Volunteering has been an important aspect of my life and I was excited to learn that I could continue this abroad. CEA has a wonderful volunteering program here in Granada. There are many options available for students to choose from! Streets of Granada Volunteering is an incredible learning opportunity and only enhances your experience abroad. Volunteering within a school or community center benefits you and others in many ways. Not only are you able to give back to the community you are living in but you also grow from the experience. Volunteering makes you a more confident, happy and well-rounded person! It’s also a way for you to learn more about the community and the culture you are immersed in. Volunteering can also be a great way to meet people in the community and make new friends. For those living in a non-English speaking country, this is also an opportunity to practice and develop language skills. Volunteering can also help develop skills that will be useful in your future career. I have learned a lot from my own experience volunteering here in Granada. Currently, I am volunteering in a classroom at a private bilingual school near my apartment. CEA students are able to volunteer in a classroom with students anywhere between six to sixteen years old! Every week I work as a teacher assistant in a third grade classroom and a fifth grade classroom. As a pre-service teacher this is a valuable experience. I work with students on their homework, assignments and answer any questions they may have. I am learning from my students as well, and have a first-hand look at schools outside of the U.S. I also get called “Se ñ ora” each day, and am greeted by 18 bright smiles every time I walk through the door. CEA students also have the opportunity to teach in a Kindergarten classroom in one of the local private schools. Volunteers work with children on crafts, English lessons and other activities every week. There is also the opportunity to work with the elderly in their homes, or individuals with bipolar disorder. Here in Granada, this volunteering option is also a great opportunity to use your Spanish, get to know community members and help others. Another way you can get involved here in Granada, is working with the homeless one afternoon every week. You can help through working charities, food drives, and playing games with those involved in the program. This is another wonderful opportunity that can benefit you and your community in countless ways! There are so many opportunities here in Granada for you to get involved in! The on-site staff here; Begonia, Dani and Jorge are so welcoming and very helpful. Not only will they keep you up-to-date with all the amazing things going on in the city (free salsa lessons, churros con chocolate, parades and festivals galore) but they will encourage you to participate! Volunteering is an amazing way for you to get involved in the community- and the staff here is willing to work with you on finding other volunteer placements if you are interested! Ryann Fromknecht is the CEA MOJO in Granada for the Spring 2013 semester.
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