This is a common concern and a natural one for people thinking of volunteering overseas for the first time.
We don’t have any set requirements as such so we’d encourage everyone interested to apply even if you don’t have any direct teaching or overseas experience. The reason we try to be as flexible as possible with selection criteria is that each of our projects is different from the next and suit people with all sorts of different backgrounds, ages, experiences and characters.
We have a number of projects in which volunteers are given teaching assistant roles and these are more suited to those with less experience. One of our major considerations is someone’s character and inter-personal skills and a lot of our best volunteers simply have had the right kind of attitude and approach to their projects rather than having extensive prior experience.
It’s often hard to imagine yourself in a situation if the experience is well removed from the environment you’re used to. Our interviews are conducted by two interviewers and pairs usually comprise of one trustee or staff member and one past volunteer. That means both your interviews have been past volunteers themselves and know exactly what it’s like sitting in the other chair!
If you’re in any doubt about your suitability – please apply and we’ll promise to give you honest feedback… you will also get the chance to talk with VESL staff and past volunteers at your selection event and that usually helps to allay any concerns you may have.
If you don’t apply – you’ll never know…