Germany Summer Camp participant and Irish native Ciarán had the summer of a lifetime, just like Domi! First taking part back in 2017, it’s been a life-changing journey that’s led him to becoming part of the Camp staff. He’s excited to welcome people like YOU to this summer’s intake of intern teachers!
Hi Ciarán! Tell us about what drew you to work at a summer camp in Germany.
My name is Ciarán, I’m from Ireland and I first started working with the camp in 2017. I was drawn to work in Germany to experience something different and develop my teaching skills. Most importantly, I wanted to do something fun and different for my summer holidays.
Tell us about your path to teaching abroad, Ciarán. Did you always know you’d end up at a summer camp in Germany?
I honestly never thought that I’d end up teaching in Germany. I had taken German lessons when I was in secondary school, but never thought I’d use it. Since discovering Camp Europe I’ve taught in Germany and improved my own language skills. I’ve also moved here and made a life for myself.
Tell us about your career path in Germany and if it has changed over time since beginning summer camp.
My career path has completely changed since I came to Germany. I was initially studying English, Sociology and Politics in Ireland. I reevaluated this after just a few weeks being here. Instead, I turned my interests towards working outdoors with kids in an international environment after getting a taste of it in my first year. Since then, I haven’t looked back.
What is your favorite age group to work with and why?
I personally prefer to work with younger kids when teaching English. I think my favorite thing about this age group is that the kids are less conscious about making mistakes when using the language and instead focus on communicating. This can, of course, be difficult when kids are from different nationalities and have trouble communicating with others in the group but children can be remarkably good at communicating non-verbally. At the end of a week when you see two young children from different countries trying to talk through the medium of English, you can’t help but feel proud.
What is one thing about the life of a “Camp Teamer” that you never expected and weren’t prepared for? Our readers love to have the inside scoop!
When I first applied to summer Camp in Germany, I really underestimated the actual size of the organisation and how international and friendly it really was. I still have one crystal clear memory in my head where I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I wandered around Hamburg airport for around 30 minutes looking for the group for the airport shuttle to camp. There was about 70 “Teamers”, all speaking different languages and looking like they were about to go on a 2-week trek into the wilderness. Then I realised they were the group I was looking for. I had amazing conversations with people from the different countries and it made the two hour drive to camp go by in an instant.
What has been your most rewarding experience so far?
The most rewarding experience was teaching English to a child that had quite challenging ADHD. This made teaching difficult sometimes. Every class felt like a struggle trying to keep him engaged and to stop him distracting others. By the end of the week, he seemed motivated to interact in the class and was actually sad to leave the camp.
What advice do you have for someone who’s on the fence about coming to Germany as a summer “Camp Teamer”?
The camp has completely changed my life. If you’ve never worked with an international team like me, you’re going to experience culture shock after culture shock that will open your eyes to a whole new way of living. You’ll meet so many new and interesting people, improve your language skills, get to be outside every day in the sun and face new and exciting challenges. Step outside of your comfort zone and experience something new! Read more about the summer internship in Germany.
Thank you for taking the time to share your adventure-filled story with the Premier TEFL community. Happy travels – see you in Hamburg!