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My Internship Adventures Abroad

An Amazing Opportunity

My name is Indie Russell and I am a language assistant on the Meddeas co-op student placement program. I’m currently attending the University of Saint Andrews, in Scotland, where I joint major in Medieval History and Spanish. I’m doing this program as part of the Spanish portion of my degree. It’s been an amazing opportunity in so many different ways. As an inspiring teacher, it’s given me firsthand classroom experience which has proven invaluable in showing me that I definitely want to pursue teaching going forward as my career. As a Spanish major, it’s been an excellent way to get firsthand insight into the culture and language I’ve spent so many years studying in a classroom but now am living and breathing in my everyday life here in Spain.

Meddeas Language Assistant visiting the city

My Host Family: An Incredibly Immersive Experience

As part of my placement, I live with a host family, an incredibly immersive experience, giving me insight into Spanish family life. It is a once in a lifetime experience where I was welcomed into the home and life of a family whom I knew virtually nothing about when they picked me up at the train station upon my arrival in Spain. Over the course of these past six months, they have embraced me like another daughter and sister, inviting me to every family event, including me in every family tradition, and sharing their culture and language with me and I with them. The bond I share with both my little host sisters and the parents is incredibly tight and I know this family will be a part of my life long after this year is over.

Meddeas Language Assistant with her host family

My Day to Day in Valladolid

I’ve been placed in Valladolid and work as the language assistant for Infantil in the Catholic school that my little host sisters attend. I work every day of the week from Monday through Friday, but have plenty of breaks dispersed throughout the day, including multiple coffee breaks and the traditional two-hour lunch and siesta breaks. I have eleven classes that I see twice a week. The kids are between two and six, and so my days are spent reading, telling stories, singing songs, and playing countless games of bingo, memory, and charades, as I try to use English to communicate with children who are still learning to grasp their own native tongue.

Co-op: A Taste of Teaching, Spanish Life, and Culture

Every day is an adventure in the classroom. The kids keep me on my toes with their endless stream of questions. I am inspired every time I walk into the classroom by the children’s curiosity about the world and their enthusiasm for everything around them. This year has been the opportunity of a lifetime and I would recommend it to anyone interested in getting a taste of teaching, a taste of Spanish life, and a taste of a different culture and language than the one they grew up with.

Teach English abroad participant with her students

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