June 18, 2018
Writer: Cinthya Rubio
Sara Hendricks is a BYU-Idaho alumna who has been in Mexico for two years being an Elite State Department English Language Fellow.
The English Language Fellow Program recruits “highly qualified U.S. educators in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other languages or Teaching English as a Foreign Language” who will be part of a 10 month long fellowship in schools across the world.
Hendricks said this program helps develop English in the developing worlds.
“There’s English Language Fellows in Mexico, Rwanda, Vietnam,” Hendricks said. “We go to nations that are developing and we go teach them English but also teach them about us government and the ideals of democracy and so forth.
She said the main focus is to teach the teachers so that they can have a bigger impact in the country.
Hendricks said she got involved in the program after she had moved to Japan with her husband and were English teachers there.
“We were in Japan for six years and I kind of felt like it was time to move on somewhere else, and that’s when the English Language Fellow program popped into my mind,” Hendricks said.
While applying to the program, Hendricks said in one of the interviews that her dream placement would be to go to Mexico.
She said you have to be adventurous if you want to join this program because you are assigned a place and you don’t get to pick where you want to go.
Hendricks said her favorite experience while being in the program is being able to teach the students in Mexico.
“I really love to teach the students because they are so friendly and so giving and they are so excited to talk to me,” Hendricks said.
The connections and relationships, Hendricks and her family have been able to make while living in Mexico is something she has loved.
“Everybody is super welcoming and every weekend we are going to someone’s birthday party or somebody’s Quinceanera, so people have really welcomed us to the community,” Hendricks said.
After her fellowship is over, Hendricks and her family will travel across Mexico before coming back to the United States for summer vacation. After spending time in the States, they will move back to Japan.