Briercrest TESOL student heads to Afghanistan solo
By Amy Robertson
Five TESOL students spent a week teaching English at the University of Winnipeg in February. Left to right: Annie Erickson, Tamara Bowering, Oschean Ulmer, Robbie Bancroft, and Olivia Plouffe. Submitted photo.
fghanistan doesn’t top the summer destination list of most Canadian university students.
But Robbie Bancroft of Minto, N.B., has chosen to do his TESOL internship there—and he’s going solo.
Bancroft, a third-year TESOL student at Briercrest College and Seminary, could have gone to China this month with his other classmates, but his brother was getting married in New Brunswick during the trip.
Missing the wedding wasn’t an option for Bancroft. So, when he met a representative from a language school in northern Afghanistan, Bancroft decided to investigate.
He was intrigued—he wanted to see what Afghanistan was really like. Would it be different than the images portrayed by the media?
After some prayer and plans, Bancroft became convinced that Afghanistan was where God wanted him this summer. He leaves July 21 and will spend six weeks teaching.
He’s not the least bit afraid of what he’ll experience there, in spite of the political unrest, the isolation, and the incredible heat (he’ll be teaching in a building without air conditioning).
“I can’t imagine a safer place to be than if I’m in the Lord’s will,” he said.
Bancroft’s mother, who was originally opposed to the idea of him travelling to such an unstable country, has “come around,” he said.
He’ll be working with a non-government organization several hours north of Kabul, far away from the violence. He’s also established an evacuation plan.
It’s very unlikely he’ll be in any danger, he said.
Bancroft will spend between two and four hours each day teaching English to adult professionals.
He has several hours of teaching experience already, most of which he earned during a week-long practicum at the University of Winnipeg in February.
Bancroft chose TESOL in part because of the immediate travel and employment opportunities it will offer upon graduation next year. But mostly, he wants to make a difference.
“I feel called to serve people and make life better for people,” he said. TESOL is a “really practical way that I can make a difference—change something."
“One man won’t change the world, but maybe the Lord will, and maybe I’ll be a part of it.”