Travelling is s a huge part of an Irish student’s summer, whether it’s a J1 Stateside or working for a club in the sun, there is no denying that it hasn’t crossed a student’s mind at least once.
But for people who didn’t have the funds to travel and rent for the summer, there is a new opportunity that they can go for.
GoCambio is an Irish start-up company which began this year. It has a very simple ethos, “hosts share their homes and guests share their skills”. So in exchange for language tuition, travellers can stay with a host in a foreign country who will provide a bed.
Irish Cambioer, Sinead Gould, stayed with Alex Lopez in Zaragoza, in the north of Spain. She said “GoCambio was a new adventure that I had not experienced and I am so grateful that I did. I had no expectations of Zaragoza and I was curious about living like a local rather than a generic holiday experience I would get if I stayed at a hotel.”
People teach for at least two hours a day with their host, and you don’t have to be a qualified English teacher to apply, because according to the company, “One thing you can be sure of, whatever your native language – you will always be better in fluency, pronunciation and usage than your host”
Arrangements can be made between hosts and guests prior or during the trip for food, travel and how many hours they want to teach a day. Unfortunately flights are all up to guests.
Travellers are encouraged to use creative means for teaching, as sometimes they may be tutoring children or may feel more comfortable outside a classroom setting. As Sinead said,“At the start we discussed how we would do the tutoring and all agreed that it would be better to do it in a relaxed manner when they were showing me around.”
GoCambio has over 6,500 sign ups currently and it is beginning its second phase in November, which is set to broaden the bartering system to more than language, as they put it “everyone has a talent they can share.”
It is currently free to sign up for both guest and host, so it is making no revenue which is something they wish to change with the introduction of new talents.
GoCambio is an opportunity that will appeal to many people, because you can travel and see new places from a local’s point of view. Former guest, Naomi Maher said “A Cambioer must be someone who is open-minded and dedicated to making an exchange to remember. A Cambio works the best when both parties are fully engaged and willing to give their best to each other.”
Image – GoCambio.com