In Querétaro, right in the heart of Mexico, Global Volunteers have been teaching and tutoring conversational English at the Universidad Tecnológica de Querétaro (UTEQ) or Technological University of Querétaro for almost 20 years. Here, students preparing for careers in middle management, interior design, mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, aviation repair and production, and a variety of other areas, must pass proficiency exams in English. While their Mexican teachers are very skilled in teaching them grammar and vocabulary, the extra help volunteers provide is pivotal in the advancement of their English language skills. Embarking on a Global Volunteers journey will allow you to experience the rewards of volunteering in Mexico.
Teaching Conversational English at UTEQ
The philosophy of the English Department at UTEQ is to have as many students as possible gain exposure to a native English speaker. Here is where Global Volunteers are so important. Students at UTEQ greatly value the opportunity to practice with native speakers, especially to enhance their employment opportunities. Doing mock interviews, holding lively conversations on technology in students’ fields, and practicing talking about students’ skills gives them confidence in the language. This confidence and motivation can go a long way in opening up employment opportunities for these students.
“Global Volunteers take the best out of our students and motivate them to do great things that nobody would imagine they could.” – Juan Luis Salazar, UTEQ teacher
No Experience Necessary!
You don’t need to be a professional teacher to embark on this rewarding volunteer experience in Mexico! Just being a native English speaker with a desire to help eager university students practice their language skills is enough. Classes are typically held in university classrooms and there is a local teacher in the classroom under whose direction volunteers work. Simply being able to listen to your native accent helps students improve their listening skills in the language. Volunteers who have never taught before have been able to help students learn and gain confidence with their conversational English skills.
The Rewards of Volunteering in Mexico
If you join us in Mexico, you are sure to work with grateful students and teachers at UTEQ, and learn about this great country that borders us to the south along the way. Volunteer Carol wrote in her team journal entry on October 11, 2017:
Reports were that the evening classes went well – the students possessed a higher level of English than expected and, as always, they were receptive and eager to participate.
The evening ended with our volunteers feeling successful but tired. Everyone commented that their interactions with the students were rewarding and that the level of cooperation from the teachers was extremely satisfying.
The gratitude of the UTEQ faculty and students was expressed in this handwritten letter from teacher Ricardo, given to volunteers on the October team. Click on the image to read the letter:
Your willingness to share your experiences and culture is priceless to the students. I hope you have had a wonderful time in our school and beautiful city. For all your time, effort, hard work, and patience, please accept my heartfelt thanks. You have truly been a blessing to the school.
I won’t say goodbye, I will just say until we meet again. (Hopefully next year.)
Reap the Rewards Yourself
The relationships volunteers develop with students and teachers in Querétaro, the intercultural understanding that takes place on a service program, the gratitude expressed by the people with whom you work – these are the rewards of volunteering in Mexico.
If you want to experience the rewards of volunteering in Mexico for yourself, check out more details on our Mexico page or these blog posts: