Name of Volunteer Speaker
Name of town/city where school is located
Experience in school including tasks, classes, relationship with students/teachers
The school is honestly amazing! The teachers are lovely, extremely friendly and open-minded. From the first day they made me feel welcome and if I needed anything, nothing was ever a problem. The classes were always fun and positive, tasks included preparing games to help kids learn the work, reading stories and helping teachers and kids with pronunciation and grammar. I was also always included in all the kids’ English camps, which let me see different parts of Spain, including Tarragona (a beautiful coastal town).
Experience living with your Host Family. Have they made you feel welcome, relationship, activities, etc…
My host family was amazing and Educados International matched us perfectly! From the first day they wanted to make this experience as wonderful and as memorable as possible for me. They took me to all their favorite places, shared all the “typical” Catalonian meals, drinks and everything that was considered “Catalonian” I was able to try. It was exactly what I wanted, and I couldn’t have asked for a better family to share this experience with. They made me feel like part of their family and I’m sure we will stay in touch for life.
Your general experience whilst on the program from prior expectations to your current experience
Honestly, I didn’t have any expectations when I joined this program, I figured I’d just go with an open-mind and try and make the most of it and learn and experience as much as I possibly could. The experience was better than I could’ve ever imagined. I enjoyed every minute of it, and it flew past way too quickly.
Changes/Improvements in both personal and professional development
Personally, I grew so much. You are alone, in another country, experiencing a different culture and you meet new people almost every day. You experience new things all the time and it teaches you so much about life and how to approach it. Professionally you are gaining hands on experience, as you watch and learn actual English teacher teach and deal with kids in the classroom. It isn’t just one classroom as well, its different classrooms, with different teachers and different students of different ages. It really is some of the best teaching experience you can get.
Advice for the any new/future Voluntary Speakers placed in your town/city (best places to visit, things to do, activities with host family, favorite restaurant, bar, etc.…)
You need to visit the convent and the castle. The Golf course and La Fontana has the best food in the town, with the restaurant/bars in the park and the sports area are best for socializing. My host family was very active, and we often went for walks to the parks or visited the sports area to watch the girls play basketball and football. The outside swimming pool at the sports area is also a good spot to socialize and relax during the summertime.
Advice for new/future Voluntary Speakers placed in your school?
You will have an amazing time! The kids are wonderful and the teachers even more so, just remember that you are there as an English speaker so speak as much as you possibly can, respectfully of course. The teachers are all positive and fun and it will be extremely difficult for you to not have the same energy, so try your best to match it. Especially towards the kids, having someone like you in their school means so much to them, so try your best to interact with them and it will make their day!
Advice for new/future Voluntary Speakers in relation to living with your host family or Spanish families in general
The culture is very different in a lot of good ways. Spanish/Catalan people are very active, especially with younger kids. They are very sociable and are almost never on their phones around other people. All the families from the school that I’ve met are extremely friendly so you should be in good hands, just remember you are a guest in someone else’s home so as long as you are respectful there should be zero problems!
Share some of the best moments in your school, host family and in general whilst participating on the program
There are so many. With the school it would be the English day, which they made South African themed. We had safari themed games and even a safari Land Rover, the kids learned to play rugby and we all danced to Shakira’s Waka Waka. The English summer camps were also fun, lots of bonding and games with the kids as well as the teachers. They were also in different parts of Catalonia, which was a bonus, as it allowed me to see new places.
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?
I have zero regrets joining this program and if I could I’d do it again! I would recommend this to anyone with a friendly attitude and an open mind. It is something you won’t regret and remember for the rest of your life. I would highly recommend this for someone who is looking to teach English abroad, as it gives you a real taste and experience of what it is like to teach English.