July 4 - July 31, 2016
This month, we recognize Meagan Sherman, alumni from Virginia Tech, 2010. After spending a month with ESAC in Prague, Czech Republic, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s degree in Global and Comparative History. After graduation, she was looking for more international experience, so she spent a remarkable year working with an organization called Students Helping Honduras. She gave it all up to live in a remote village in Honduras working in a small children’s home and teaching kindergarten in the local bilingual school. She can’t emphasize enough how challenging and rewarding her time there was.
Meagan describes life after Virginia Tech:
After my year with SHH, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree, but I realized I wasn’t done with travel. So I boarded another plane and completed an accelerated dual degree program with the University of Malta and George Mason University. After nine months of lectures in Malta and the completion of my thesis in the fall of 2014, “Child Abandonment and Homelessness in Honduras,” I graduated with an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and an MA in Conflict Resolution and Mediterranean Security. After completing my Masters I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather be than back in Honduras. I am currently in my third year with Bilingual Education for Central America (BECA) teaching English to Honduran middle school students in the town of Cofradia.
My daily routine here in Cofradia varies from day to day. I wake up around 5:30 am to get ready for the day. Breakfast is scrambled eggs and toast or oatmeal, or I go buy baleadas if I’m feeling lazy. Baleadas are a typical Honduran dish consisting of a flour tortilla filled with a combination of fried beans, eggs, cheese, cream, and/or avocado. My personal favorite is a baleada with beans and eggs. Around 6:15 I walk the 15 minutes to school with one or more of my coworkers. I work at San Jeronimo Bilingual School, which has been in operation for more than 10 years now and has grades K-9. The school day starts at 7:00 and runs until 2:00 pm. I am the Middle School English teacher, which includes reading, writing, and grammar. Our students also receive their math, science, PE, computer, and art classes in English. They receive Civics, Spanish, and Social Studies classes in Spanish from our Honduran coworkers. After school, I always have various activities to attend to, from cooking classes to rollerblading club. There is never a dull moment.
Sherman on study abroad: “My time with ESAC, while only a month in duration, was my first solo international adventure. I didn’t know anyone beforehand, and I had only traveled internationally with my family. During my month in Prague, I learned that with some help from fellow students, we could navigate a new culture and quickly adapt to a foreign country. Travel is the most eye opening and incredible learning experience. My advice is to not just go to London, or Venice. Go to Phuket, to Sao Paolo, to Cape Town. There is so much more to the world than just the country you live in. Whether you’re teaching English in South Korea, or working on a coffee plantation in Colombia, keep an open mind. While you, as a native English speaker, might have a lot to teach others, you can also learn so much more from the culture and people around you.”
What a story! Talk about giving back to the community!
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