This program is a great option for anyone who wants to travel and immerse themselves in another culture without leaving home for too long. This program is unique since you live with a host family, who provides you with housing, most of your food, and a truly immersive experience. Everyone’s experience will be different since there are so many towns, schools, and host families that you could be placed with, but overall the program is great and it gave me a sense of security to know that I had the support of CIEE andy host family for the duration of the trip. Spain has so many amazing cities to travel to and it is pretty easy to get around with public transportation if you are in a bigger city, like Valladolid, where I was placed. With 3 day weekends I was able to take lots of trips and learn so much about Spain.
Private Note to Provider (optional)
Speaking from my experience and what other volunteers in my group have shared with me, it seems like teachers & directors aren’t 100% sure what to do with a volunteer; what is our role, how much should we be doing, etc. Because the program is so short, by the time the teachers were getting used to us and figuring out our role in the classroom, it was time for us to leave. Perhaps more guidance could be given to the schools as to what we should/should not be doing as a volunteer. I also had some teachers who only had me teach from the workbook, which is based on British English, which I don’t speak. In those classes, it felt like I was only there for my voice and nothing else. I wasn’t allowed to have much creativity or fun with the students. Obviously this is the teachers choice, but I felt that my efforts would be better used in a school/classroom where I could teach English without having to decode the British textbooks and alter my speech to match the grammar format of the lesson and where I could teach about culture or use different methods of teaching to get children excited about learning.