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Col·legi St. Vicenç – St. Vicenç dels Horts

Col·legi Sant Vicenç is an Infant and Primary school located in Sant Vicenç dels Horts. They have been in the PAC for four years now! Martine is spending this year there as their conversation assistant, and has shared with us her thoughts on the programme so far. Thanks, Martine and her tutor Laia!


martine1Hello my name is Martine and I am currently on my gap year from the University of Ulster. I have known from I was in secondary school that I always want to pursue a career in teaching but never realized how hard it would be to achieve this goal until the past year. This program has given me the opportunity to get one step closer to my dream of teaching and also immerse myself in a different lifestyle and culture.

martine2From the minute I arrived in Barcelona I knew it would be a brilliant experience that would stay with me for the rest of my life. I am currently situated in a town just outside of Barcelona called Sant Vicenç del horts. When I first arrived I didn’t know what to expect especially living in a town as I am so used to city life. I have being working in Col•legi Sant Vicenç for 5months now and I am enjoying it a lot. Both Student and teachers have welcomed me with open arms and made me feel at home. I have been given the opportunity to take my own small groups for conversation classes and also been given the chance to take a few of my own English classes with the help of the teachers. I am so grateful that the school have giving me my own responsibilities and helped me gain a lot more confidence in the classroom. I work together with the English teachers to help plan my conversation classes and the school have also provided me with all the teaching material I need. The children brighten up my mornings with their welcoming smiles and there countless `Hellos.´ Each child brings their own personality to my conversation classes which makes each class different. To hear at least one child say a new word in English that they have learnt in my class makes my day. The days can be tiring but yet so rewarding to know that I am making a difference to a child´s life my speaking the language I have grew up with.

martine3Living with three host families has been the more difficult part of the program. From the minute I was told I would be spending 9 months in Barcelona I never knew what to expect as all families are different. The first family was so nice and welcomed me into their home as part of their own family but I found it hard to adapt to their way of life because I was so used to my student life back at home. I never realized how important language was until I met my first family as they spoke little English and communicating was hard at times. My currently family are brilliant I feel so at home in there house and both parents can speak English which for me was a bonus. This family is hugely involved in the local community so I have got to experience local events which have been brilliant. I am feeling positive that my final family will be as welcoming as my first two.

martine4In my spare time I like to meet up with other people on the program and share are experiences. It is so good having friends in close towns that are going through the same experience. I have also followed on the tradition of private tutoring lessons after school which is brilliant to meet people similar to my age in the same town. The majority of my lessons are just simple conversation classes that end up turning into a weekly gossip which is brilliant makes me feel like I am back home.

All in all it has been a great experience so far definitely one that I will never forget. The memories and friends I have made are for life. Its help me gain confidence in meeting new people and also essential teaching experience that will stand to me in the future. The whole experience so far has been a life lesson that I never thought I would have the courage to do. One thing I have learnt throughout the program is “anything´s possible if you set your mind to it.”