- About us
- Get involved
- Programs & events
- Volunteer Training Program
Blog & News
- How to Cope with Graduation Anxiety
- 6 Tips You Should Know Before Your Next Virtual Interview
- My co-op experience with the SFU Surrey - TD Community Engagement Centre
- Doggy Bloggy
- As we come to the end of 2020, we want to say Thank You!
- The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
- Community Matters - How Jaskaran’s community building project led him to the CEC’s Bridge Program
- Need Fresh Groceries? Why not come to the “SFU Food Hub” at Burnaby?
- How volunteering has helped a new transfer student open a door of possibilities
- Meet the SFU Director of Global Engagement: Gretchen Ferguson
- How are YOU going to make the most of your university experience at SFU?
- Engaging with the youth through virtual mentoring
- From volunteering to working as a program coordinator
- Why you should volunteer with Racing Readers?
- SFU Ssudent Surbhi Ratti helps spearhead Food Rescue initiative
- Newcomer SFU student volunteers with language instruction for newcomers to Canada Program!
- Meet the winner of the SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition: Saba Fatemi
- When COVID closes a door, it opens a Zoom call
- 5 Reasons why you should volunteer at Media Minds – from the perspective of an aspiring high school teacher
- Meet our champion SFU volunteer: Jennifer An
- An inspiring volunteer experience
- In the news
- Contact us
- Volunteer now
When COVID closes a door, it opens a Zoom call
This is the story of Azadeh Adibi, a passionate SFU graduate student who travelled half the globe to perfect her craft in teaching English. Before coming to Canada, Azadeh taught English for 8 years in Iran and Oman after getting her first master’s degree in education. She is now pursuing a second master’s degree at SFU under the Educational Technology and Learning Design program.
Most people would tell you that change is difficult. Moving out from home or moving countries means leaving friends, family and adjusting to a new environment. For Azadeh it meant moving to a completely new continent and going from being a seasoned instructor to sitting on the other side of the desk as a student.
While going through her master’s program, Azadeh still wanted to teach but finding the right opportunity was not an easy task. At one point, Azadeh found the English Conversation Circle (ECC) through the MyInvolvment platform of SFU and after interviewing for the position, Azadeh was looking forward to teaching once more but unfortunately, the location of the teaching center was too far for her to commit to the program.
The window of opportunity
As COVID hit the world in early 2020, job postings became more and more scarce and it didn’t look like Azadeh’s search for a job was going to be any easier. But when a door closes, another (zoom) window opens. The same opportunity which Azadeh could not commit due to the transit distance reached out again to her since they were moving towards remote learning.
When everything clicks into place
Even though teaching virtually through zoom was a challenge in itself because interactions are different and some of the material was designed to be help in person, Azadeh was able to not only find an English teaching opportunity but she was also able to gain experience relevant to her current master’s degree in educational technology and learning design! Along with her volunteer peers and with support from the SFU Office of Community Engagement staff, as well as guidance from the staff at SUCCESS BC, they developed new material catering to the virtual meetings format and helped newcomers to Canada make friends and stay socially connected and not feel isolated during the COVID isolation measures.
Change is never easy, and it often causes disruption in our lives. But change isn’t bad, it opens opportunities. Now it’s time for you to take your opportunity, the way that Azadeh did. Volunteer virtually with English Conversation Circles or any of the other opportunities available through the SFU Surrey – TD Community Engagement Centre.