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internship at a local school in costa rica, a review from Veronica

The project I applied for involved supporting a teacher in a school in Costa Rica.
I had to teach a group of 5-year-olds, attending the last year of kindergarten. Lessons in Costa Rica take place at different times than those in Italy: due to the lack of classrooms and teachers, children are divided by shifts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
At the beginning, the school decided that I would only worked during the morning (from 7 to 10:30), so I could also dedicate part of my time to explore the beauty of the Costa Rica. Nevertheless, few days after I start the project, I asked if I could stay at school also in the afternoon to be able to meet the 2nd group of children, the ones of the afternoon shift, and I’m so glad I did it.
All the children I met are so nice and friendly, and they are really intrigued by the arrival of new people, especially if they come from other countries, but at first time they are obviously a little bit shy with them. Even if during the first week they were not able to consider me as their teacher, at the end of the project they didn’t want me to leave.
Both the school staff and the children have been very kind to me and I create a really strong relationship with the teacher I have been working with.
During the lessons I had to help the children with their works, guide them or clarify their doubts. I didn’t have to lead the class, because it’s something that the teacher does, I only had to support her. Together we learned how to count, how to write numbers and letters, how to color without leaving the edges, how to respect each other, Living together, being friends and loving each other.
I’ve never worked with children, so I think it’s a project to which everyone can apply for, you only need to be patient, be able to listen to the children, to play with them and be aware that you you can meet children with special condition too. The only advice I can give is not to think about how a lesson is structured in your country, but to adapt to the method presented to you by the person you are supporting.
It also happens to me to not being able to make me listen to some children when I was trying to help them or explain them something, but it’s part of the job. I only tried to faced with them the problem, to talk with them and to create a stronger connection, and this is how I solved the problem.
Regarding the Volunteer organisation, I got to know them through the website “volunteer world” where the project was fully explained. Then I got in touch with Angela, the founder of the organisation, which clarified all my doubts and support me with the booking. Once I booked the experience, Denise, the project coordinator in Costa Rica, texted me to give me all the information I needed regarding my work at school (working hours, phone contacts..) and the accommodation, and she helped me from the start. She also send me the phone number of the taxi driver, Alvis, which came to pick me up at the airport: he was so nice and kind, he told me many curiosities about his country and he made sure I got the right bus and figured out which stop to get off at. Once I got to the volunteer accommodation, I met Adriana, one of the two host mums, which welcomed me and kindly explained me the house rules and gave me the key. Adriana and Jennifer, the other host mum, are both so kind and helpful. They are not living in the house, but they only come to cook breakfast and dinner for volunteers. I think that this is a great opportunity to save money (because Costa Rica is a very expensive country) an also to discover the food culture of Costa Rica.
My experience in Costa Rica was really fulfilling, wonderful and enriching at different levels…an experience I’ll never forget.

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