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Costa Rica teaching experience has changed Bethany Morris’ life

Bethany Morris spent five weeks in Costa Rica during the summer teaching in a local school and trekking the country.

Bethany Morris spent five weeks in Costa Rica during the summer teaching in a local school and trekking the country.

Bethany Morris

An East Norfolk Sixth Form College student’s five-week visit to Costa Rica in the summer, was a life-changing experience.

A volunteering fair at the college was the source of inspiration, even though Bethany Morris didn’t attend. It was later in the day when a classmate in her criminology lesson was talking about the fair and the conversation they had had with Projects Abroad. The company offers students the opportunity to travel and teach abroad.

Bethany, 18, had to raise £3,000 to be able to fund her visit, and largely thanks to friends and family, she reached the target just in time.

There followed a 10-hour flight from Heathrow to Columbia followed by a five-hour flight to Costa Rica and was surprised to discover her hosts were two ladies, aged 75 and 80, who only spoke Spanish.

After an induction at a school, Bethany began teaching English to 5-6 year olds and 10-11 year olds. For the young ones, the focus was on the English names of items of clothing and the people at school. For the second graders, it was pronunciation and dialect and a project encompassing legends which led to some quick research on St George and the Dragon.

Aside from the lessons, Bethany had dedicated time to experience the wider aspects of Costa Rica. She covered a huge amount in her free time, seeing Komodo dragons, beetles, sloths and butterflies in the wild, as well as hiking to active and dormant volcanoes.

And with over 1,000 photos on her phone, Bethany headed back to the UK.

She said: “People always tell me I’m confident but I needed to find that out for myself. I’ve always wanted to teach abroad when I finish in education and this was an opportunity to test if this would be the career for me.”

“It has changed my life mentally and physically. It has made me more grateful for the things I have, particularly in relation to education.”

Bethany hopes to head to Reading University to read primary education, while her goal is teaching in Africa.

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