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FEDAC Ripollet – Mare de Déu del Roser

Katherine and her tutor Montse have also emailed us to tell us about their experience and send us some pictures. Thanks a lot!


Katherine is a girl from Plymouth who has spent the whole course with us in FEDAC-Ripollet (Mare de Déu del Roser). To have had an English conversation assistant has been a good idea because the children have improved their listening and speaking skills a lot. She has practiced English with all the children in school (from P3 to Year 6)

Montse Barros (Katherine’s tutor)

I have been living in Catalonia since October now; working as a conversation
assistant in a school in Ripollet and I have to say that it is one of the best experiences of my life. Everyone out here is very friendly and I am really enjoying every moment.

I work in a primary school with children from the ages of 3-12. The students are very enthusiastic and really enjoy the challenge of speaking English (most of them at least!!). I have been made to feel very comfortable from the very beginning, being invited on various school trips and participating in all the school activities. The teachers are all really friendly, making the effort to speak in English and helping me in my feeble attempts to learn Spanish; they even put time for Spanish lessons with the younger students into my timetable.

With the students I usually take small groups of 5 or 6 students from each class every lesson for half an hour and revise vocabulary with them, talk about different topics, play games in English and go over grammar. Sometimes I also give presentations about life in England to the whole class and afterwards we talk about the differences between Catalonia and England. I have also been helping in the School Song Contest.

And I couldn’t have chosen a better family to live with this year if I had tried.  They told me I was in my own house from the beginning of October and are making sure that I see everything there is to see in Catalonia before my time here is up.

Basically this year has just been amazing and I will definitely miss Catalonia when I go back to England!

Katherine Weir

FEDAC Sagrat Cor – Santa Coloma de Gramenet

Joseph is a Conversation Assistant at FEDAC Sagrat Cor in Santa Coloma de Gramenet. He and his tutor, Veronica, have sent us a lot of great photos.  We have posted some here, but don’t forget to visit our flickr to see the rest of them. Thanks a lot, Joseph & Veronica!


Says Joseph:

I will begin by saying that as a person, I feel compelled to ask a good friend in his house if I can get a glass of water in case I somehow violate a primary and immutable law. That is the level of awkwardness I possess. However before even my basic pheromones were through the door to my host family’s house, the school’s too, that all disappeared. The host families have all been terrific and have given me an incredible amount of support. Before I came here in October I had no knowledge of Spanish or Catalan but this didn’t stop the families from encouraging or helping me with learning. I am now in my 3rd household and by the end of the first day I was actually made to feel like the house I was in was my own.

FEDAC - Sagrat Cor Santa Coloma

The school is no different and appears to be filled with people who rank ‘Helping others’ somewhere between breathing and basic motor functions. This attribute seems prevalent throughout Catalonia and doesn’t stop at the school gates. From the first day, my tutor was unyielding in her commitment to make me feel as comfortable as possible. She doesn’t just treat me as another student to take care of however, but with the same respect as other faculty members and had no problems in helping me outside of school with various other problems. The other teachers were the same; all of them try their English with me or help with my Spanish. One of the teachers came with me and waited for half an hour just to create my bank account. Another came to the Police Station for my work papers which began with a 20 minute queue and she was out smiling me by quite a bit.

FEDAC - Sagrat Cor Santa Coloma

In the school I teach children from the ages of 6 to 16 which for me offers the perfect balance of enriching and interesting days of work. We play games, help each other with issues we find difficult (this applies to my Spanish too) and sometimes it is talking that I find to be the best form of teaching as you feel the gulf between student and teacher isn’t really there and both parties can learn.

FEDAC - Sagrat Cor Santa Coloma

To be honest, at its most concentrated, joining the CAPS programme has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in 23 years. Given that I’m 23, I’d resolutely recommend the pursuit of this course to those not just interested in teaching or travelling, but to those who want to look at life from a different point of view for a few months.