University Americans Teach English in Havirov Schools
On the afternoon of October 3rd, forty backpack-wearing Americans from university walked through the doors of the Secondary School of Technical Branches. This group was composed of mostly students, a few graduate assistants, and three professors with their families. For many of them, it was their first visit to the Czech Republic. For all of them, their experiences were nothing less than incredible. I, Kyleigh Hoye, had the pleasure of being one of these students.
Concordia University Irvine, my university near Los Angeles in southern California, offers a program called the Around-the-World Semester. It is a study abroad program that covers a total of ten countries in four months. The Czech Republic was the fifth country on our itinerary, for we have visited Japan, China, India, and Greece. After our two-week visit in Havirov, we will be traveling to England, Morocco, Ghana, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. We are completing different service projects in each country, taking classes, and exploring each city we have the opportunity to visit.
Teaching English in the various schools throughout Havirov was an invaluable part of my trip. The students displayed generous amounts of kindness to my classmates and me, and they seemed eager to join in our English-learning activities. I even got to learn a handful of Czech words – even though I still cannot correctly pronounce „redkvicka“, I am still glad I learned it! Several of my classes were built around the engaging discussions I would have with the students. I would teach a few words in English, and the students would recommend traditional Czech dishes to try during my stay, like Svickova. Their advice proved to be extremely helpful – and the meals were delicious!
Not only did we get visit different schools to teach, but we got to hang out with over one hundred of the students with the Speak Up! English learning group. On our last day in Havirov, Speak Up! We hold a party at the Secondary School of Technical Branches. I had the opportunity to get to know some of the students I had taught that week, as well as try more delectable Czech cuisine.
Although we are visiting a wide variety of countries and cities, I will never forget my stay in Havirov. I would like to extend a special thank you to Mrs. Fárková, who guided my group Secondary School of Technical Branches through our teaching schedule, and Benjamin Helge, who orchestrated every aspect of our stay down to the last detail. Thank you to everyone who made us feel at home in your beautiful country – we will always keep Havirov in a special place in our hearts.