InterExchange Working Abroad Ambassador Sonia, Teach English, Spain
Before I even graduated high school, I knew that I wanted to study abroad at some point in my undergraduate career. I also knew that I wanted to improve my Spanish speaking skills at the same time.
However, with the ever-changing educational landscape, it quickly became apparent that studying abroad would be way out of my budget. I then started researching other ways that I could go abroad and fulfill my dream of living (even if it was for little while) in another country.
I learned about the opportunity to teach English abroad through the study abroad office at my university. At first, the very idea of teaching made me break out into a sweat because it seemed to be an extremely difficult feat. However, as I researched it more, and found InterExchange Working Abroad, I realized that it could be my perfect opportunity!
What I loved about InterExchange was that I could choose to live with a host family and teach English to their children. This immersion program was exactly what I was looking for to really learn about Spanish people and culture. I wanted to live as local as possible and this was a great way to do it.
Do not get me wrong, teaching English is difficult, and you have to learn to adapt and change to best help your students. The best advice I can offer is to plan ahead! Make sure to speak with your family, school or workplace so that you know exactly what your role consists of. After that, research, research, research and find resources, tips, videos and advice to help you. I personally made mini lesson plans before I left to help my students and focused on listening and speaking. While I'm teaching, I change and adapt my lesson plans every day.
Besides creating an unforgettable experience, teaching abroad has some awesome benefits! It looks great on your resume, you build confidence from living in a country on your own, you can learn a new language, you become more aware of another culture and you make great new friends!
I am left feeling like I actually did make a difference in the English abilities of the children I worked with. More importantly, I create a sense of excitement and enthusiasm for English, which, for children, is very important. When I got off the plane in Madrid, I was completely terrified, but these two months in Spain with my host family will a time I will cherish forever.