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Studying With a Sense of Purpose

Working with the kindergarten class Lillian Berggoetz

Volunteering abroad has help me realize my future career aspirations. 

Travelling with purpose, in my opinion, is the best way to travel. From experience, I can tell you that knowing you have a place and a purpose for being somewhere is one of the best feelings in the world.

Throughout my three months here at Musanze, I not only have been working with the deaf school, but I also have been working at Virguna Valley Academy (VVA), which is the school my aunt and uncle founded in 2014. The school is an American international school. Teachers aged 18 to 62 have come from all around the world come to Musanze to teach at this school.

I have had the privilege to work with several teachers at VVA. I have worked with preschool to sixth grade, helping in English, science, social studies, grammar, and—a personal favourite—math. Working here and at the Deaf school for the last three months has really made me realize what I want to do with my career in the future. Teaching has turned into a passion for me and Musanze has become a second home to me. I am ready to go to university and am planning on going back to Musanze to teach in a few years. If I didn’t have the amazing opportunity to come here and volunteer, I wouldn’t be able to say that I now know what I want to do in my future.

Volunteering abroad for the last three months has really made me realize what I want to do with my career in the future.

I am not the only person who has gone to Musanze and realized what I wanted to do with my future career. Oliver Finniear, an 18-year-old Brit, came to Musanze in 2016 with his family to teach at VVA. After living in Musanze for a year with his family, he realized that he loved VVA and Musanze so much he decided to come live in Musanze by himself and teach at VVA. He is currently teaching math and science. While he is teaching at VVA, he is taking classes at a university to further his goal of become a teacher.

Oliver says that he loves teaching because he likes to see how students learn, grow and seeing them excited to learn. One thing I have noticed is the children in Musanze, at the Deaf school and at VVA, have a passion and watching their faces get excited to learn is one of the best things I have ever seen in my life.

Although my trip is coming to an end, I know for a fact that I will be back in Musanze within a couple of years, because like Oliver says, VVA is a brilliant community with great staff and teachers. The work environment is so positive and caring. VVA is a place of acceptance and encouragement and living in Musanze for three months has helped me learn who I am and who I want to be in the future.

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Published in Volunteer Abroad Blogs
Lillian Berggoetz

Lillian is a recent high school graduate. She has been a part of Indiana’s Deaf community for four years. She is volunteering in Rwanda and volunteering at a local Deaf school in Ruhengeri for three months.

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Travel with purpose; travel for good. Articles, resources and events for ethical and meaningful travel, volunteering, working and studying abroad.

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