Alumni Spotlight: Inger B.

Inger is a 25 year old American working as a language assistant in Madrid.

Why did you choose this program?

I really liked that ConversaSpain allowed me to choose the location I wanted to work in, that was a big plus. Many other programs just place you in any city in Spain. I liked that they had a lot of information on their website, blog posts, real life reviews of the program, etc. I had a good experience with them when interviewing, which gave me an even better impression of the program.

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

ConversaSpain arranged most logistical things. The most important was they place you in a school in the city of your choosing. They also helped with the necessary documents/clearances/legal things that were needed to be done when moving to Spain. ConversaSpain provides you with most of the information on what you need but you yourself need to carry out these things, including getting a Spanish personal number, finding insurance, finding housing, flights, etc.

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

When moving abroad alone, you have tons of free time. If you do not know a single person in a new city, it can be very lonely. And often it is difficult to make new, LOCAL friends. It’s always helpful to find other people who are maybe doing the same job as you are, so you already have a lot in common. Even though it’s important to befriend locals, it’s pretty easy to find friends from your native country if you look for them.

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

As a language assistant, you work four days every week - normally you have Monday or Friday off. You also only work sixteen hours every week. A lot of people give private English classes after school, so often your average week involves also tutoring a few days a week as well. Since every weekend is a three day weekend, it’s incredibly easy to travel to different cities and countries on the weekends!

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

I was very nervous about the language aspect of moving abroad. It can be daunting to move somewhere where you’re not super comfortable with the language. But in Spain at least, not many speak English, which means you are often forced into speaking Spanish. This may seem scary and frustrating (and sometimes it is) but it really makes you a better speaker and more comfortable speaking Spanish. This was something I just had to force myself to do and it just got better with time.