Teaching Abroad: Comenius Assistantship

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Who and why should apply

Another project or in other words opportunity to get to another country and live, experience life and teach there can be obtained thanks to Lifelong Learning action and its sub-action Comenius Assistantship. This project is directed to all those students or graduates studying who were involved in pedagogy or teaching faculties.

Thanks to Comenius Assistantship one can go to another country and experience teaching in some school abroad. It is possible to teach in any kind of school, can be both elementary or secondary school. The period of the assistantship can vary between 13 and 45 weeks. The assistant gets the scholarship for each week of the stay, depending on the country.

Each assistant gets the coordinator in the school abroad, who is supposed to support the assistant during the project, introduce other employees of the school, help to find the accommodation, register in the police station and be helpful in case of any other problems.

What is your task while being assistant

The main role of the assistant in the school is to help the teachers while their lessons, spread the knowledge about the country of the origin and build the atmosphere of multiculturalism at school. Usually the presence of a foreigner at school interests the students a lot and motivates them to study. In my case, I was English Language Assistant, the interest of the students was developing quite quickly and my presence in the school motivated the students to improve their English and to look at the language from a different perspective- not only as a school subject but also as a tool to communicate with foreigners, mainly. The profit of my stay in the school was both sided. They were improving their English and I was improving my Slovak language. I was teaching them about Poland and I was getting more and more information about Slovakia. The process of mutual education was very involving.

In order to develop international atmosphere in the school I also invited some foreigners that I knew from Kosice to come and join us during the English lessons. This was even more enriching experience as the students had double portion of the internationalism in their classroom.

How it was for me

If I would like to sum up the experience of the Assistantship I would say that it was a very interesting one. It was more than the internship I would say. I had the feeling that I really got close into the Slovak society and I felt integrated into it. I was among young people who will form the main part of the society soon. I got to know their way of thinking, what motivates them and what is important for them. I was learning about their dreams, their families, pasts and plans for the future. I got to know their ambitions and passions. And I am really proud of it as it was great to know all that. It really opened my eyes for the Slovak society, school system and education in the country. But I got close not only with the students, but also with the teachers, naturally. I had lots of conversations about their ideas, fears and opinions. Some of them were known to me from the polish reality, but others were totally new, however with time I realized what they were talking about.

I feel that I am richer now, my knowledge has developed and my experience is wider. I started seeing things from other perspective and I am happy to be wiser. The project is really worth spreading. What a pity that can be done just once.

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