Alumni Spotlight: Reina Quadros
For this month's Alumni Spotlight, we caught up with Reina. She has been living in Prague for a year and a half now and has been living it up! Read on to find out more about Reina's TEFL adventure...
1. When did you take the TEFL course with Hello Academies? What inspired you to get TEFL certified?
I took my TEFL course in April 2016. I taught English back home and had a 2 month summer vacation from the school. I saw an ad on Facebook for a TEFL course and jumped on it. I thought it would be a nice way to travel and learn something new.
2. How has getting TEFL certified help your teaching career? Where have you been teaching in Prague?
The TEFL certificate really helped broaden my understanding of the English language and made me notice so many nuances that I would not have thought about despite being a native speaker. It's universally recognized and has definitely helped in terms of finding a job. The opportunities to teach in language schools here in Prague are plenty and easy to find.
I am currently working at a private Kindergarten in Prague 4. I’ve been teaching there for the past year and a half and have really grown to love the kids. The school is in Kunratice, a little further out of the city, in a quiet neighbourhood with lots of parks and a forest close by.
3. What are some of your favorite things about living in Prague? Do you have any recommendations of things to do for people who recently moved or are in the process of moving to Prague?
Prague has something for everyone. I especially like the stand up comedy nights at the Czech Inn. They usually have shows on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the occasional live music on Saturdays.
The farmer's markets at Naplavka during the summers are something I look forward to. There are some great food festivals in Andel with live bands performing. The Beer Museum at Namesti Miru is a fun place to have a drink. My favourite thing about Prague is strolling through the parks. The sunsets at Riegrovy Sady are something you shouldn’t miss during the summers. If you are into sports (watching sports and drinking), the beer garden in the park is a nice place to spend your Sundays.
If you have the time, there are plenty of hiking trails on the outskirts of the city. Zbraslav is a lovely little village. The forest nearby has a couple of hiking trails. Check out Snezka (the highest mountain in the Czech Republic 1,603m) if you are feeling adventurous. There are beautiful hiking trails during spring and the summer.
4. You recently went to Greece for a volunteer opportunity, can you tell us more about this experience?
A friend of mine told me about Woofing. We were lucky to find an organic olive farm in Crete. The owner is an engineer, who inherited the farms from his ancestors and has been working on new and sustainable ways of harvesting and extracting olive oil. He is looking for help on the farm from April to December. He was nice enough to let us stay despite it being the off-season. Since there wasn’t much work to do on the farm we decided to travel around the island instead. We visited the three big cities (Chania, Rethymnon and Heraklion) in the north, visited the Palace of King Minos at Knossos and his brother’s palace at Phaestos. We then hitchhiked through the south, hiked through Gorges and went swimming on the south coast. It’s a whole different atmosphere during the summer. We met some interesting people, learnt a lot from the locals who were more than welcoming and ate some savage food! We did have our trusted guide book ‘Le Routard', however you will need a French person to translate.
5. For people who are interested in volunteering abroad, can you tell us a little more about the process and how they can get involved with the organization you went through?
If you want to volunteer get on to Woofing. It costs about 15 euro to sign up. You then pick from a multitude of choices all over the world. Choose wisely and make sure you communicate all specifics clearly.
The organic farm that I visited is best suited for groups of 4 or 6. The owner is Dimitrios (firstname.lastname@example.org), and is usually looking for help around April to December.