My advice to anyone contemplating doing something like this is: do it! Get there as soon as you can. Africa is a fantastic place: the people are so friendly and will help you with anything. I would love to go back and see how sustainable my projects have become in the community. It is an experience of a lifetime and a memory you will never forget.
Having the opportunity to have my university work placement in Tanzania has made me more self-assured about applying for sports teacher jobs in the future, developing my personal and professional skills.
I spent two months coaching rugby and football teams in a variety of age groups in Arusha. I was with a group of other students, also from Sheffield Hallam University and we would spend most of our time within the community.
I visited orphanages, primary, secondary and disabled schools in the area, introducing mini activities and coaching multi-skill and fundamental sessions in a variety of sports. I also coached sport sessions in international schools around Arusha throughout the eight weeks, as well as leading HIV/AIDS Awareness sessions, hosting leadership programmes and teaching
The work placement was fantastic, I was able to meet new people and enhance many of my skills. I had the opportunity to go on safari, go to Zanzibar (an island off the east coast) perform for Arusha’s first team and much more.
The hardest part of my trip was that I had to leave; it’s safe to say I caught the Africa bug, I loved my experiences there and I made some great friends who I really want to see again.
The best thing about it was the challenge; I was in a country I had never been before, with very little knowledge of Swahili. I had to push myself to ensure that I got the most out of the opportunity and was able to develop my skills. I feel like the trip enhanced my cultural awareness and my independence hugely.
Having this Tanzania experience written on my CV and having worked with a variety of different organisations, any application I make for future roles would instantly stand out as distinctive and unique.
Oli Porter is a final year student on the Sport Development with Coaching degree. He spent eight weeks in Tanzania working at a school as a sports coach with young people.