Name of Volunteer Speaker
Name of town/city where school is located
Sant Sadurni D’Anoia
Experience in school including tasks, classes, relationship with students/teachers
I teach learners from infants to ESO (Secondary), so I teach all the students of the school. In infants I spend the majority of my time singing and reading books to the learners. In primary I teach the material provided by the teachers, They don’t really want you to stray from the material provided which could make the lessons seem a bit tedious after a while as it’s Cambridge exam prep which isn’t much fun however there is always ways to keep it fun for yourself and the students. In ESO I try to spend more time speaking to them and developing their conversation skills surrounding the topic provided by the teacher, when prompted properly teenagers can be super fun to teach. ESO students schedules are extremely saturated so lessons are often cancelled and changed around without notice however when I do spend time with them I have so much fun. ESO has been my favourite group to teach. I also teach a pair of special needs girls and they are the sweetest, kindest girls and I create their lessons so it’s always a fun class with a lot of movement. The teachers are all really kind and if needed they are helpful. The staff are very close-knit family and it’s amazing to see teachers working so well together.
Experience living with your Host Family. Have they made you feel welcome, relationship, activities, etc…
My host family is phenomenal! It’s a family of five, with two girls and a boy. The girls are both older and the boy is in 6th of primary. The family I’ve been placed with are experienced hosts, they’ve hosted previous Voluntary Speakers so having me in their house is nothing new. They’re an extremely busy family, juggling work, school, university, sports, leisure activity and family time. I enjoy spending time with them and they always make sure I’m well fed and happy.
Your general experience whilst on the program from prior expectations to your current experience
My experience has been so good, I didn’t have any expectations but the general experience has been fun. I’ve made many many friends. I absolutely love Spain, it’s safe and it’s beautiful! There’s not enough time to explore!
Changes/Improvements in both personal and professional development
Your development depends very much on you and so does your experience. If you want to you will!
Advice for 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.…)
Food to try: – paella (try and find someone to make it at home for you) – Mato (typical Spanish dessert) Restaurants in Barcelona – Kasa Ramen, bowl of ramen is approximately £11,50 Things to see in Sant Sadurni – Simon Koll tour – Winery tours Things to see in Barcelona – On first Sundays selected museums are free – Sagrada familia – Hospital sant Pau
Advice for new/future Voluntary Speakers placed in your school?
The teachers are friendly, and everyone minds their own business, don’t be afraid to speak up if you need something because everyone is really helpful and happy that you’re there.
Advice for new/future Voluntary Speakers in relation to living with your host family or Spanish families in general
Spanish families are much like South African families, close knit and the parents are very involved in their children’s lives. When staying with a family you will become one of their children, so communication is key. Let the family know your schedule so that they can prepare they’re schedule according to yours and vice versa.
Share some of the best moments in your school, host family and in general whilst participating on the program
I think the best part is the reason we do this is to be immersed in a new culture while doing what we love, teaching. Seeing Spain and spending time with its people is the cherry on top. I love the architecture and Spain’s rich history, the culture is so complex and interesting and the food is so good too. Lunch and Dinner with my host family has been the best part with them as this is the time when my family gets a chance to really spend time with each other and catch up.
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 don’t have any regrets of joining however future volunteers should be aware of the cost, it is not at all a “free” experience and the cost you pay upfront is just the first amount. Volunteers need to be aware of the cost in order to budget for if. The experience however is amazing and one could say it is priceless however in the real world things are expensive, especially now. So new volunteers should not only budget for their stay but also budget for expensive surprises. I do recommend Spain as a good starting point however there is a chance you might fall in love and stay forever!