A blog post from SOLES MEd in Tesol, Ambassador, Paz Valdivia.
My name is Paz Valdivia and in this post I will share how I completed my International experience requirement, and which of these experiences was my favorite.
As an international student myself, I decided to explore the opportunities that the SOLES provided within San Diego. Thanks to that, I was able to participate in different local trips, gaining a much deeper understanding of San Diego’s diversity and cultural richness.
The first experience was a trip to Linda Vista, with a focus on their Community Center, Bayside. There, I was able to learn about the different aspects in which the neighbors of the community contribute and advocate for a better lifestyle for all its members.
A second experience was a trip to Tijuana, which included a mini workshop for local Boy Scouts, in which we discussed issues concerning sustainability and the environment. I particularly enjoyed this experience, because we got to listen the perspectives of children from the other side of the border, who actively take care of their neighborhoods. During this trip I also got to visit the border between the US and Mexico, and listened to stories of separation and struggle.
My last, and favorite, international experience, which was a little bit different, and it was part of the Linda Vista Initiative, in which I volunteered teaching English as a Second Language to senior citizens from Mexico and Vietnam. With two other TESOL classmates, we taught this wonderful group of students for almost a year in our own campus. This experience was especially valuable to me, since it was my first ESL group of students, and since our English lessons were focused on their leadership and advocacy skills development.
I highly recommend engaging in the local experiences that SOLES offers, which will provide you with a deeper understanding of what San Diego has to offer.