Martine is one of my good friends I met studying abroad in Sevilla and a first-time American auxiliar (language/teaching assistant) here in Madrid. Here is a mini interview I conducted with her about working and living in España!
1. Where are you from?
I’m from Pittsburgh, PA
2. What made you decide to be an Auxiliar de Conversación?
I wanted to see if teaching was something that I was interested in after graduating college with a Spanish degree. I knew that I wanted to keep practicing my Spanish, so what better way than to come back to Spain? Now is the only time in our lives we can do something as opportunistic as possible, because once you start working, you never stop.
3. Is this your first time in Spain?
No, this is my second time in Spain. I studied abroad in Sevilla for a semester.
4. Which program hired you?
CIEE Teach in Spain
5. What region were you placed in?
6. Why did you choose Madrid?
I knew that I wanted to come back to Spain, but I wanted to branch out and immerse myself in a different environment other than Andalusia. Madrid was the perfect opportunity for me to improve my Spanish language skills because I could understand the Madrilenian dialect with much more ease.
7. What grades do you teach?
3rd, 4th, and now 6th.
8. Have you worked with children in education in the past?
9. What has surprised you the most about the Spanish education system?
The overall way in which the school implements structure, communication, classroom management, and guidance…or lack thereof.
10. What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is that we all feel like a family and how loved I feel by the students.
11. What is your least favorite part of the job?
My least favorite part of the job is that it isn’t intellectually stimulating enough; I often find myself looking for things to do.
12. What’s your favorite word or phrase your students use?
¡Cómo mola! (Cool!)
13. Are you going to renew your position for another year?
Unfortunately, I can’t because I need to start looking for an actual career and begin paying off my student loans; which have been deferred for the year…for those of you who are letting student loans hold you back from coming here, just know that it is doable!
14. What’s your favorite part of living in Spain?
My favorite part about living in Spain is the simplicity of life and how I can be immersed in a culture which I respect and love so much. Each day feels like an adventure.
15. What advice would you give a prospective auxiliar?
I know getting here can be stressful, but know that it pays off in the end. It’s true what they say about the complexity of the Spanish bureaucracy, but just be patient and take it one day at a time. Also, do your research prior to coming so you have an idea of what to expect.
Gracias, Martine! 🙂
If you are a volunteer, language assistant, or English teacher abroad and would like to participate in an interview, let me know via the contact tab!
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