Staff Spotlight: Yaye Baena



Yaye studied Arabic language and culture at the University of Seville which helped her understand the importance of the Spanish language. This led her to dedicate her professional life to teaching Spanish and starting a company with two good friends who had also studied abroad.

What do you love most about travel?

When I go to a different country and I visit a local restaurant -- I love to spend time with locals, to talk to them, and to get to learn about their culture and their traditions.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Every day I have the opportunity to meet new people who sometimes live very different lives than me, and are able to teach me a new way of life. I love to get to know them, and thanks to my work, get to grow both culturally and personally.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I love hearing about students who meet their partners in Spain, and when they get married, decide to travel there for their honeymoon.

I remember a student from The College of William and Mary who after a semester in Seville, was totally in love with the city. Of course, her boyfriend knew that and when he proposed, he did it in Seville.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would choose our community service program as it offers the opportunity to explore a part of the city that a real tourist is not going to have the chance to see.

For example, anyone can visit the cathedral, Plaza España, or a flamenco show, however, participants in our community service program have the opportunity to connect with people and organizations they wouldn't otherwise have contact with while visiting the city.

I would also combine the community service program with Spanish classes, in order to improve my skills and of course, I would always choose to live with a host family.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We are very proud to say that our programs and services are personalized to each participant and that each student is important to us. We have three directors and seven people working 24/7 for our students. Our team makes feel students like part of a family, we want them to feel at home.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

To do your best every day, make students like they're part of a family. and to love the work that you do.