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TEFL Training In Costa Rica | 09/17/2018

Teaching English at Summer Camps

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

International TEFL Academy Costa Rica grad, Eric Hartmann (January 2017) shares about his experiences of teaching English at summer camps in Europe!

"I found that my choice to pursue work at summer camps in Europe, rather than signing a contract to teach abroad full-time, a wonderful option and a rewarding opportunity."

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I returned home from Costa Rica after becoming TEFL-certified in Costa Rica in January of 2017. Upon returning home, I quickly realized a few of my commitments would take some time to close out before exiting the country with a contract of a year or more. A fellow student pointed me to the website "Workaway," which has a $38 yearly membership fee. I plugged in my travel destination choices and was immediately directed to a school in Prague, Czech Republic, which was my first choice. 

This school was searching for two English speaking teachers, one from the U.S. and one from the UK, to help with teaching a one week summer camp in August 2017. I reached out with a resume and within two days was contacted with a Skype interview request. This interview went well and a second interview was set up. The second interview delivered the good news that I was the choice to represent the U.S. and the interviewer provided me with details regarding room and board and other specifics about the program. 

While details will vary from camp to camp, most I found are paid with free room and board and some meals. I stayed with a family during my time teaching at the camp, namely Liba, who is the grandma, and even though she knew no English, we both grew from this experience. This particular camp was for one week teaching and with three additional weeks of staying for free, making it a one month trip. The teaching week was long (12-hour days) but so rewarding. 

Summer camps tend to be more "fun" oriented than a stringent study-based school. Camp consists of one overall theme for the week and includes a mix of writing and speaking assignments, as well as many field trips throughout Prague.   The theme for the week I was teaching was "Roman Emperors," and my class size was 24 students.

In early 2018, I was again contacted by the camp with an invite to return and teach in August 2018.  I enthusiastically said yes! No interviews! During my second summer as a teacher at camp, I had 15 students, ranging in ages from 8 to 12 years old.  

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A terrific benefit associated with this camp is the three weeks free time to explore Europe. In August 2017 my "side trip" was to Israel, and in August 2018 my pilgrimage led me to Rome, Italy.  Before arriving to my first assignment in August 2017, I probably would have been inclined to say that the travel was going to be my biggest benefit, but now I can honestly say that it is without a doubt the experience of being accepted into a family that is most rewarding. I am now welcomed, regardless if I am there teaching, to visit and stay whenever I like with the family.  

Bottom line, at ITA Costa Rica you will receive highly specialized training that can be life changing whether your certification is used for contracted teaching or for summer camp assignments.  ITA Costa Rica, with professionals like Luke and Melanie, help make the world a little smaller and your heart a little bigger.

Thanks to Eric for sharing his experiences with us, and if you are interested in teaching abroad or working at summer camps in Europe, contact us to save your seat in one of our 4-week TEFL trainings in Costa Rica!   


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