winter break away from school. I stumbled upon WorldTeach after reading about their summer volunteer abroad programs. After contemplating prices and whether I wanted to go away the summer before study abroad in the fall, I decided instead to reach out to WorldTeach in the hopes of maybe working at their main office in Boston. I met with Nolan Sutker, the Director of Communications in Middlebury, Vermont a few weeks later to chat over coffee and learn about WorldTeach….

Papa Park’s tough love on volunteer teaching

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Colombia, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

This post is an excerpt from Nancy Park’s blog, a WorldTeach Colombia 2015-2016 volunteer. See below for the link to more of her blog posts. Back in August, about a month into teaching, I was skyping with my dad, venting about the difficult time I had been having. He was good enough to indulge me and listen first. He had also grown up in a poor neighborhood as a child, in rural South Korea. He was the only person in his family to finish high school, and first in his town to ever go to college. He was the exception I dream about for my students. He found relatable the most unrelatable classroom experiences I was having, and empathized generously,…

Presence

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Marshall Islands, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

This post is an excerpt from Claire Svoboda’s blog, a WorldTeach Marshall Islands 2015-2016 volunteer. See below for the link to more of her blog posts. I have realized lately that I need time to myself for reflection, meditation, and re-finding my purpose of why I am where I am. It’s easy to get lost in all of this madness of being in a different place with varying scales of positivity, focus, and meaning. Some days I feel so heavy with negativity and try to remember why I am here on this island in the middle of the Pacific. I read the other day that: “There would seem to be nothing more obvious, more tangible and palpable than the present…

Rikaki in Majol: Teaching in the RMI

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Marshall Islands, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

By Taylor Lascko, WorldTeach Marshall Islands 2015-2016 This past year, I had the privilege to live in the Marshall Islands. When someone thinks of living on a tropical island, they probably think of living in paradise. Some place with soft, sandy beaches, a beautiful blue ocean, coconut trees, and no worries. Is this what I expected when I signed up to live and teach in the RMI? Well, not quite. I knew that I would be living in a beautiful place filled with kind souls and a rich culture, but I also knew that there would be hardships and struggles, but that is all part of the experience. My fiancé, Lance, and I were assigned to work at Kwajalein Atoll…

Flowing like water in Ecuador

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Ecuador, News & Highlights

By Heather Poole, WorldTeach Ecuador 2015-2016 It has been three weeks since I left Ecuador and I’m still unsure how to summarize my experience. There are just too many memories and adventures to sift through. I have been reflecting a lot about how I’ve changed since beginning this journey a year ago: what I’ve learned, how my perspective has changed, what I’ll remember most about this year. Most of all, I now realize how fortunate I am to have left Ecuador with such meaningful friendships and experiences. Pre-Ecuador: Before I started teaching in Ecuador, I worked for three years in Washington, D.C. While I enjoyed and learned a lot during this time, I felt confined by the limits of an…

Havin’ Samoa Adventures

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

By Gabriel Lamanuzzi, WorldTeach American Samoa 2015-2016 I am writing this in the fale (traditional Samoan home with no walls or levitating roofs, only supporting pillars) in front of my house. An ocean breeze plays footsies with a rainbow of towels, sheets, and clothes, rippling them on the drying lines beside me. The edge of the ocean is a mediocre football punt away from my bedroom window – thunderous, unrelenting. Like a liquefied Zeus. The water, nearly pristine in its shining turquoise glory, is visible through coconut trees arranged in straight lines that would make elementary school teachers drool. They were planted as windbreakers for hurricanes (the trees, not the teachers). The warm sand invites wiggling toes as the clusters of smaller rocks, dragged against one another,…