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Odyssey: Starting your journey

Erika Bernier and Rosalie D’Amours explored teaching careers as Odyssey language assistants

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Rosalie D'Amours and Erika Bernier wanted to explore their options to teach French. One is a teacher, one is not. One dreamed of traveling to the Maritimes and the other searched for experience. The two found Odyssey, which presented the opportunity to travel Canada, and live an enriching, personal and professional experience.

Rosalie and Erika are amongst hundreds of Odyssey language assistants who moved to a different province or territory, to help students improve on their spoken English or French. Both language assistants say that their favourite part of teaching French is when the lesson "clicks" for the student; it feels good to make that happen. They find it exciting to share their language and culture in a fun way, all while exposing themselves to the culture of another province.

Erika entered the Odyssey program to gauge her interest in pursuing a career in teaching. As a language assistant, she works alongside teachers, with immersion and core French students.

"There are different expectations for both programs," she says, "and I've learned that I have to go into the classroom with an open mind. It's important to know how to adapt and be flexible. If you're relaxed, the students will be too, and then they will have fun and learn." Erika feels that she is learning a lot from the other educators and this is allowing her to build on the skills that she will need as a teacher.

Rosalie is a trained teacher and an aspiring world traveler. This is her second nine-month contract working as a language assistant, and it continues to be a positive experience. "Odyssey is an incredible opportunity for anyone who has just finished university," says Rosalie.  "It's a good place to start your journey and make a living, all while travelling Canada." Following Odyssey, Rosalie intends to take her French-teaching skills to Asia.

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