who are we looking for?
OXPAND are looking for volunteer tutors from Oxford University, from a range of academic backgrounds but all are united by an interest in 'doing their bit' to help young asylum seekers and refugees.
You don't necessarily need have to be an established academic at Oxford but we don't accept any volunteers from 1st or 2nd year of university.
who exactly will i be teaching?
It is highly likely that you will be teaching a young refugee. Our students are all seeking asylum in Bulgaria and living in one of the country's 7 reception centres, having come from many different parts of the world such as Afghanistan and Iraq. The average stay for an individual in the camp is around 3-6 months, so everyone that signs up to OXPAND has the time available to complete the courses. All of our students are highly motivated, talented young people who are incredibly keen to begin studying again.
You will be assigned a student who has already been studying a course you specialise in at university level. For example, we would only pair up a Chemistry tutor with a previous student of Chemistry at a university in, for example, Damascus. However, because of the difference in educational systems between countries, it is likely that despite the previous experience the student has, they will be learning entirely new things with your help.
what subjects are you looking for?
We honestly could find a student for nearly any subject taught at Oxford! So please just get in contact if you're interested at all about tutoring.
However, we currently have registered interest from students studying Law, Biology, Philosophy, French, English, Arabic Literature, Economics, Business Management, Chemical Engineering, Medicine, Psychology, Mechanics, Physics, Dentistry, History, Art and more...
how much time will i need to give?
We ask that you mentor your paired student for one hour a week, for one of our 6 week courses.
Beforehand you will meet up with members of the OXPAND team and receive a welcome pack. We also recommend you receive one of our short optional training sessions, in which you can meet your assigned translator, as well as hearing about the situation your paired student will be learning in, such as the conditions of the camp and the history behind their migration.
Depending on how much energy you want to devote to the programme, we estimate overall you will spend a maximum of 2 hours a week on your course and preparation.
what do i teach?
The idea of our courses is that they suit you and the student follows, like in a tutorial. You can choose to discuss a range of topics or ideas in the tutorial, or alternatively be more direct through a mock lecture-style class. You will receive a range of example lesson plans and videos in one of our welcome packs.
We will briefly assess your course content, however it is really a creative opportunity for you to teach something your student probably won’t have learned before and is entirely flexible according to your academic preferences.
We are more than happy to provide ideas for your lessons if you need in the preliminary training sessions, as well as ongoing assistance throughout the 6 weeks.
how does the translation work?
When you sit down to give the class over Skype (or other medium), you will be joined by one of our volunteer Arabic translators. If your office space isn't appropriate for them to join, or you would prefer to go somewhere different, we have office space available in Oxford that we can provide you.
Whilst it is optional, we recommend that you meet with your translator ahead of your classes, to brief them about what sort of things you might be expecting your student to say, or alternatively what you intend to say.
All the OXPAND team have communicated this way with refugees during our work in Bulgaria, translating directly between English and Arabic, Kurdish or Persian and it works extremely well. If anything, the time it takes for your translator to communicate with your student will allow you time to think about what you are going to say next!
Any additional questions?
Please do not hesitate to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so if you'd prefer to chat over the phone you can reach Anna on (+44) 07887861824.