Teaching English in Sevilla

 

Just another beautiful view of one of my favorite places in Sevilla, the cathedral.
Just another beautiful view of one of my favorite places in Sevilla, the cathedral.

Well, as promised, here’s a blog post dedicated to my teaching experiences here in Sevilla! For the past four weeks, I’ve biked down to one of the best colegios in Sevilla to help teach 14-15-year-olds English, and I’m loving it!

The first day was probably one of my favorites. While I was definitely nervous (I mean I know nothing about teaching English.), it turned out to be so much fun. The profesora that I’m working with is very nice and extremely organized and had me come prepared to give a short presentation on who I am, where I’m from, etc. So I prepared and presented a PowerPoint to the kids, showing them my family, all of the places I’ve lived in the U.S., my university, my family and friends, and my hobbies. The kids loved it and asked me a lot of questions (some strange ones (like if all Americans think that Spain is Mexico??))

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Becoming Immersed

photo by Austin Mueller | Just practicing my rowing skills in the Plaza de España
photo by Austin Mueller | Just practicing my rowing skills in the Plaza de España

One thing that I love about my study abroad program is how helpful they’ve been in helping us get immersed in Sevilla, especially recently. From the start, each of us has been living with a host family, which has helped tremendously. At times I’ve been jealous of others studying abroad and living in apartments, but when I think about it, they’re basically living lives similar to how they would in the U.S., but just in another location.

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Day 1 of Spanish Classes

One of the beautiful courtyards in the Universidad de Sevilla
One of the beautiful courtyards in the Universidad de Sevilla

Well, today was my first day of classes with Spanish students! It definitely was exciting but also very overwhelming at times.

To begin, it took me close to thirty minutes just to find my classroom in the Universidad de Sevilla. The class layouts make no sense (just like the class schedules). The numbers of the rooms aren’t always in chronological order, and while there were maps on the walls, my classroom wasn’t on any of them! Eventually after asking two different people for help who didn’t help at all, I ran into some janitors, who thankfully showed me the way.

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Here’s Looking at all you Beer Aficionados in Sevilla

The first Budweiser beer, from the Czech Republic
The first Budweiser beer, from the Czech Republic

If you love beer and love trying new kinds of beer, then boy do I have the place for you! I recently discovered a place called Cerveceria Europa here in Sevilla near Nervión Plaza and the Sevilla FC soccer stadium, and I’m so excited to have finally tried it!

As much as I love Cruzcampo, I like trying different beers, and that’s just not something you can do at most bars in Sevilla, where the only beer available (even at many so-called cervecerías) is Cruzcampo. At Cervecería Europa, they have over 150 different beers from all over Europe (and also a few American beers and Foster’s).

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Things I Love About Spain and Sevilla

El Puente de Isabel II - beautiful bridge connecting el Centro with Triana
El Puente de Isabel II – beautiful bridge connecting el Centro with Triana

There are many things that I’ve come to love about Spain and more specifically, Sevilla, where I’m living and studying until December. Sevilla is a beautiful city, and Spain is a beautiful country. Here’s some of the things I love here, and keep an eye out for a post on Friday about the things I miss from America.

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Frustrations with Scamming and Customer Service in Spain

You wouldn't think that you'd get scammed at a train station, would you? Well, think again!
You wouldn’t think that you’d get scammed at a train station, would you? Well, think again! (Note that each ticket was around 13 euros, not 17.)

While I love many things about Spain, I’ve recently come to realize that scamming is very present here, even in the unlikeliest of places, and that customer service (at least for the non-Spanish) is terrible. While I do get that the economy has been struggling here, it definitely doesn’t excuse the type of scamming that has happened to both me and some of the other Americans, nor does it excuse a poor level of customer service (I’d think it would rather motivate people to have better customer service.).

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Living in Sevilla

La Plaza de España
La Plaza de España

Wow! I can’t believe I’m now living with a host family. Moving in to the family was definitely the moment from where I became more than just a tourist, but someone living in Sevilla.

I’m loving my host mom Cristina so far! She’s so sweet and adorable, and an excellent cook (We call her “la reina de la cocina” (queen of the kitchen) because a previous homestay student bought her an apron that says that.). She’s always telling us a million stories (even though we don’t understand half of it) or showing us photos of her nephews or different things that past homestays have gotten her. You can tell that she really loves hosting American students!

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