In partnership with Reach the World (RTW), the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is publishing a series of articles written by Fulbright English Teaching Assistants participating in Reach the World’s Traveler correspondents program, which through its interactive website, enriches the curriculum of elementary and secondary classrooms (primarily located in New York City but also nationwide) by connecting them to the experiences of volunteer Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) and other world travelers who are currently studying and living abroad.
The end of March marked the end of my sixth month as a Fulbright grantee in Romania, which means that I still have one month left to go. The funny thing is that even though I’ve been here six months, I still feel in many ways like I’m just starting to adjust. It constantly surprises me how many new things I learn, experience or realize every day. I meet new people, hear new stories and even find new things in the grocery store!
This experience so far has been more challenging and rewarding that I ever could have imagined. My classes are nothing like I thought they would be, and a lot of that is because I learned how to adapt to the environment. I tried certain things with my students, learned what worked and what didn’t, and made changes. My teaching is still not perfect. A lot of times I expect things to go one way and then something completely different happens. I have also faced problems I never would have expected, like having issues with my health. However, having to deal with them has made me a more confident person.