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Col·legi Claver – Raimat

Karina Burrell, Conversational Assistant at Col·legi Claver from Lleida, has written to share her experience  and feelings in Spain and in the school so far. We thank her and her tutor Blanca for the e-mail and the photographs they’ve sent along with it!


My name is Karina Burrell; I work as a Conversation Assistant at a school called Claver. I first arrived in Barcelona on Sunday 26th September, this is where I met my family. I didn’t know what to expect as I all was given were small details about the family. I would say I was I feeling apprehensive and nervous but the family were very welcoming and friendly and probably felt the same as me.

My host family have two small children, which I am not used to, as I am the youngest in my family. The children always keep you on your feet and they have a lot of energy. They are willing to share details of their day or include you in the games they are playing. At some points, we have been hand in hand walking to places, I couldn’t believe how comfortable and trusting they are with someone they have only known for a few months.

My first day at school I didn’t know what to expect as I don’t speak Spanish and I thought this could be a possible barrier. However, when been introduced to the teachers and staff of the school, many of them didn’t speak English or just knew the basics, but they made the effort to speak as much as possible in English as they could. This made me feel more at ease on my first day at school. This has continued throughout the weeks I have been at school, but now I am trying to speak Spanish back to them.

My role in the school is to assist in classes that are using or been taught English. Within the school, I don’t have a precise class I work with, I work in many classes such as library, math’s and sport, within different ages ranging from 3 to 12 years old. I am enjoying this because I never know what to expect from class to class and with the different age groups too. Also, as I want to be a teacher in a few years, this is helping me to decide what age group I want to work with. Another point is I am experiencing different teachers and their teaching styles and how they compare to each other.

I have started Spanish course online and the school has been very accommodating, as they have let me sit in on Spanish classes. I get to sit in on classes listening to the pronunciation of the words and join in activities where it is possible. One thing I am starting to get used to is meal times because here lunch is a big meal and their main meal for the day. While dinner is sometimes just a snack and late at night too, they have snack time at the time I would normally have my dinner in England. In a short space of time I have tried new and different types of food: from fish to bread to soup… some I have liked and some I haven’t, but this is part of the experience.

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