This summer, I had the chance to experience a multicultural environment outside the GLOCAL classroom, working as an activity leader for an international language school called EF. During this experience, I met people from all over the world, including Peru, France, Spain, Japan, and Argentina. Even though the job was challenging due to cultural differences, I am content with my decision.
The life of GLOCALs can be hectic during the semester, with deadlines, classes, and social events happening simultaneously. However, as summer approaches and lessons are finally over in June, there can be much free time to enjoy the summer — especially for those going to Los Andes, as classes only start in October. This means that besides taking a long and well-deserved vacation, most GLOCALs have time to invest in both holidays and an internship or job experience of some kind.
Many job opportunities are available and choosing what to apply for can be overwhelming. Still, the best idea is to apply for opportunities in areas you are interested in. For example, this summer, I decided to apply for jobs in the education area since I want to be a professor in the future. In addition, I felt that opportunities that allow me to get in touch with students from multicultural backgrounds could be enriching.
As I looked for opportunities in the education area, I came across the EF international education company. This company specializes in educational travel and receives international students from around the world interested in learning English in English-speaking countries like England. My job was to promote activities for those students to stimulate their language learning. For instance, students learned how to play rugby, a traditional sport in the UK, and the game taught them important lessons about communication and teamwork. Since the teams were made of kids from different nationalities, they had to communicate with each other in English. In the end, not only did they learn a new game, but they also fostered new connections with their foreign colleagues.
In a post-COVID scenario, we faced many challenges regarding the resources available to conduct activities. Our solution was to join groups together so we could better promote activities for the students while using the space available. One idea was to promote a hide-and-seek game in the city centre of Eastbourne. In this game, the staff would hide, and students had to look for us in groups. To make it more interesting, we chose thematic hide-and-seek: staff dressed like animals that had escaped from the zoo, and students’ mission was to find us and bring us back. Students could only get points if they took us back to the meeting point while making a human chain around us. In spite of limited resources, we were able to make better activities with some creativity and a great deal of proactiveness.
EF provides a multicultural environment to all staff as well, as staff members are allocated to an EF accommodation with other EF employees from all over the world. The experience is also a good way for employees to get to know new cultures while travelling within the UK. For example, I was allocated to Eastbourne, a city in the south of England and only one hour away by train from London. During my time with EF, I had the chance to visit incredible places with the students — not only trips to London, but also to seaside cities like Brighton and Hastings.
After three weeks of working for EF, I believe I have improved many essential skills, such as proactiveness and creativity, and have also become more culturally aware. The truth, though, is that there is no perfect internship. For this reason, it is important to make the most out of the experience you are given. Similarly, GLOCAL can open many opportunities for its students, but in the end, each of us has the power to shape our own experience. So, whether looking for an internship or a relaxing holiday, the most important thing is to look for an experience that makes sense to you and your goals.
Read more about GLOCAL students’ internship and volunteering experiences:
GLOCAL Students Working as Interns
Summer Internship at the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce
Volunteering at the European Blockchain Convention
Volunteering at the COP26 in Glasgow