Keyth Kroboth wakes up grateful every morning to go from her house in New Jersey to teach at the EF Campus in Tarrytown. She has been working there for 20 years and the job has allowed her to meet people from all over the world, from Arabia to Argentina. However, being a teacher for international students was not her first job option.
Keyth’s first interest was the film world. For several years she worked in commercial film production. However, she didn’t feel 100% comfortable with this job, feeling like she wasn’t using her brain enough and that the work environment was really tough. She wanted to get out of that environment, so when a friend told her about an open-house event to live abroad and teach English as a second language, she jumped at the chance. Her first overseas job involved a year in Mexico. The experience taught her to get out of her comfort zone, just as EF students do by coming to a foreign country to immerse themselves in the language and the culture. The experience is an opportunity for them to grow and learn about themselves.
EF NY is one of the largest EF campuses in the world. However, in the beginning, there were not many students and there were only 5 classrooms. These, the director’s office, and the administrative room were located in one building. Eventually, EF began to grow and the goals of the students grew with the school. Some come to prepare for an English exam, like the Cambridge Certificate. Others, take courses that will help them to prepare for college.
Keyth says that EF changed with Covid-19, but the students are the ones who make each year different and special. That’s why Keyth wants to bring something new every day, and she expects to teach something special to her students. She looks forward to learning from them as well. The relationship between the teacher and the student is so strong and unique that she keeps in touch with many of her past students.
Among some people in Tarrytown, EF students do not have a good reputation. In part this is because some of them come home late at night, and they tend to make noise when most of the rest of the villagers are sleeping. Keyth believes this is due to their youth and inexperience with the American culture. She hopes people will see the good things these students have to offer to the community: “Anytime you have people that come that are curious and want to learn, it is going be good for any community,” she said.
Keyth works 5 days a week from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, and then she goes back to New Jersey. Keyth feels that she has a very unique position that has allowed her to learn about different cultures. She is grateful that this ended up being her career path.
“It will be bittersweet when it comes to an end because it is a unique position. Go to see the world, open your eyes, and open your mind. It’s great out there!”
Martina Masetti is a student at EF in Tarrytown. She is originally from Argentina.