Alumni Spotlight: Maria


Maria is an open minded, young woman who loves learning things about life while exploring the world - while walking her way to find back to herself again; to find back to happiness; to get back that honest smile she loved to wear and to, finally, start to "live" again.

Why did you choose this program?

I was trying to find a good way to go to Málaga, Spain - for getting some time off of my ever-day-life in my hometown; for improving my favorite language (Spanish), what has always been a huge dream and for trying to find back to myself again, because I somehow got lost over the last years, somewhere in a place of nowhere... So I started looking for opportunities to make my dreams come true and I can't perfectly explain why, but EF caught my attention at the very first moment and I instantly had a really good feeling according to EF and it resulted that I wasn't wrong.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

EF was such a great help according to the whole trip. I ordered a prospect online to get some more Information and during the same day, I was called by a staff member (Angelina), who, with this call, started to be my own contact person for any questions or concerns I had. I was given all information I needed, all my questions were answered so quickly and all my concerns removed in an instant. Almost everything has been organized by EF. I just had to select the program I wanted to participate (desired length of my trip, the type of accommodation; my preferred airport...) and they did the rest for me. It was great because there was no stress with bookings or other things you normally have to do if you want to travel. Thanks, hey!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

First: Choose a host family to live with! It definitely is the best you can do. Living with a Spanish Family taught me what really is important in life and what’s not. I could feel the happiness and kindness they are carrying in their hearts and the joy of life with every single smile. I really, really love the way how they live their lives.

Second: Don’t be afraid of speaking to the people of Málaga, even if you do not understand anything during your first days or weeks. The accent "malageño" is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult and also most beautiful accents I have ever listened to! I have never met people that lovely, kind and open-hearted than over here in Spain. I could go to a café on my own but never felt alone, because there was always someone who talked to me, even if we did not know each other. There was always someone to learn from, to share stories with or just to laugh with. Over here I was remembered what it means to be happy, how it feels to feel good, to feel free, to feel that you’re alive. Over here I found the way back to myself.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

If you are participating in an intensive course you have either to be at the classes at 9 o’clock if you are starting early or at 12 o’clock, if you have classes in the afternoon. The classes are separated into different levels of speaking (A1-C1). Each day you have two classes (90 mins per class) with the class of your level in which you are working with a book adapted to your level and one class, which is called SPIN, in which you are working in different kind of ways (for example classes of debating, more vocabulary, culture, grammatic…)

The best thing about SPIN is, that we could choose the subject of the classes and whenever someone had a great idea to talk about, the idea was adopted. Sometimes we really couldn’t stop talking, because everyone was so into the subject. I loved this kind of debating/speaking – classes. After the time at school, you had free time and there were always things to do, things to discover. EF has a great Team at Málaga and there are a lot of offers you can do with EF, apart from attending classes. You can visit different parts of Spain (Granada, Sevilla...), go to the cine, learn surfing, go skiing in the Sierra Nevada, etc.

You definitely will never get bored and I am sure you are going to wish that a day would have more than just 24 hours because there are always things to explore.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Don’t be afraid of speaking to the people of Málaga, even if you do not understand anything during your first days or weeks. I have never met people who are that kind, lovely and openhearted than over here in Spain.