Ulster University Go Global Student Stories

Naitasiri
Fiji

Profile Image for Oisin Kennedy
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Oisin Kennedy

BSC Hons Psychology FT

Staying with the families within the village was a great way to understand the Fijian way of living and experience their customs and traditions which are completely different to those we have in Northern Ireland.


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As part of the Ulster University expedition team, we stayed for 3 weeks in Wainawaqa, a village within the Naitasiri district.

In pairs, we were assigned a family to stay with for the next 3 weeks, we were welcomed with open arms and treated as one of their own.

Staying with the families within the village was a great way to understand the Fijian way of living, experience their customs and traditions which are completely different to those we have in Northern Ireland.

Teaching English and Maths

I assisted class 3&4 which involved taking a student that was struggling with English or Maths and helping them through a 1-on-1 lesson.

I got assigned to a little boy called Valerio, he struggled both in his English and Maths.

It was amazing seeing his progression day by day, and by the end of out stay, he could do long multiplication, long division and tell the time.

As well as the 1-on-1 sessions, we helped out by doing activities with the classes to help them with their English vocabulary and learning topics such as verbs and nouns. It was really rewarding seeing how excited the kids were and they were always eager to learn new things each day.

I'll never forget on the last day when my student Valerio came up to me and said, "Thank you for teaching me, I will miss you!".

It made the whole experience worthwhile for me.

Sports lessons

As well as teaching Maths and English, we had sport lessons after school every day. It was a great way to get the kids involved and having fun learning new sports and skills. We also had house cup teams where each week we covered a topic through posters, drama, song and dance.

It was really a fun way to teach the children the importance of different topics.

A challenging experience

Overall, the experience was very challenging, it was a huge culture shock when I initially arrived and some days it was challenging in school to keep the kids engaged during lessons and sports.

However, as challenging it got, it was worthwhile in the end!

The experience definitely was an eye opener and changed my perspective on a lot of things, I had never really considered teaching as a future career but this experience has made me consider it!

It was an amazing way to get to know other students from different courses and campuses, and through the experience I'm glad to call some of them my best friends.

Although it was sad to leave the village, it was amazing to know that we made a positive impression on both the children and the families of the village. I had an absolute blast getting to know everyone and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

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