Spain is one of the easiest places to make new friends, getting to know a unique culture while enjoying a lovely, warm Mediterranean weather. It goes without saying that it was not that easy to leave Seville. Saying goodbye to colleagues and friends was difficult. My working experience have definitely helped me to have a clearer idea of my future: I liked to work in a language school and now I would like to work in another one. I learnt how to assess my career values, understanding which my strengths and weaknesses are, especially when working under pressure.
Studienfach: Fremdsprachenlinguistik (Master)
Aufenthaltsdauer: 04/2018 - 07/2018
Praktikumsgeber: Carlos V Language Schools
I decided to apply for an internship in a private language school in Seville. The language school where I worked offers language courses not only to young people, but also to adults, during the day and the evening. On the first day of my internship, I have been introduced to all the school staff. All my work colleagues have been gentle to me and willing to help me since the beginning, making me feel comfortable from the first moment. I have been asked to sit at the reception area of the school, where I received students asking for information and for courses. My tasks have been concerning a lot of other things: translations, taking part in the organization of a work experience of an Italian group of students coming to Seville; correcting some students’ language tests. However, working from that position meant “forcing” myself to speak Spanish with colleagues, teaching stuff and incoming students, which was the best way to improve my Spanish. But at the same time it also meant to experience embarrassing situations in which I could not express myself properly in Spanish with incoming students or people interested in the language courses and I had to ask for the assistance of my colleagues (not counting the several embarrassing moments in which I answered questions using German words without realising it, but I guess it is normal during the first days and my colleagues all understood that they somehow have to deal with it.
I lived in a shared apartment with other four people. Living with local people really helped me a lot. People like my Spanish flatmates, my Spanish colleagues or my Spanish friends helped me to improve correcting my (several) mistakes while talking with them. My Spanish got better and better, and I feel more confident speaking in all situations. Sevilla is really well located and you can get anywhere in Andalucia easily.
The school offers language courses to young people and to adults. The language courses take place mostly in the afternoon and during the evening. In the morning the school is busy organizing Erasmus projects, namely they help foreign students to find internships, they propose them where to find an accommodation, they offer them Spanish language courses. The tasks I carried out were of different types. During the morning I was busy with the organization of Erasmus projects. After reading the students curricula and after skype-interviewing them, we tried to find the appropriate internship for each student. I also had the opportunity to welcome a group of Italian students arrived in Sevilla to do an internship. I was the contact person to call when they needed help. The school also organizes cultural activities for them, so we managed to plan their days in Sevilla too, so that they could also enjoy the city itself. Moreover, I also did some translation for the school’s website, given that all the contents needed to be translated in different languages.
During the afternoon and the evening I was busy with the language courses. The courses are designed especially to overcome the certification exams of different levels marked in the European framework. However, I am interested in language teaching and in foreign languages didactics. For this reason, I worked as teacher assistant for the German and English courses. I started by simply joining the courses and by observing how the teachers work with the students (kids and adults).
I am very satisfied with my stay. Spain is one of the easiest places to make new friends, getting to know a unique culture while enjoying a lovely, warm Mediterranean weather. It goes without saying that it was not that easy to leave Seville. Saying goodbye to colleagues and friends was difficult. This experience has definitely helped me to have a clearer idea of my future: I liked to work in a language school and now I would like to work in another one. I learned how to assess my career values, understanding which my strengths and weaknesses are, especially when working under pressure.
I will now try to create new working opportunities and networking, cherishing everything I have learnt and experienced during my stay. I also noticed how important it is to talk about Erasmus with other friends, especially nowadays, where open-mindedness and cultural awareness are valuable topics forgot by most people or often given for granted. By having embraced my vulnerability and broadened my cultural horizons, I feel grown up into a capable and aware young man.
If you haven’t been on an exchange yet, then you must take this unique opportunity. Sometimes people find it pretty hard to take the first step and to leave for an experience like Erasmus, but it is always worth it, especially because it will help you clear your mind and have a better picture of your future.