¿Qué pasa este verano?

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I finished my university exams last week and now I can enjoy summer! It’s without a doubt a really busy few months ahead, so I thought I’d share with you what I am getting up to.

Today I started a two-week Teaching Assistant placement at King Edward VII’s school in Sheffield; this is an extension of my Student Mentoring job that I did during this academic year with the Us in Schools Mentoring Scheme at The University of Sheffield at a 6th form college in Rotherham. I am mostly based at the Lower Site where I will be working with Year 7-9s in the Languages Department. Today went well, I even taught a Spanish class which I was definately not expecting. So far it has been a great opportunity and I am grateful for my time as a Student Mentor and as a Languages Ambassador this year which has helped me establish confidence in the classroom. It can be difficult to gain authority as well, especially when the students ask if you’re in Year 10 doing your GCSEs, when in fact, you have just completed your second year of university and are closer to your twenties than your teens. Oh, and when you’re also smaller than all the Year 7s when walking past in the corridor!

In July, I will be working at several Open Days at The University of Sheffield for prospective students.
I am going to Poland for three weeks during July-August. For the first week I will be going to the city of Wrocław (which happens to be pronounced very different to the spelling!) on a volunteering programme to teach English to Polish teens in the countryside. Then, I am going to visit another city for 3 days (maybe Warsaw) before spending my final week in Kraków. I intend to visit all the cultural sites and go to Auschwitz, somewhere I have always wanted to visit. I have never been to Poland before and I don’t speak any Polish. I am sure I will get by with English but as a linguist, I feel truely abhorred by not being able to speak the language of the country I am visiting, so I am hoping to learn a bit before I go. If not, I can always speak to them in French/Spanish/Portuguese to show them I at least try with other European languages (oh dear!).

For the final stretch of my summer holidays, I am travelling to Israel for ten days in August. I have been warned that I am going to roast alive; I can barely cope with the 20°C in Sheffield right now, so I don’t have how I will manage there! I am going on a Birthright Israel-Taglit trip, which is something you may, or may not, have heard about before. Birthright can be briefly described as a not-for-profit educational organization that sponsors free ten-day heritage trips to Israel for Jewish young adults, aged 18–26. Taglit is the Hebrew word for discovery. During their trip, participants, most of whom are visiting Israel for the first time, are encouraged to discover new meaning in their personal Jewish identity and connection to Jewish history and culture. As a young Jewish person who has never been to Israel, I am eligible to go on the trip so I am taking part in this great opportunity. I don’t feel very connected to Israel in my Jewish identity, so I think that going there and learning more about it’s history and culture and meeting similar people in my position will be worthwhile.

And then…..it’s off to Perpignan sometime after that! But for now, I have plenty to do between preparing for my Year Abroad in September. I will be visiting two countries I have never visited before and will hopefully meet loads of diverse people and make many new memories 🙂

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