Culture

 

Learning

 

Leisure

 

Community engagement

 

Physical demand

 

  • All meals included Yes
  • Free beverages Yes
  • Persons per room 3-5
  • Wifi in public areas Yes
  • Laundry facilities No
  • Safety box No
  • Lockable rooms Yes
  • Hot shower No
  • Private bathroom Yes
  • Western toilet Yes
  • Bed linen Yes
  • Towels No
  • Air conditioning No
  • Heating No
  • Fan Yes
  • Mosquito protection Yes

Program & Schedule

Teaching and all aspects of education are fundamental to the improvement of communities within developing nations. By sharing your knowledge of the English language, your efforts are moving young people in this local community forward. As you participate in this program you will cooperate, side by side with staff on a daily basis.

Local school teachers will provide insight, guidance and lesson plans to you based upon their current educational curriculum. You will have the chance to take part in informal group activities involving games, colouring, books, toys,and other educational tools, all with the goal of improving the English ability for community members in attendance.

You can expect to use your creative skills and abilities, as well as general knowledge, to engage in learning activities with students 3-4 hours each day and additional time will be spent preparing the lesson plans.

You will be assisting local teachers to teach basic English by exchanging songs, and playing educational games. You may also lead the children through activities like handicrafts, sports, drawing, coloring, writing and more! There may be additional opportunities in the evening to facilitate conversational classes, for others who may be interested in improving their English as well.

Since resources may be quite limited in the area, feel free to bring teaching materials such as games, coloured pencils, erasers, English language books, and even clothes and toys to donate!

We also recommend that you also bring pictures or other small objects representing your country of origin, which you could easily turn into an opportune educational lesson that will broaden the student’s outlook!

Aims & Objectives

  • Improve educational prospects and widen the cultural interactions of students
  • Gain invaluable and practical experience in teaching
  • Develop your teamwork and skills through hands on activities

Schedule

Monday to Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Use creative activities, songs and relevant materials to teach English
  • Lunch
  • Prepare lesson plans for next day’s classes
  • Assist with Conversation classes (when available)
  • Dinner
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:                -

Maximum age:                -

Minimum English level:        Advanced

CRB required:                On Signup

Passport copy required:        On Signup

Resume copy required:        On Signup

Required qualification:        None

Additional Requirements

The participants who would like to join this project should have some teaching experience.

Living & Location

Tada Oo Township, sometimes spelled as Tada-U, is within the Kyaukse District of the Mandalay region of central Myanmar (once called Burma). There are big dreams for this area which have resulted in an increase in development projects and tourism here, because of its proximity to the city of Mandalay (less than 90 minutes away) and the Mandalay International Airport.

You will be staying at a local monastery in a small community. The accommodation is simple but comfortable. You will share space and facilities with other participants in the program. There may be some opportunities to participate in sports, cooking, weaving and agriculture with locals in the area.

Food Arrangements

Participants will receive 3 meals each day (2 on weekends). Food will be very typical of local Burmese cuisine and is often dependent upon what foods are available and in season. You can expect many dishes to have rice, as it is a staple in the local diet. Vegetables and eggs are also widely used. Occasionally, there may be some western dishes included, but that is not to be expected on a regular basis.

Facilities

This location is outside of town with only a few small stores, a small market, and a tea shop, that are within walking distance. Larger stores, restaurants, banks/ATM, clinics/pharmacy are available, but may be 30 minutes or more away by car.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

Since this is a quaint location, there are only a few places close to the accommodation. But those heading into Mandalay will have access to the Golden Palace Monastery, the Mahamuni Pagoda, the Kuthodaw Pagoda, Mingun Temple, the Bargaya Monastery, to name a few.

Mandalay Hill is another favorite that you can visit during the weekends. In fact, the city of Mandalay got its name from this hill. Mandalay Hill is famous for its abundance of pagodas and monasteries and for being a pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Getting to the top of the hill is a rewarding experience and once there, you will be greeted by a panoramic view of the city and the Su Taung Pyae Pagoda (“wish-fulfilling” pagoda).

Transportation

From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.

Quick Facts

Name:                Republic of the Union of Myanmar/Burma

Population:        51 million

Capital:        Naypyidaw

Language:        Burmese

Currency:        Burmese Kyat

Time zone:        UTC +6:30

Country Information

Myanmar (or Burma) is a country in Southeast Asia bordered by India to the west, China to the north and Thailand to the east. It lies on the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea coast. For a long time, it was not a touristic destination. In recent years, however, it has gained popularity among tourists. It is important to note that many areas in Myanmar are closed to foreigners, but many other major cities and attractions are ready to welcome you with arms wide open!

Myanmar has maintained its own traditions and culture through the test of time. Nevertheless, it has also gathered many other from its neighbor countries as well as from its British colonial period (which lasted 62 years from 1824 to 1866). You’ll even find a myriad of traditional teahouses where you can enjoy a tea!

As the country slowly turns into a democracy, many changes have come along - censorship has relaxed and made space to new media, many sanctions have been dropped, importation is now allowed, international ATMs have risen and there is now even phone coverage and internet access available (though it is often quite slow). However, despite its recent modernization, the essence of the country still remains, making Myanmar a wonderful and authentic place to discover!

A trek through the Shan hills, a boat ride on Inle Lake, a day of relaxation at the Bay of Bengal’s beaches, a day of temple hopping in Bagan, a hike to the top of Natmataung Mountain, exploring the Shwedagon Pagoda and many more things await you in this wonderful country!

Climate

Myanmar’s climate is characterized by its strong monsoon influences. It receives a high amount of sun, rainfall and humidity. In general, Lower Myanmar (Yangon area) receives more rainfall while Upper Myanmar (around Mandalay) remains a bit drier as well as cooler.

The climate in the country is considered to have three main seasons:

  • Cool: October to February. After the rainy season, the country gets significantly cooler with average temperatures of 20°C to 24°C. This is the best time to visit Myanmar. Temperatures can go as low as 10°C during the night in the highlands area such as Inle Lake.
  • Hot: Between February and May. During this period, the country receives little to no rain. The average temperature ranges between 30°C and 35°C but sometimes rises above 40°C.
  • Rainy: From May to October. This season hits the entire country, including the coast, the mountains, and big cities such as Mandalay and Bagan. During this season, some roads get severely affected and become intransitable. The country has an average temperature of 25°C and 30°C in the rainy season.

Culture

The culture in Myanmar is influenced by Buddhism, its neighbouring countries: India, China and Thailand and some British influence from the colonization period is still present as well. Aside from its dominant ethnic group, known as the Bamar, there are also many minorities such as ethnic Chinese and Indians whose ancestors migrated to the country during the colonization periods. The largest religion in the country is Theravada Buddhism.

Burmese people are friendly, polite and incredibly hospitable. While in big cities, you will notice people wearing Longhi with lace blouses and a very peculiar makeup known as Tannaka paste, which is extracted from a tree that carries the same name. It is mostly used by women and children but sometimes also by men to protect against sunburn and it also has a cooling effect. Another typical garment is the Indian lungi, a sarong that is worn by both men and women. However, westernized clothes such as skirts and pants have become more common among the young in recent years.

Etiquette

Do

  • Lower your head to show respect when you pass in front of an elder
  • Take of yours shoes and socks when entering a place, especially religious building grounds
  • Move your head to the side when coughing or yawning
  • Cover your shoulders and legs when entering a religious building if you are a woman
  • Greet someone with a smile and a slight bow of the head. Remember that physical contact such as a handshake are not the norm in Myanmar and neither is pressing your palms together as it is done in Thailand or India
  • Walk clockwise around Buddhist monuments (keep them to your right)

Don’t

  • Touch someone’s head: As in all Buddhist countries, the head is considered to be the most sacred part of the body and it is considered extremely impolite to touch someone’s head. Touching the head of a child is seen as a major offence and it is thought to affect the child’s well-being
  • Point your feet at someone. It is considered impolite and a major offense if down to a Buddha statue or image
  • Kiss or hug in public
  • Walk on carpets
  • Touch a monk if you are female. Similarly, men should never touch a woman in public, not even to shake hands

Gastronomy

Burmese cuisine is characterized by its use of fish products and its seafood, especially in coastal cities. A curious ingredient you will find here is ngapi, a sort of fish paste. Meat is also a main ingredient in areas that have no direct access to the ocean. Salads also play an important role in the gastronomy of the country and they generally focus on one main ingredient, be it noodles, potato, tomato, rice and even ngapi.

The national dish is called Mohinga and it is also considered a traditional breakfast dish. It is rice noodle and fish soup and, if you wish to try it, you will have no trouble finding it as it is prepared everywhere in the country.