Name: Camille Laffond
Hometown: Chatelaillon-Plage, France
Languages spoken: French, English (intermediate), Spanish (beginner)
University: Poitiers University
Volunteer Abroad: Teaching French in Hanoi, Vietnam
Duration: 24 weeks
Start month: January 2018
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become a UBELONG Volunteer to do something useful and different. I wanted to help people who need help for a long time and I found this was a good moment after finishing my degree. I found this project perfect for me because it was working with children and sharing my culture through my language. So it was the best opportunity I have ever had!
What is your favorite memory?
My favorite memory was dancing with the 2nd grade. Every Monday at my school, they have a show for one of the classes, so I asked my teachers to create the choreography for the French class. I spent a lot of time with some children and it was great! It was so funny to share that with them. My favorite moment was when I saw them dancing my choreography on the stage, it was so emotional!
What advice would you tell a future volunteer?
It will be difficult during the first days because you lost all your landmarks but finally you start quite quickly to be confident. Don’t give up because at the end it will be worth it because it’s just an amazing human experience. And if you want to teach, I think you should at least stay 1 month because of the children. And you need time to know each other and to create a relationship together. The most important advice: do it, you will not regret it!
In a sentence or less, what was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment was when the children chose the punishment for those who lost during a game. They decided that the losers have to write a number with their bottom! So you can imagine all the children laughing and it was so cute to see all their faces smiling!
I was a French teacher in a primary school so I had to prepare the exams for the end of the year, was in charge of the lessons during the class, helped the children with the pronunciation… Sharing this with the children was great because even if we didn’t speak the same language, we found another way to communicate like hugs, playing games during the break… I was so grateful to see after 6 months how we created a relationship all together and how they were happy and used to see me in the class!
I was also really lucky to work with Huong and Linh (the teachers at my school) because they trusted me since the first day and we created a friendship! I was there to teach them my language, I did but I also learned a lot with them.