Hello! My name is Chelsie and I’m a Meddeas Language Assistant in a Spanish school in Oviedo, in the northern region of Asturias. Here I’ll tell you why you should come to teach English in Oviedo. Maybe you’ve never heard about this area of Spain, which is nevertheless full of beauty, incredible natural scenery, and Spanish history. So, I’ll share with you how a day in my life as Language Assistant looks like, where I live and how I get to school. I encourage you to get to know Oviedo and say YES to this wonderful place!
Oviedo, Capital of Asturias
First of all, for those who don’t know, Oviedo is a beautiful city in the northwest of Spain. It is near the coast of the Cantabrian Sea. It is easy to travel to the beaches of Gijón, one of the most beautiful corners of Spain.
In addition, Oviedo is the capital of the region of Asturias. Asturias is memorable for its landscapes of dense grass, forest-covered mountains and grazing dairy cows. Spanish is the official language, although in some remote mountain villages you can also hear the locals speaking Asturian.
How I Go to School
Let’s start with some basic fact about how I commute to school. In the mornings, the school bus comes at about 8:10 and I ride it with the children. Sometimes they sing in the morning and it’s very cute. The trip would typically be 15 minutes by car, but since the bus stops in several villages, it takes about 40 minutes to get to school.
Many times I can nap on the bus (especially on the way home), or listen to a podcast. After school I typically take the bus, or one of my teacher friends lets me ride with her to get back home. Sometimes we stop for a coffee or for groceries before she drops me off.
Where I Live
Now, I’ll give you an overall description on where I live. Luckily, I was able to find a great apartment around the corner from the local hospital. The neighborhood is newer so it feels really safe and it’s more residential so it’s not as crowded as the city center. My apartment overlooks the Naranco Mountain, which has a huge statue of Jesus on the top (very similar to famous one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). It’s stunning and very symbolic, I feel protected.
So, I don’t have roommates but I brought my two cats from America. The apartment is spacious, I pay 450 euros a month, and my room has a balcony, which I plan to eat breakfast on when the weather improves.
Go Walking Everywhere
Also, I live within walking distance of everything necessary. I’m 8 minutes from the mall and right around the corner from 3 different grocery stores. There are several specialty shops such as bakeries, fruit stores, book stores, photo printing shops, and gyms nearby. There are also many bus stops which are easy to use and access.
My landlords are young (in their 30s) and own a doughnut shop in the city center. They are so kind and have gifted me free donuts and even invited me to their home for dinner. My neighbors across the hall are a family of teachers and, when they found out I was a student, they immediately gave me their Wi-Fi information, so I don’t pay for Wi-Fi. Everyone in my building is so nice and most go to the local church which is 2 minutes away by foot. I am a 15–20 minute walk from the city center.
Teach English in Oviedo, Lovely Oviedo
I find the people here to be very friendly. I have made good friends with the teachers at the school. Many of which, know I live alone and have invited me to their homes for dinners and to meet their families. If I have a problem, people go out of their way to help me find a solution. Even though I live alone, it doesn’t feel like I’m truly alone.
The city is also very artistic. There are statues around the town which are varied and interesting (from Woody Allen, to sleeping dogs, to a giant butt sculpture in the city center.) There is a park called San Francisco which has different events and on the weekends you can catch people dressed in the typical Asturian costumes and dancing their ancestral dances.
Rich Culinary Culture
I also learned a lot about cider living here. Asturias is famous for its cider or “sidra.” They have a special way of pouring it (from 3 feet in the air), and they only pour about an inch in your cup at a time and you have to chug it. You are not allowed to pour it yourself.
Overall, I’d say the culture is very rich and people are very proud of their heritage here. The region is also famous for its foods like fabada and cachopo. Asturian food is unique in Spain. In Oviedo you can find very tasty dishes, as you have never tried them before.
At the same time, I don’t feel like I’m too far from home because I can find Starbucks, fellow Americans, and a movie theater that plays movies in English. There is also a university that’s a 10-minute walk from me and they have a large community of international students.
On Learning Spanish
One of the reasons I wanted to come to Spain was to be pushed outside of my comfort zone and force myself to speak the language. I came here with a high knowledge of Spanish because my family speaks Spanish. However, I was always too shy to speak it myself.
Since I teach at a bilingual school, sometimes I can find it a bit easy to want to speak only to the other English teachers. However, I do try to have lunch with Spanish-speaking teachers and interact with people around town so that I can practice in Spanish in various situations.
Also, the children often speak Spanish when they don’t know how to say something in English. I feel like my knowledge of Spanish helps me to be a better teacher because I understand what they are trying to convey and help them. Also, I feel like the teachers respect me more for practicing Spanish with them and are appreciative.
Say Yes to Oviedo
I would recommend any Language Assistant to come and teach English in Oviedo. The region of Asturias is definitely a hidden gem and very underrated. If you want an actual Spanish experience, this is a great place to be. It feels super safe and the people are so friendly. The city is clean, beautiful, and right between the beach and the mountains. What more could you want?