LC Banská Bystrica
Albert Yu, 19, Taiwan, Educate Slovakia
Flying for seventeen hours, I stepped out the comfort zone, entering the whole new world, Slovakia. Here, gathering with trainees from Taiwan, Indonesia, Turkey, Italy and Ukraine and we are ready to begin our unique journey. For these six weeks, I learned about how to be independent, how to be brave, how to overcome timidity and how to be different. When I was first in the school, facing the student I was nervous to death. However, the students were kind and curious about Eastern culture, things about Taiwan, food and so on. Through the teaching, I realized that I am not just a student without any skills, actually, I bring a lot of happiness and difference to them. I started to feel that I can be star who lights up the others path. I learned passion through the teachers and Aiesecers. The education is so different in Slovakia and Taiwan. I saw the passion of teaching on the teachers. They put every effort to students they taught, wanting them to learn, wishing them to pursue their dream. Every Aiesecer has their dream, dreaming to make the world a better place. They love their study and are ready to use it in the future, ready to make difference. About the journey in Europe, it’s full of excitement. I’ve been to Budapest, Wien, Praha. Traveling alone is really a challenge. I learned to be prepared at everything, including accidents. Living in a hostel, experiencing different culture is really amazing. Slovakia is really a nice place if I have another chance I’ll willing to come back in the future. Next time I will visit the High Tatras mountain and Spis Castle, enjoying the natural beauty of Slovakia.
Antonella Selvitella, 27, Italy, Educate Slovakia
I am Antonella Selvitella from Benevento, Italy. I joined the Internship “Educate Slovakia” 2015 . The period before I was thinking to take an Aiesecinternship somewhere, but I didn’t know exactly where, so I was just looking at Global community page on FB and I liked the post from AIESEC Banska Bystrica and then I have been contacted and choosen for this experience, and here I am. We are several interns, the majority are from Taiwan and Indonesia, only a girl is from Ukraine and a guy from Turkey. The first week some of us were traveling form Banska Bystrica to Zvolenska Slatina, it was our first teaching experience with primary and secondary school, it was really nice because of the familiar and nice environment we found there, teachers have been so nice with us and children look like angels. The second week I moved in Zvolen, the place which entered in my heart, I spent two weeks there, the primary school looks more formal than in the village we experienced before but it was a great experience too, the third week was really interesting because me and my job partner had the chance to teach in High school Technická Akadémia, almost all the students there, are boys and the first impact was embarrassing for me but then thanks to my assistants from the school I went on very well with almost all the students, I will not forget the assistants from this school. The last two weeks were interesting as well, one was Slovakian holiday week and the other one spending the last teaching experience in Dobrá Niva a really small village, in those two last weeks we came close to some slovakian traditions and costums. Almost all the lessons were about Italian culture and language in English and some lessons were about personal development. The impact was great and emotional for me, I love to teach and I love students, everybody brought me their smile, I love this country now. To conclude this report, I want thank AIESEC Committee Banská Bystrica, as we know AIESEC is a global organization which is growing day after day, I found the local members really friendly and helpful, I hope we will be friends in the next future. This period has flied, I discovered more things about myself and I got some professional experience too, I challenged myself trying to speak Slovakian and dancing Slovakian folklore and try to return back at my eighteens years old, everything is concluding like in a dream, beautiful children, Tatra mountains, Castles, Global Villages and my masks. A big thank you for this experience . Love Antonella
Dian Astika, 19, Indonesia, Educate Slovakia
Volunteering in Slovakia is very awesome experience. This is also my first time to visit another country. But it felt different, because i have opportunity to meet, know and talk with people from other country. In this project there are 11 people and we are from different country, there is Indonesia, Italy, Ukraine, Turkey, and Taiwan. We were like family here. we talk, we sharing about anything from our country. Thats why, 5 weeks i felt just 5 days because i really enjoy this project. Althought sometimes there is something trouble from this project but it didnt change my spirit to give some information about my country to children in different school. My first school were in Zvolenska Slatina. My partner is Sonia from Ukraine. She is very kind person, she know how to communicate with children. In this school i met amazing people and kids. They are so funny and friendly, they teach me how to make snowman. And thats really unforgetable experience. And from that school i can learn how to be a DIVA . haha and special thanks to Filip. I will never forget about all that things. I teach primary school and it was amazing because they are very excited with all information that Sonia and i gave to them. And they were sing “Snowflake” for me for the first time. My second school were in Hnusta. We teach secondary class. We stay in Host Family in Radka’s house heheh thank you so much Radka. People in Hnusta very kind. They invite us to made Halusky in their house, they accompany us to walked around the town. Student there they are very friendly. They also invite us to their house. Student there very excited with indonesian game called “Bekel”. They learned so hard and really funny to saw them practice to play bekel. My Third school were in Zvolen. We teach secondary and primary student. I was talk about Indonesian tradition and i think they can remember “cut finger” hehe. It was fun to saw their expresion when i was tell about that. And this school have a lot of talented student. They were dance and sing folk song and dance from Slovakia. I am glad to see that. My last week were in Dobra Niva. In this school, my partner is Victoria from Taiwan. That very nice because in this school we can play our favorite sport. and like other school before, we were also meet kind person. In dobra niva, they gave us everything. They were show us their typical song and dance and we were dance together. Also so many cake. We stay in Host Family. They are very kind. This school gave us beautiful goodbye. And it was success to make me cry in front of them. Haha And also thanks for the chef in all school were always gave me something special for lunch. Overall, thanks for AIESEC were gave me this opportunity. I will keep all this memories in my mind. This project was success to change my live. And i really sad why time run so fast but i hope i can meet and visit Slovakia in someday. And i always welcome you evertime in Indonesia. Thank you so much for this amazing experience, With love, Dian
Chloe Kao, 20, Hong Kong, Educate Slovakia
This summer has been very unforgettable. Time has passed in the blink of an eye. When you try to reach out of your comfort zone, you would realise the importance of many many qualities. To be fearless. To be independent. To be a team-player.
I still remember how my friend’s eyes light up whenever she talks about the project she has participated in two years ago. It has been such a life-changing experience for her. I have thought about it a lot during the years. I was so tempted, what held my back was my fear, and more accurately, the naive clinging to my little little comfort zone. But this summer would be the last one as a pre-clinical medicine student and I really would love to try something new, before we are mandated to join clinical attachment to gain every clinical experience we could. I applied, despite being absolutely clueless about Slovakia (or the project), despite the daunting prospect of the necessity to communicate in English. Being fearless isn’t being 100% not fearful, it’s being terrified but you jump anyway. So, for one second, I just cast away all my doubts and fears, and sent the application form.
Every little progress I’ve made along the selection process brought me immense joy – that I had a higher and higher probability of going onto exchange in the summer, especially when we could only do exchange in the summer (not during the semester just like everybody else). It was the biggest motivation that kept me going forward throughout the semester of crazily cramming every single damn lecture into my head. The interview with Hong Kong AIESECers, the interview with a Slovak AIESECer (well the interview actually was a blackout for me, I was way too nervous), and the legal document. I still remember being so nervous before the interview. Come on, it was an interview with an European. That’s the time when my self-doubt in English loomed through my usual calm façade, again. That’s the irony of deploring mediocrity and yet, is drowning in its deepness.
All I recalled happening after the interview and before actually catching a flight was in fact, quite limited – except the emotional roller coaster that involved a lot of (people) crying, panic attacks, self-doubt, and finally exam was over and I needed to go.
It had been a very steep learning curve. Everything worked in a different way here – the bus, the school and basically, everything. We gotta learn fast and adapt. After all, we were the one who needed to deliver lessons everyday after the (honeymoon) week of training. It was so overwhelming to meet so many new students everyday. Within a lesson or two, we gotta made the leap from being strangers to role models (I hope) to them. I was also privileged to be able to teach in a different school, in a different city (or town) every week. Well, to be honest I hated every part of this initially – right after I had felt more comfortable at one school after a week (plus not getting lost on my way to the school and back to dorm), I was yanked out of my little bubble of comfort zone. But now when I come to think of it, I feel really blessed for the opportunity (and a little proud that I’ve survived).
The feeling of independence (plus traveling) is an addiction. I love our weekend trips – to High Tatras, Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. The adventure began right after we hopped onto a bus (or train) and after a few hours, we were in another city (or country). Traveling around is just so easy when you live in such a strategically located city. It offered ample opportunity for anyone who is addicted to the high of exploring the world and independence. Adaptability is so important. Within the first few hours of arrival, you gotta know your way to manoeuvre around and navigate the city where everything is different – the language, the currency, the metro, and the culture.
Adapting is so so important, particularly when life is giving you a lemon (as the saying goes). When your flights got cancelled, when you were robbed, when you were on your own – you just gotta stand up and fight and move on. And trust me, you would feel so proud that you had survived (a lot of proud moments throughout the journey LOL).
I am forever thankful for all the help I’ve got along the way. Slovaks (AIESECers) were literally defining what was meant by ‘hospitality’ when I was there. They didn’t have to, but they just went out of the way to help you. All the accompany, the background information and chitchats, I really couldn’t thank you (all of you) enough for that. I am very bad with places and I have very bad memory most of the time, the only thing that sticks into my mind I guess, is the bunch of people who have helped me – to get around (photos, bus pass & clear logistics), to live in the dorm, and to organise the amazing weekend trips. Cheers to all of you: who cried because you are proud of our teaching, who stayed till late with us every time even if you have work the next morning, who have a big dream to improve the education system.
As you move outside of your comfort zone, what once was the unknown and frightening would become your new normal. From being the only few Asian faces in Bratislava, totally clueless about how to go around the Bratislava city, not to mention between cities of different countries, to bringing friends from other projects to the Bratislava Hrad, commuting by inter-city buses everyday and traveling solo, you know that you are no longer bound by limits and your fear. You literally reinvent yourself every time you go further. The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
The world is yours to explore, and I am forever glad and grateful that I am not the same person anymore after ‘Educate Slovakia’, having seen the moonshine on the other side of the world
LC Comenius University
Jessica Carnprobst, 21, United States of America, Me Myself & I
My motivation in coming to Bratislava for the Me, Myself and I project was that it looked like a new and exciting opportunity that I had never experienced before. I knew I wanted to travel this summer, volunteer abroad, grow as an individual and professional, and meet new people. I knew that this opportunity would help me to accomplish all of these things.I expected to leave this project as a new person, but I didn’t actually know how much it would change me until I was living in Bratislava and experiencing life with people from around the world. Our project was to teach 12-15 year olds personal development, as well as teach them about our cultures. Throughout the two weeks, we also helped them become more comfortable in their English and public speaking skills. Firstly, I learned a lot from presenting to a younger audience. Previously, I had only presented to students my age or older, so this summer taught me a lot about engaging audiences and finding interesting, engaging topics to talk about. I also learned about countries from all over the world and their traditions. However, as I learned about these different cultures, I realized how similar we all are and that we can all be friends if we just take the time to know and understand one another. Most of all, I learned to never stop following my dreams and believing that I can do anything I set my mind to. This is a lesson that I heavily stressed on our students, and I ended up teaching myself this as well.
I’ve never taught younger students before, so this was my first time leading such a young crowd. We taught them about role models and following their dreams, so it was extremely important for us to serve as good examples for these students. Also, as these kids presented to us their goals and dreams, I saw the innocence and excitement in their eyes. They reminded me that life is only as difficult as we make it, and our dreams can be easily reached if we just believe in ourselves. This was the most fulfilling leadership experience I’ve ever had. Teaching these teenagers was incredible in every way, and they taught me more about myself than I would have ever thought they could. This is truly the best experience any college student interested in becoming a leader and growing as an individual can have. It changes you in more ways than words will ever be able to explain, and I can promise you that every single intern leaves Bratislava with a better outlook on life.
Gustavo Rozário, 28, Brazil, Educate Slovakia Kindergartens
I taught English for kindergarten children (between 0-6 years old). This project was a big challenge for me, because I’m not teacher and I’ve never worked with kids, the biggest problem was to find a funny and interactive way to get the attention the kids during the classes. I was very well received for all (AIESECers/Slovakia, teachers and children of school) when I arrived in Bratislava, I liked the city and all people I met during the project. I can say that this project changed my way of being and my vision about the world. I learned to respect different cultures and opinions, I met new people from the whole world and I met amazing places. After this experience, I became a simple and humble man and learned to valorize the actions, words and smiles of the people. I miss the joy and sincerity from children. It was a single experience into my life.
I chose this project because I’ve never worked with children and, therefore, would be a big challenge for me. Since 2005 until 2015 I had a heavy daily routine; I worked all day long and studied at night, my routine was helping to become a selfish person. I felt the need to get out of my comfort zone, get new challenges and open my mind, because I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing anymore. I wanted to think different so I´d like to help people who lives on a different reality than I was used to (culture, weather, economy, mentality). I expected to change myself, to help people and to learn everything possible with them, to meet new persons, new cultures and new ways of thinking. The job description was good, I didn’t have surprises during the work and Veronika Mišíková (from AIESEC) provided all necessary support. I learned with this project to appreciate the little things, to be simpler, to work with the children and to respect different cultures and opinions. In addition, I improved my communication skills, improved my English and expanded my networking. During the internship I had the possibility to change a local community through English classes. It was amazing and scary to thinking about this responsibility, because those kids will be our future. My contribution was minimum (just 6 weeks), and other people must helping to continue the change in the world. The AIESEC’s social works are very important for growing a planet more human, and so I recommend this experience to those who want actually work for better world.
Neng Ary Tatranesia, 20, Indonesia, Educate Slovakia
My motivation to come was to explore my self with this experience since the AIESEC offer a life changing experience and my expectation are I’m able to communicate with people from different background and race and to travel abroad as well 2) I think AIESEC Nitra very well organised compare to other AIESEC i’ve known ( I asked my friend in couple of cities and countries and AIESEC Nitra was the best so far) AIESEC Nitra has good accommodation and prepare everything in detailed although it still has some flaws. I learned how to deal with many kinds of people, especially when I lived with my host family and I acknowledged my self limit. This experience unique for me because i’ve met many new people and I also learn from them, they gave me many things I won’t forget especially the students. They are very respect to me and listen to everything I said and they showed enthusiasm. My host family treated me like I’m one of their children and I absolutely recommend this experiences to my friend.
Muhamed Atia, 22, Egypt, Educate Slovakia
My motivation was simply making a change not only for me but also for others. I expected some things but actually it did not happen. I expected nice people but really serious because i am going to teach and thats it. But actually my expectations were very shalow I found EXCELLENT professional people openhearted students amazing AIESECers who were like our soldier and right hands in every moment They were really helpful and astoshingly incredible. I really felt home that lonliness did not find a way to my heart. When i came back and till now i can not stop talking about how it was such great. I cry sometimes when i cjeck a picture in a school i went to or with students i miss. I still in contact with most of them. When i see them saying Hi and thank me for the classes to me i feel really proud that. I do miss everything i taught some and i learned a ton 🙂 Dakujem for letting me have such an unforgettalble 6 weeks.
Olga Yavorska, 20, Ukraine, Educate Slovakia
My motivation to come and take a part in the project was, first of all, regarding my own life position, since I think all of us should not procrastinate but take the bull by the horns. I really wanted to explore Slovak culture and atmosphere, because we are neighbors but know so little about each other. The next thing I expected to get was about international communication and breaking prejudices. The experience I got was really incredible and considerable; I understood how to maintain good relationships with various people (in terms of religion, culture and personality), organize activities and manage time-consuming things. The leadership experience I had gave me the understanding of thing that all of us is capable of making a difference and changing the world, step by step. Slovakia will always remain in my heart as the country where I got true friends and had the time of my life.