Placement overview

Name: Amelia
Vocational area: Uniformed Services
Duration: 4 weeks
Location: Gqberha, South Africa
  • "I worked on my teamwork, patience, time management, communication skills.. Being somewhere else without the pressure of coursework and teachers has helped me to open up and come out of my shell."

    Amelia, Uniformed Services, South Africa

The motivation

I wanted to see South Africa. I wanted to have the experience that came with being independent, to try out something new and to see if I was any good at it.

The placement

I did sport coaching and childcare. During sport coaching, I coached netball and tennis. I got the children to do a warmup, then they play mini drill exercises that linked to netball before playing a game of netball.

Each session was adapted to the ability of the participants, and how much time we had. I followed the same structure when coaching tennis. Coaching tennis was hard as there was not a physical net at the school, so I adapted and used cones still following the rules of the game.

After each session we did a kilo that was specific to the sport. A kilo is a positive reinforcement that we do to motivate the children and end the session on a positive note.

During childcare I watched over the children making sure they were safe and not hurting each other. I sang songs with them and helped hand out lunch. At the end of the day before I went, I would help put the children to sleep.

The location

I enjoyed the different scenery. The warm welcome from local people; how friendly they are and willing to help you out.

The accommodation I was staying in was a vibrant and energetic place. The people in the accommodation were friendly and became lifelong friends.

There were lots of activities to do in the evening, like games night and Wednesday night football, with an amazing sunset.

I went on an overnight trip to Jeffreys bay and tried surfing for the first time. I managed to catch a few waves but not a pro!

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The impact

Being away from home allowed me to experience life with the constraints of
external pressure from loved ones, allowing me to improve into a better person that is more authentic to myself. During the trip I worked on my teamwork, patience, time management, communication skills and many more. Being somewhere else without the pressure of coursework and teachers has helped me to open up and come out of my shell.

The experience had made me re-evaluate my career and the option in which I would later go forth in life. After working with kids on the placement, I have now decided to enrol in Early Years and Childcare at University and I will be starting in September. 

Outcomes

  • Improved language skills
  • Exposure to cultural experience
  • Confidence building
  • Improved people skills
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