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Jenny

Jenny

Jenny is studying for a BA(Hons) Primary Education qualification and was awarded a bursary to support an international work placement. On her placement, Jenny went to South Africa to work with a school for deprived children in a Port Elizabeth Township.

"We each joined a class of 50 children aged 7 to 12 to support teachers and experience teaching practice in another culture. The students came from very deprived communities and at first we were surprised by the lack of resources compared to the electronic whiteboards and computers we use in the classrooms back home.

None of the children spoke English and in the first 3 days it felt I'd taken on an overwhelming challenge, but I quickly found that the children were fascinated by this different person from another country and their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn was inspiring.

"The opportunity to experience teaching in another country has been invaluable. Standing in front of 50 children who don't speak English and being able to engage them with learning was a massive challenge. I am now so much more confident in my ability to teach children from a range of cultures and backgrounds who may not have English as a first language.

"Dealing with the lack of resources was also a huge challenge, but I now feel like this experience has completely changed my own approach. I have returned home with a new confidence in myself and a belief in my own abilities as a teacher to be able to inspire my class to learn.

"Teaching in South Africa on an international placement was the most amazing thing I've ever done. The opportunity this bursary supported has inspired me to think bigger when I complete my degree and I am now planning to build up enough experience to be able to take on a teaching position abroad once I graduate. I would encourage any student who has the opportunity to work internationally to take it."

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