I’m back with a new installment in my Travel Talk interview series! This time, I spoke to Hilary Leslie of Oregonian Overseas, who is currently in her second year of teaching English in Madrid, Spain as an auxiliar de conversación (language and culture assistant). I participated in the same program from 2011 to 2013, so I was curious to hear about her experiences and travel plans.
Studying abroad in Spain, it’s hard not to fall in love with the country. Just as I did, hundreds of students who left their hearts in Spain during college return post-graduation to work as English teaching assistants, thanks to the auxiliares de conversación (or North American Language and Culture Assistants) program. Being back in amazing España is a dream come true, but how does life as an English teacher compare to the study abroad life? If you’re returning to Spain as an auxiliar de conversación, here are a few differences and similarities to expect.
In my Travel Talk series, travelers all over the world have shared their experiences. Today, I feature Danielle from Seoul | Tapperilla, a fellow Californian who has taught English in both Seoul, South Korea and Madrid, Spain. She shares her experiences with both and her international travels past and present.
Today’s Travel Talk star is Kim-Ling of Travel-Ling, a native of Brisbane, Australia who spent last year teaching as an auxiliar de conversación in the small village of Pozoblanco in the Córdoba, Andalucía region. She has returned to Australia since, and today she shares her experiences in Spain, her travels around the world, and what she has planned for the future.
Hi Kim-Ling! Where are you from? Where do you live now? What are you doing there?
I am a self-confessed hispanophile who absolutely loves all things Spain! I’m from Australia but was living in Pozoblanco, a small pueblo north of Córdoba, as an auxiliar de conversación (language assistant) last year. Sadly, I didn’t get to renew this year, so I am back in Canberra, Australia. I teach part-time and run a travel blog, Travel-Ling, where I am still writing about all of the adventures we had whilst living in Spain. I dream of Spain every day, though, and am already working on getting back there!
I don’t know how it happened, but, somehow, four years have passed since I embarked on my two years of teaching English in Spain as an auxiliar de conversación. Though not every moment was perfect, they were genuinely the two most wonderful years of my life, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel at least a twinge of nostalgia for that chapter. If I could jump in a time traveling DeLorean and leave 2011 Kirstie a letter, here are eight things I’d tell myself about teaching in Spain.
It’s time for the next installment of my Travel Talk interview series, and today I’m speaking to another English teacher in Spain through the auxiliares de conversación program. Ashley of Cómo perderse en España told me about her experiences in the northern Spanish region of Cantabria, plus her new home of Burgos.
Hi Ashley! What’s your story?
I’m originally from St. John’s in eastern Canada, and I moved to Spain about nine months ago in mid-September to work as an auxiliar de conversación in Castro Urdiales, Cantabria. However, that’s not quite the start of my Spain journey. I’ve been dating a Spaniard, born in Donostia and raised in the province of Burgos, for nearly four years. We’ve spent years going back and forth, living in different countries (U.K., Canada, France and Spain) or doing long-distance, but over the course of time I started to get the feeling that our relationship would lead us to Spain.
As a former auxiliar de conversación (English teaching assistant) in Spain, I love reading the blogs of and chatting with current auxiliares. Trevor, who is finishing up teaching in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia and previously taught in Úbeda, Andalucía, blogs at A Texan in Spain, one of the auxiliar blogs I’ve been reading for quite a while. I spoke to him a few months back about his experiences in Spain.
Hi Trevor! Please introduce yourself!
Hi, Venga, Vale, Vamos readers! My name is Trevor Huxham. I grew up in Dallas, Texas, went to college in southern Arkansas, and have been living in Spain teaching English since September 2012. My first school year I worked in a village in Andalucía and lived in Úbeda, a World Heritage Site for its Renaissance architecture. For the past two years, however, my home has been Santiago de Compostela, where the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage ends in the northwest of the country.
It’s that time again: another interview with a fabulous traveler! Nicole of Lost in Wanderland has lived in the two Spanish cities I’ve called home, teaching English as an auxiliar de conversación for a second year in Madrid after previously studying abroad in Sevilla. I asked her a few questions about her experiences in Spain, her new web project, and her upcoming travel plans.
My name is Nicole, and I’m a 20 something born and raised Miamian. I currently live in Madrid, where I teach English to a bunch of rowdy primary schoolers whom I love dearly. When I’m not correcting my students’ pronunciation of the letter r, I love going out for tapas, hiking, and exploring both Spain and Europe.