Stephanie is in her second year with Bilingual and is currently teaching Grade 2.
July 24th 2018. This date marks a very special day in my life. It was the day before my 23rd birthday and it was the day I found out I got a job in Budapest. The funny thing about my story is you would think a whole range of emotions would be going through me. However, the truth is I felt nothing but excitement. I had just finished my five years of studies at the University of Johannesburg three weeks prior, and I was searching for an adventure. I never thought my adventure would come so quickly, but needless to say I have not looked backed since that day.
I arrived in Budapest on the 4th of August, 2018, and was faced with a new country, a new home and a new culture. The biggest challenge, even now, would be the cultural differences compared to South Africa.
The first month of my time here I was faced with a jam-packed period of training. Based on my experience, the best part about working for Bilingual is the high level of support which you are provided with from day one. You are given training in all necessary areas, not only to live but also to work in Budapest. The ironic part is all the training in the world does not prepare you for the day-to-day reality of working in a foreign place.
The first month in the classroom was by far the most challenging part of my experience. Learning to teach in a co-teaching environment was a sometimes confusing and intimidating process. But my Team Leader has always been there for me when I needed support, so now I would say that working in a co-teaching environment has proved to be the best experience I have yet to be exposed to. The amount of knowledge I have gained from my co-teacher will be with me for the rest of my teaching career. She teaches me new ways of reaching the kids every day and I feel extremely grateful to be working with her.
I was lucky enough to have been exposed to different African cultures when I was teaching back home in South Africa. The relationships I developed with those children presented some hesitation to how I would form relationships with the children here in Budapest. Just like every challenge I feared I would face, a relationship with the children proved to be the easiest challenge to overcome. The beauty of children is completely independent of culture. If love is given to children, love is received by children. The kids I have taught are the best group of kids I could have ever asked for.
I am so grateful for this wonderful experience. Although I have faced challenges throughout my time here in Budapest, this journey has been the best decision I have ever made. I hope others can experience living and working here in the same light as I have