Nicole in Vic


Name of Volunteer Speaker




Name of town/city where school is located


Experience in school including tasks, classes, relationship with students/teachers

So far above and beyond what I imagined. From the first day in the school, two teachers gave me a tour of the whole school. Neus my tutor has been fantastic, to be more honest she has become more like a friend than my tutor. I feel I have integrated so well. The teachers are all so nice and always make me feel welcome. Even in the staff room when I come in, they make a space and ask me to sit with them even if they are not speaking English, they want me to be included. The students have been like a dream even the naughty older teenagers. They cooperate and are excited to learn. I usually have small groups of around 4 students at a time to help improve conversations skills and they tell me they love spending time with me because they learn, and they also get out of another normal class. It can be challenging at times; I won’t lie but with my lessons plans in hand I have learned to manage different students with levels and abilities. I can see I am making progress and the fast pace in the school suits me and helped me get out of a comfort zone that I think I needed before coming and dive straight in.

Experience living with your Host Family. Have they made you feel welcome, relationship, activities, etc…

My host family honestly have exceeded my expectations. We have bonded so well from the get-go. I love the two children and was delighted to find out I was staying with two girls in primary school because my time in the school is with secondary school. I feel like I am between a sister and a friend to the girls and feel so comfortable around the whole family. The host mum is an inspiration to me. She is a single parent, a successful businesswoman with a cool company and we get on great. Just this week I went to a concert with her. She got tickets after I mentioned the singer was playing in Barcelona. Other highlights with the family were when we all went to a theme park called PortAventura and stayed in a hotel. The family haven’t let me pay for anything so far, I have tried but they will not accept as they know I am volunteering on this project, and they insist on looking after me.


Your general experience whilst on the program from prior expectations to your current experience

When I first applied, I was really focused on the teaching side and how this would go once I got in the classroom. I was nervous and like to have everything organized but it is hard to plan when you are a newly qualified TEFL graduate. I soon realized that even with the best planning and preparations things change all the time, maybe an activity I had was for more people in the group and I needed to learn to become adaptable and go with the flow and be creative. This has really helped me see that teaching is not only planning exactly what needs to happen but to also able to read the situation in front of the students, gage the mood and make things work from there which is fun. As for the host family I had loads of doubts for example, would we get on? Would I be treated like a third child? But as soon as Educados International sent me my host family and I organized two Zoom calls before arriving, one with the mum and then the second with the family together I had a great feeling that I was going to fit right in. Across the board the program so far has exceeded all my expectations. Educados International really smashed it with my placement, family, etc.…

Changes/Improvements in both personal and professional development


I have grown in confidence. Before coming out I was a bit of a control freak planning everything to the last detail, if anything now I have become more relaxed and adaptable and learning to trust my instincts, going with the flow and always looking for the positive in each situation. My public speaking skills have improved tremendously, and the experience has opened my eyes about what I can do and what I am capable of. I feel now that I am well qualified to teach English whilst gaining a lot of transferable skills.

Advice for the any new/future Voluntary Speakers placed in your town/city (best places to visit, things to do, activities with host family, favourite restaurant, bar, etc.…)

Make sure before joining that you have an open mind and ready to embrace new opportunities. If you are open and embrace them, it will drastically affect your experience. If you are closed minded, this will affect how people will be able to embrace you in their culture. So, relax, have fun, and say yes with a smile to as many opportunities that you have. For example, if you are asked to go for coffee then do it, you never know you may end up making lifelong friends. Don’t be afraid to try new food, travel to new places and try and do the things you enjoyed back home. I do most things but the difference here I am in the sun. I go to the gym, take dance classes, and really enjoy the coffee culture. As for living with a host family. It is by far the best way to integrate into a new culture. If you are as lucky as me, with your family you will really feel like you are a local

Advice for new/future Voluntary Speakers placed in your school?

Most teachers in my school speak quite a good level of English and most at least try to make the effort to communicate with me. My advice would be to try and come out having learnt some basic phrases in Catalan and Spanish and teachers will love that you are trying and help you bond as quick as you can. My school is big, so don’t worry if you get lost, ask questions, get you timetable ASAP and I also suggest asking if you can be involved with other fun things the school organize. I went on an excursion to the mountains recently. It was a great day out and gave me the chance to get to know the teachers and also the students better,

Advice for new/future Voluntary Speakers in relation to living with your host family or Spanish families in general

Vic where my family lives is a very Catalan area. If there are good vibes like with mine try to make the effort whilst you are with them. At the end of the day, they are hosting you for free and being fed, so don’t just sit there waiting for things to happen or be done for you. Help with chores, clean the dishes, make your bed, even offer to help the kids if they need something or have homework. If you show you are part of the family, then you will be treated this way. Really try to bond with the kids, speak to them in English, help them improve after all this is one of the main things that the parents want from having you stay with them. I would also recommend doing a couple of FaceTime’s or Zoom calls with the family before coming out so you get to know each other more and this will make the moment when you meet for the first time so much more natural. Also spend time with the family at home. Don’t just go into your room and close the door and not converse with them. I usually stay out in the kitchen or living room doing my thing and enjoying what going on. We go to bed during the week about 10pm which gives me time to chill out, call home before going off to sleep.

Share some of the best moments in your school, host family and in general whilst participating on the program

I have had so many, but some highlights are going to see one of my favorite singer James May concert the ither night in Barcelona. I mentioned it to my host mum that he was playing, and she got us both tickets, so we had a girl’s night out. Another is when the family took me to Porta Ventura Theme Park, we stayed in a hotel there and had an amazing two days. Also, I have to say when my mum came to visit me for a few days. My host family took us out for a meal, the grandparents go my mum flowers, and we had a lovely time showing her around where I live. I don’t think she wanted to back in the end!

Any regrets joining? Would you recommend the program to others? and what would you say to someone thinking about teaching English abroad for the first time and thinking about joining this program?

Absolutely none. It has been probably one of the best decisions of my life. One thing to mention is to understand that your social life will change, you are living with a family so things naturally change from what I might have done back home. Also, at the beginning it can be hard to find people you own age that you can easily communicate with so be patient and try and be as open as possible to meet as many new people as you can. I also recommend getting in contact with other Voluntary Speakers on the program. We talk share stories and help each other and are planning to all meet up again before we leave at Christmas.


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