Name: Taylor Burch
Hometown: Fort Collins, Colorado
Nationality: United States
Languages spoken: English, Spanish (beginner)
University: Colorado State University
Volunteer Abroad: Teaching English in Luang Prabang, Laos
Duration: 5 weeks
Start month: May 2018
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become a UBELONG Volunteer because I wanted to do something bigger than myself and help others. I started volunteering with UBELONG the summer after I graduated high school, and I enjoyed my first experience so much that I decided to do it again while in college. I wanted to have an experience where I felt immersed in the culture and the community and UBELONG provided me with that environment and experience!
What was your impact on your volunteer project?
My impact on my volunteer project was my ability to take charge of my own experience and to make it my own. I was able to dive in and observe what I thought needed to be added to the project and put my own spin on my teaching style. I think just being myself helped me feel comfortable and really get to know the students at the project as well as the other volunteers.
What were your major challenges?
One of my major challenges was keeping myself from feeling discouraged when one of the students wasn’t understanding a concept or was having a hard time with the pronunciation of a word. I just had to keep reminding myself that repetition is key and to know that they will get it overtime.
In a sentence or less, how would you describe local life?
Local life in Luang Prabang is laid back and go with the flow. The community is filled with happy, relaxed people who are friendly and always wearing a smile!