Irish native Ciarán is another dedicated Germany Summer Camp participant, like Domi! First taking part back in 2017, it’s been a life-changing journey (his words!) that’s led him to becoming part of the Camp staff, and he’s excited to welcome people like YOU to this summer’s intake of intern teachers!
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF! WE’D LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT DREW YOU TO WORK IN GERMANY.
My name is Ciarán, I’m from Ireland and I first started working with the camp in 2017. I was drawn to work in Germany to experience something different and develop my teaching skills. Most importantly, I wanted to do something fun and different for my summer holidays.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PATH TO TEACHING ABROAD—DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU’D END UP IN GERMANY?
I honestly never thought that I’d end up teaching in Germany. I actually had taken German lessons when I was in secondary school but thought that I’d never have any use for it. Since discovering Camp Europe, teaching in Germany and improving my language skills, I’ve moved here and made a life for myself.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH IN GERMANY, IF IT HAS VARIED OVER TIME.
My career path has completely changed since I came to Germany. I was initially studying English, Sociology and Politics in Ireland before I came over in the summer of 2017. I reevaluated my career path after just a few weeks being here. I instead turned my interests towards working outdoors with kids in an international environment after getting a taste of it in my first year and haven’t looked back since.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AGE-GROUP TO WORK WITH AND WHY?
I personally prefer to work with younger kids when teaching English. I think my favourite thing about this age group is that the kids are less conscious about making mistakes when using the language and instead focus on communicating. This can, of course, be difficult when kids are from different nationalities and have trouble communicating with others in the group but children can be remarkably good at communicating non-verbally. At the end of a week when you see two young children from different countries trying to talk through the medium of English, you can’t help but feel proud.
WHAT IS ONE THING ABOUT THE LIFE OF A CAMP TEAMER THAT YOU NEVER EXPECTED/WEREN’T PREPARED FOR? OUR READERS LOVE TO GET THE INSIDE SCOOP!
When I first applied to Camp I really underestimated the actual size of the organisation and how international and friendly it really was. I still have one crystal clear memory in my head where I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I wandered around Hamburg airport for around 30 minutes looking for the group for the airport shuttle to camp. There was a huge group of maybe 70 Teamers, all speaking different languages and looking like they were about to go on a 2-week trek into the wilderness. After I realised they were the group I was looking for, I had amazing conversations with people from different countries and it made the 2 hours drive to camp go by in an instant.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE SO FAR
Probably my most rewarding experience was teaching English to a child that had quite bad ADHD, which made teaching challenging sometimes. Every class felt like a struggle trying to keep him engaged throughout the lessons and to stop him from distracting others. By the end of the week, he seemed motivated to interact in the class and was actually sad to leave the camp.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE ON THE FENCE ABOUT COMING TO GERMANY AS A CAMP TEAMER?
The camp has completely changed my life. If you’ve never worked with an international team like me, you’re going to receive culture shock after culture shock that will open your eyes to a whole new way of living. You’ll meet so many new and interesting people, improve your language skills, get to be outside every day in the sun and face new and exciting challenges. Step outside of your comfort zone and experience something new! Read more about the summer internship in Germany.
Thank you for taking the time to share your adventure-filled story with the Premier TEFL community. Happy travels – see you in Hamburg!