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Language Assistant with Meddeas: One of the Best Decisions I Have Made

teach in Spain

Toni H. graduated from the the University of Manchester, in the UK, and decided to apply to Meddeas Language Assistant Programs to teach English in Spain. She was accepted and received a placement in a Spanish school, in which she was happily teaching English as a Language Assistant during the 2015-2016 academic year.

“I did it once I finished university”

1 . Why did you take the step of coming to teach in Spain through Meddeas’ Language Assistant Programs?

My decision to teach in Spain was a spontaneous one made as I finished university. However, it remains one of the best decisions I have made and enabled me to find another place I truly feel home.

2. If you had to choose one specific memory of your Spanish experience, which one would it be and why?

If I had to choose one thing that made my experience, it would be the “Madrileños” (Madrid inhabitants) their warmth, kindness, and welcoming of “guiris” ( the name given to foreigners in Spain) to share in the wonder of their city, certainly helped me fall in love with it.

“I cried so much when I left”

3. What relationships or friendships do you keep from your stay in Spain?

You can’t imagine the how many amazing memories I have of teaching at the school and of Madrid! I don’t think I have ever cried as much as I did when I left. For this reason, I went back to visit the school in February and May of 2015. Nowadays, I still keep in touch with all of the English team in the kindergarten, and a group of them also came to visit me here in London. It is true: teaching in Spain is something you never forget!

4. Did you improve your level of Spanish? Has this skill helped you in your professional career? Do you use Spanish in your everyday life now?

I did attempt to learn Spanish whilst I was there and also became friends with my Spanish teacher, with whom I am still friends. Because of the demands of my placement (teacher training), I, unfortunately, don’t have a lot of time for Spanish but I do read in Spanish and chat with my Spanish friends and on occasion do an “intercambio” (language tandem) with the Spaniards in London.

Once I am qualified, I hope to do this more often and also restart Spanish lessons. I’m not making much use of Spanish in my professional career; however, I do teach Spanish to the children in my class for 5 minutes each afternoon and also help the other teachers in my school to do the same.

“Put in every effort to learn Spanish”

5. How has this experience improved your CV/resume and professional life?

I moved back to England to begin my teacher training with TeachFirst and my experience teaching in Madrid undoubtedly helped me get onto this path.

6. What advice would you give to someone joining Meddeas to make the most of this experience?

In order to make the most of this, I would advise anyone embarking on the experience to put in every effort to learn Spanish, and spend as much time talking to and making friends with Spanish people as possible. Time in their company is a recipe for happiness!

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