I am Nora and I am from Germany. I am 18 years old and I live near Frankfurt Main. I wanted to do a social internship in a foreign country because I love travelling, meeting new people and learning different languages. Moreover I want to study medicine in the future and I play with the idea of becoming a pediatrist.
My time at SCAO is over now and I wrote a short review about my time.
In the last three months I taught an elementary class, an ABC-Advanced class, different computer classes, a German class and an intermediate class at the first school of SCAO. I stayed there from beginning of February till the end of April. Before I came to Cambodia I worked for a NGO in Vietnam. I also stayed there for three months and my main tasks were to play and spend time with disabled children. I‘ve never worked with children before but I liked the work from the very first day.
In SCAO the other volunteers first introduced me to the different classes before I taught by myself. In addition to that the other volunteers always supported and motivated me. We weren’t only colleagues, we became friends and I miss all of them already. I really appreciated that every volunteer was accepted from the very first day and in case of problems or worries nobody was left alone, there was always somebody who offered help. In generally the solidarity was amazing – we cooked together, went to the market together, planned creative Fridays together and taught together. It almost felt like being in a family of volunteers.
Nevertheless every volunteer received a lot of freedom, meaning that everybody could freely choose how to participate and teach. Every volunteer could organize one’s lesson individually and especially on creative Fridays every new idea was welcomed happily. Although I only worked at SCAO 1 I got to know the volunteers from SCAO 2 as well. During our free weekends we always made trips together and spend a lot of time exchanging ideas, tips and experiences.
However I started to love teaching and now I don’t only miss the volunteers, but my students too. They were highly motivated, curious, interested, funny and especially kind. I was impressed how thankful they were for every single lesson. When I left all of them thanked me again and asked me when I will return (I hope it will be soon). Furthermore it was incredible how fast they learned and how varied their interests were. I wish them all the best and I am convinced that every student of SCAO benefits of that whole project.
In my opinion working for SCAO broadened my horizon. I wasn’t only a teacher I was also a student. I have learned how important education is, how friendly Cambodians towards foreigners are, how teaching 23 attentive students is and how great helping others is. I would recommend SCAO for everybody and I hope that in the future more and more volunteers will travel to Cambodia and gain similar experiences. Now I am back in Germany and I look forward to sharing my experiences with my friends and my family. I will never forget the awesome time in Cambodia and I am sure that I will be back as soon as possible.
Without doubt these three months were part of the best time of my life.