I first visited Panamá in 1989 to see my Salvadoran aunt who had started her family there. However, I first experienced Panamá in 1979 as a child in Orange County, California through the loving and inspiring late Panamanian Archbishop Tomás Clavel. Clavel had been exiled to Los Angeles in the 1970’s after a change in the Panamanian government, where he spent his remaining years uplifting countless people, including my own family.
Living abroad is a life-changing experience, comparable to none. You will be immersed in a new culture, testing your limitations, and expanding your knowledge. One of the best ways to invest in yourself while living abroad is through teaching English. Not only will you be learning immensely about yourself and your potential, you will also be changing the lives of the students you teach. Below are 6 ways teaching abroad will change your life.
When I was selected to be one of the 18 English teachers for the inaugural Panama Teacher Match program through Partners of the Americas, I knew I was in for an adventure. I had requested to be sent to a rural area, but everything about my placement was a mystery. This was the summer adventure I was craving! The unknown was the beauty of the experience! I never expected to fall so in love with the community.
It’s amazing how life can often come full circle, and my experience as one of the inaugural fellows of Panama Teacher Match proved just this. This past winter, I embarked on a journey to be accepted into Panama Teacher Match, a dynamic new program of teaching English to Spanish-speaking students in Panama. My interest in this program was fueled by two major ideals: my passion for my culture and country (being of Panamanian descent); and my love for my profession of teaching.