Say hello to Meder! The 20-year-old International Relations & Development student from Kyrgyzstan spends a lot of his time working and volunteering as an English teacher for children as well as adults. Already experienced in this field, the aspiring teacher has recently become an internationally certified TEFL (Teaching English as Foreign Language) instructor, and this summer will volunteer in an LCC English summer camp for children in Ukraine, as well as be an intern for Belarusian students preparing for studies in the US.
Read on to learn more about this young, aspiring teacher, Meder!
A North American style, liberal arts university in the heart of Europe… these were the qualities that caught Meder’s attention when he saw a social media advertisement for LCC. While doing his research, he realized it was a place for him to pursue his education, and an application soon followed. The hybrid study format allowed him to first study remotely from his home country, Kyrgyzstan. Having to go to a Lithuanian Embassy in Kazakhstan for a visa didn’t stop him either. Meder finally arrived in Lithuania in the middle of October, only to be welcomed by the second national lockdown, moving all courses online. “I still haven’t had a physical class at LCC,” comments Meder.
Having recently completed his first year at LCC, Meder reflects on his experience at a liberal arts university. One of the highlights for him was the friendships he has forged. Due to the quarantine rules, the residents of the dormitories haven’t been allowed to visit floors or rooms other than their own. The community on Meder’s dormitory floor used this as an opportunity to become even closer. For example, Meder spent time not only getting to know his floormates from 8 countries better but learning various new recipes from other cuisines and cultures as well. This Kyrgyz student singles out cooking as one of his biggest passions; an activity that is not just a mere everyday grind, but rather something that helps him relax, meditate, reflect, and even set new goals.
Recently, the 20-year-old has had great success in reaching his aspirations. “I’ve been teaching English for a couple of years now.” Meder has helped organize and teach various English camps and has also been teaching language to adults online. Over the last couple of months, the aspiring teacher has taken Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL) courses, completing 120 hours of course work and successfully passing a difficult exam that coincided with the regular semester finals week at LCC. Now, Meder is a TEFL internationally certified instructor - which means that now he has the opportunity to work in many schools all around the world.
However, this young teacher is not stopping there. He was recently accepted as a teacher for the English Summer Camp for children in Ukraine, organized by LCC. “I’m very excited to help these kids learn English,” said Meder, unable to hide his enthusiasm. Meder has also taken a leadership role for the next academic year as a First-Year Seminar Student Leader. For the soon-to-be sophomore, this is an important experience and will help create lesson content for his group of freshmen and cooperate with other teachers in the FYS course.
As such, a question arises. Why is someone so fascinated by the English language and teaching, studying International Relations & Development? “In the future, I want to be working in the field of development of education in Central Asia,” he shares. Before becoming a teacher, Meder wanted to be a diplomat and be involved in foreign relations. After the first two semesters at LCC, he sees how he has a more diverse interest than just international relations and politics. This IRD field will nevertheless help him pursue his greater vision of developing education down the road. Having been a student in the region, he saw first-hand, the issues in education. Now, he sees these issues also through the lens of a teacher. Meder hopes to help bring change and fundamental improvement in education.