Name of Volunteer Speaker
Name of town/city where school is located
Experience in school including tasks, classes, relationship with students/teachers
In the school I am with both Primary and Secondary classes. I help the teachers with taking the students out in groups as well as staying in the classroom to practice their English with activities I have planned related to their lessons. Both the teachers and the students here are friendly and welcoming. If you need help or have any questions the teachers are very accommodating.
Experience living with your Host Family. Have they made you feel welcome, relationship, activities, etc…
My host family has made me feel very welcome. They are very kind, easy going, accommodating and helped me with whatever I needed. I have tried many traditional foods with them, and I have learned so much about the culture here in Catalonia. I do arts and crafts with my host family’s daughter as an activity, and we go to their sons’ football matches. I could not have asked for a better family to be staying with! We got on straight away when we met!
Your general experience whilst on the program from prior expectations to your current experience
My experience here in the school so far has been great. I did not have a lot of experience in the classroom prior to this program and I have learned so much since I have started here. At first, I found it more difficult with the youngest classes as their level of English is not high which was to be expected. I was more nervous with the older classes in the secondary school and to be in front of a big group of students to start but that was quick to change after the first week. All the students are friendly and listen to what I have prepared for them for their class.
Changes/Improvements in both personal and professional development
So far, I have become more confident when it comes to preparing materials for the classes and now I know the level of English for each class. I have also become more confident and independent as a person as this is my first time in a different country on my own.
Advice for 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.…)
Be prepared for the lifestyle when it comes to mealtimes. Families here eat together and the time schedule for meals is very different from my country. Shops tend to close during the day at lunch and open again in the evening and shops also are closed here on Sundays. Tarrega is more or less in the middle of Catalonia and most destinations are an hour to an hour and a half away such as Barcelona, Tarragona, Andora, and Sitges are just to name a few. Lleida city is a 30-minute journey from Tarrega so it’s nice to go on a weekend.
The activities I have done with my host family have been to Tarragona where we went sightseeing and we went to the beach. We have gone to different towns for football matches and paddle matches.
My favourite place for food in the town is Tokyo Sushi. Their sushi is so good!
Advice for new/future Voluntary Speakers placed in your school?
Take advantage of the options you have here. You have the option to teach all ages and levels here in the school. If you have no experience in the classroom don’t worry you have your teachers, there to assist you.
Also make the most of your time here to learn new skills!
Advice for new/future Voluntary Speakers in relation to living with your host family or Spanish families in general
Adjust to the lifestyle of your host family as the lifestyle here is very family orientated, make sure to spend quality time with them as much as you can by doing activities with them that they will like. Be open and chat with your family. It will make the first few days of bonding and getting to know your family a lot easier.
Share some of the best moments in your school, host family and in general whilst participating on the program
So far one of the best moments in the school was to celebrate Castanyada. I have never experienced it before. I got to try the roasted chestnuts and the other food they traditionally have here this time of year. I also got to go on a school trip to Penelles which was beautiful with all the street art. I highly recommend going there!
With my Host family so far, my favorite moment was when we went to Tarragona. We got to visit the ruins of the Roman city and the medieval market.
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 no regrets in joining this program. I would highly recommend coming here if you would like to experience teaching and the experience of living here in Spain.
Teaching here in the school you have the option of teaching from infants to the highest level in the school in secondary. So, if you’re not sure what kind of age group you would like you can try all!
Finally, you can visit many beautiful places here in Catalonia in your free time and meet great people!