Orientation Day 8: A Real SENA Class

After four days of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training, today was our big test: teaching a class to real SENA students. Two days ago we were put into pairs of co-teachers and had an afternoon free in which to plan our lessons. This was a real challenge because we had very little […]

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Orientation Days 4-7: TEFL

There’s not a lot to say about the last few days, in which we’ve been hard at work studying TEFL (teaching English as a Foreign Language). Our big group was divided up into two smaller groups, and in those groups we’ve been going over all the TEFL basics, including lesson planning, classroom management, games and activities, […]

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Bogotá’s Monserrate

The plan for today, our fourth day of orientation, was for all the volunteers to take a trip to the Cancillería (immigration office) to register for our cédulas (a Colombian identification document that would make us eligible to teach and use the Colombian national health insurance). We hopped on a bus in pouring rain at 6:30 am […]

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Orientation Day 3: All About SENA

Our third day of orientation was all about SENA, the institution where we will all be teaching. Two gentlemen who work there came to tell us more about it and what our role there will be. For those who don’t know, SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje, roughly translated to National Learning Service) is a network of […]

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Orientation Day 2 and A Soccer Game

This morning started with a sort of activities fair. the Volunteers Colombia staff set up various stations in a meeting room at the hotel, and all the new teachers cycled through them. At the various stations we had our blood drawn (Colombian national ID documents, which we all will get, must list the holder’s blood type), signed […]

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Orientation Day 1

I was lucky to have a roommate, because my phone (aka my alarm clock) died in the middle of the night. Having gone to bed so late, I would definitely have missed the beginning of training if my kindly roommate hadn’t woken me up. Breakfast for all the new teachers was a buffet held in […]

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A Rocky Start

I was scheduled to take a 9:00 am flight from Chicago to Bogota, Colombia. After a long night of packing and making final preparations, I got just two hours of anxiety-filled half-sleep before I had to get up at 5 to leave for the airport. My boyfriend drove while I cried approximately 3 liters of […]

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