"CLEVER" Volunteers


John Keihly, volunteer, teacher from USA,
15/03-15/05 2015


For me, the biggest initial "perk" in accepting Alina's invitation to teach English in Khanty Mansiysk, Siberia was the free and private accommodation along with free high speed Internet access. Together with the inexpensive food availability, and the cheap cost of commuting, these were the most standout features I first enjoyed. The relaxed timetable was certainly attractive as well. In the beginning of my two month stay as an instructor, I liked the chance to begin my classes by feeling comfortable with the students without creating unnecessary extra demands on their time. After the first weeks went by I found that especially the TOEFL students wanted more challenging assignments so I found ways to increase the level of instruction for them. I probably could have gone still further if I had more planning time. These are definitely highly motivated and intelligent people who want very much to improve their English with native speakers.

Of course, I can't emphasize enough, how much I appreciated the warmth, camaraderie, and genuine friendliness that was shown to me throughout my time with Alina and her "Clever" students. I definitely feel these associations made my stay the highlight of my experience as an expat in Russia. I felt truly bonded in an atmosphere of most valuable and lasting friendships during my stay. I shall not forget this two months... It was a truly priceless adventure. Thank you so much Alina, for having made this opportunity possible for me in coming to Siberia where normally one thinks of only severe cold and unforgiving hardships. For me, it was just a terrific blessing to be teaching among so many kindred spirits..!