Volunteering as a School Assistant in Canada – Anna’s story!

Posted on the 1st November 2017

We recently caught up with returned volunteer Anna Schmidt who volunteered as a School Assistant in Canada during 2016/17! She chatted to us about her experience at Southpointe Academy where she undertook a variety of roles! Carry on reading to find out what she enjoyed most, what she has learnt and her advice for future volunteers!

WHAT ROLES DID YOU HAVE IN THE SCHOOL?

“I worked with kids from kindergarten to grade 7. I assisted in many PE and art classes and helped with extracurricular sport activities such as volleyball, track and basketball. In grade 6 and 7 I helped students with math work. In grade 5 I normally worked with one kid who needed much extra help. I really loved to work in the science department! The teachers were just amazing and I was allowed to do experiments with some of the older students. I went on some fieldtrips and to two camps with grade 5 and 7. I also took photos for our year book during sport events and other special events at school. There was traffic duty every day to keep the students safe”.

Anna’s role in the school sounds really varied and exciting, an amazing opportunity for someone wanting to work with children in lots of different areas!

WHAT DID YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?

“I spent almost every weekend in Vancouver and the surrounding areas with my friends. We went hiking, shopping and visited famous places including Granville Island and Deep Cove! It was always awesome to walk along the seawall towards the Stanley Park (one of my favorite places in Vancouver) or just enjoy the sun at the beaches. I went skiing and snowboarding on all the local mountains and in Whistler which was just amazing. I also crossed the border to the US a couple of times by bike as the border was behind our house and the beaches were beautiful down there.”

“During long weekends I discovered Seattle, Portland and Vancouver Island. I travelled to Tofino (Vancouver Island) and went surfing with a group of girls – this was a super awesome experience! During my holidays I travelled to LA, Las Vegas and San Francisco. I got to try new food all the time (Mexican, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Indian). In the end of my placement my parents and I travelled through the Rocky Mountains which were just incredible and unique”.

Anna’s travels and adventures sound absolutely amazing…they are making us very jealous here at Lattitude HQ! We think it’s amazing that our placements offer the volunteer a chance to explore the country they are working in, make new friends, and make memories of a lifetime!

WHAT DID YOU ENJOY?

“I loved to meet people from all over the world, discover new places in Canada and the US and live a completely different life in a host family with a little brother! I enjoyed the independence and having a big city close to me as I am from a small town in Germany. I also loved the multiculturalism and to learn about other countries traditions (we celebrated many different festivals in school). I got to learn a new language and try new food from different countries”.

WHAT WENT WELL?

“It was super easy to get in contact with all of the kids in the school which I thought would be difficult and the cooperation with the teachers went well also. Integration into host family was easy. My little host brother welcomed me in a very special way, he was really curious to get to know me. I spent a lot of time with him playing Lego or Star Wars which was super fun. I always had supper together with my host family and we visited some nice places in Vancouver. A friend and I were able to drive to Portland with my host family which was pretty cool”.

“I got to know people from all over the world during my year. If I had to describe my experience in one word i would say: Unique – this year was an amazing experience that you only experience once“.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT ABOUT YOURSELF FROM THIS EXPERIENCE?

“I have increased my independence, tolerance levels and improved my language. I have also realised that there can’t be anything more fulfilling than meeting people from all over the world that have the same passion as you.”

We love hearing this feedback as at Lattitude we pride ourselves on being a global organisation which allows volunteers to meet a diverse range of people from all over the world and as a result make friends for life!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS?

“I would say to always be open-minded and don’t be afraid of any obstacles!”

Since volunteering with Lattitude Anna has started to study dentistry at WWU Münster in Germany. She says she “would love to turn back the time and live that year again. It was just incredible and I would always recommend to go abroad and experience a new country”.

Congratulations to Anna on completing this life changing programme! If you enjoyed reading Anna’s story; why not make it your own by applying to Lattitude today! 

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