Name: Rowanna McNulty
Course: Engineering teaching
Project location: Vietnam
Project length: 8 weeks
“EIL Explore is a programme of EIL Intercultural Learning, an Irish not-for-profit organization based in Cork which provides intercultural learning opportunities through study abroad, volunteer abroad, language training, group educational programmes, and other cultural immersion activities for about 2,000 people each year.” (Eil website)
What is it??
EIL explore access award provides opportunities for students who initially would not have one to volunteer abroad. They have partners all over the world with various projects and volunteering opportunities. Some opportunities are not just for access students; there are much more possibilities!
What is the process ??
Last year, before Christmas the access office and I worked on completing an application to submit to EIL, than in January I was contacted and notified that 11 other applicants and I were shortlisted for an interview in which five awards were up for grabs. We all participated in various activities with the previous winners, and throughout that afternoon, we had individual interviews. About a week or two later I received a phone call notifying me that I was successful in obtaining an award and that in two weeks we will attend an introduction day with the other successful candidates. Not long after that, I found out that they were a spot for me in the Vietnam programme in which I will be teaching English with Vietnam volunteers for eight weeks during the summer.
Where do I go from here
So from here, I will attend a conference call along with the other participants and a pre-departure weekend before I leave in June. While abroad I hope to keep an online blog and some social media accounts, I also hope to bring a camera and do a portfolio of my time over there. Upon returning to Ireland, I will volunteer and raise awareness around EIL and their fantastic work.