Global Volunteers salutes Tom Medsger for his remarkable service making a difference on 10 Global Volunteers service programs since 2007, with nine in Mexico and one in Portugal. Mexico and its students have captured Tom’s heart. As English has become the language of commerce, technology, and opportunity worldwide, students greatly value the opportunity to practice with native speakers, especially to enhance their employment opportunities.
“Since my retirement in 2007, I have been a member of several teams of Global Volunteers in Mexico. I have taught conversational English in Queretaro, Dolores Hidalgo, Leon, and Victoria, in university and school settings of from 3, 000 to 100 students. I love it! The students are already learning the language in class–they just need practice. The only requirement for a Global Volunteer is that he or she be a native English speaker, with no teaching experience required.
These “vacations” have been the most rewarding of my life. I had been looking for a way to visit a foreign country and get beneath the surface, to meet people and be introduced to a new culture through their eyes. I also wanted to try teaching. Classroom interaction is fun, and during our free time on weekends, we get to see the sights just like “regular” tourists, often in the company of our local Mexican friends. What could be better!
The faculties and students are a joy to work with. Our Global Volunteers team members may teach from four to six classes a day, Monday thru Friday, to eager learners ranging in age from 17-30. Saturday classes attract the older working professionals, adults, who are extremely motivated to learn a second language.
The host communities could not be more welcoming, and often it is possible to meet and befriend Mexicans who will share generously of their time and proudly show off their cultural attractions on “insider” tours. I now have several good friends there whom I look forward to seeing again. We keep in touch by e-mail.
Now that I have spent my vacations as a Global Volunteer, I cannot imagine any other kind. The rewards are enormous, and Global Volunteers is superbly organized, with 30 years worth of experience. They go to many other places worldwide, but I’m hooked on Mexico!
Pam Cromer, our Mexico Volunteer Team Leader, wrote this about Tom after his last service program in Queretaro, Mexico:
“Tom is an exemplary and seasoned Global Volunteer to Mexico who has become a “fixture” teaching conversational English at the Universidad Tecnológica de Queretaro (UTEQ), and the teachers consider him part of the faculty. Tom has such an easy, comfortable way with the students, he engages them in such interesting topics to discuss in English and makes learning to speak in English so much fun. Diego describes Tom as a “natural” teacher. The highlight of the final party at UTEQ, were the songs Tom “wrote”, changing the lyrics to show tunes and other songs with which the staff is familiar. The teachers sang along with him and asked for copies of the lyrics to use in their classes”.
Tom, we can’t thank you enough for being such a wonderful ambassador and role model of friendship and peace by reaching out to assist Mexican students in reaching their goals and dreams.