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Escola Regina Carmeli – Horta

Regina Carmeli is a school from the district of Horta in Barcelona. They have two conversation assistants this year: Tom and Alex. They have both sent us an e-mail explaining their experience so far. Thanks, guys!


Here’s what Tom has to say!


My name is Tom and I am working at Colegi Regina Carmeli in Horta. The Horta district is a great place to live and work, it is 20 minutes from the city centre on the tube. It is a very safe suburban area with a very safe, family feel and lots of things to do, bars, restaurants and a great gym!

The school is great, I am very lucky to have another English assistant here with me who I get on amazingly well with. Here most nursery, primary and secondary schools are combined, so I teach 2-16 year olds which gives me a great range of experience! The teachers are lovely, very helpful and accomodating to our needs. Knowing that both of us did Sport Science degrees they have given us PE lessons to run in our timetable which is great fun and will be amazing in the hot summer months! The English lessons are good, I enjoy teaching the 11-16 year olds most because they are able to more, so the lessons are more varied. I also love helping out with the 2-5 year olds because they have so much energy and are always excited to see me!! Most of the children are very well behaved, although with all schools there are some little (and not so little) monsters!! As the only English people in the school we are treated a little like celebrities with children shouting are names even 3 months into the programme!!

I am changing families every term, so will have 3 familiesl. Currently I am with the nicest family in Spain, probably because they are Argentinian!! Luckily for me my adopted parents are both incredible cooks, so I eat like a King! They have a 5 year old son who is adorable and a little genius!! I couldn´t have asked for a better family and will be very sad to leave them next week. But luckily for me my next family are friends with my current family and are also really nice, great cooks and have a cute 5 year old son, so I have landed on my feet out here!!

I came out here with a Spanish A level, although I hadn´t spoken consistently for a while. I fell like my Spanish has improved massively and I know don´t have to think in English when I talk in Spanish. There is still plenty of room for improvement over the next 6 months though!

Barcelona is a pretty amazing city to live in, there are so many things to do and see, the only major problem is the expense of the city especially considered the low pay I am receiving! But then again a ticket to go and see the greatest football team in the world is only 19 Euros!!

Hasta Luego

Tom & Alex

Now it’s Alex’s turn:

My experience so far in Barcelona has been a positive and productive one.  The major factor that tempted me into this position was to experience the culture first hand and to learn a new language. Although at first I was slightly overwhelmed by the speed and the amount of the language I didn´t understand, my Spanish has now slowly started to improved.

The Spanish culture in the main really suits me. Although I don´t often get the chance I love a good “siesta” and the general relaxed feeling around the city is great. I am not a big fan of the food but the weather more than makes up for that!

The school is ideal. It is relatively small, which means I can get to know both the children and the staff. I have been pleasantly surprised by how nice and well behaved the majority of children are. Just like the rest of Barcelona the school has a very relaxed feel to it. I am enjoying the variation of teaching the different age groups, being able to go out on school trips and the fact that every day is different. Most days I am picking up new games, activities and teaching techniques, which is what I was hoping for. The teachers have been extremely helpful and understanding in particular the tutors looking after me.

I was place with a single mother of two young children and I have found it challenging. The main reason being that I can see how hard it is to look after two young children and with me there I think it has been too much. I am more than happy to help out but she is very independent and likes things done in a certain way. The language barrier has also been a big problem my limited Spanish and her limited English has made it difficult to converse and talk about problems and solutions. But I get on really well with the children and next term I will be changing to a family who live a lot closer to the school.

Overall I am loving the experience and I am looking forward to coming back after Christmas.

Alexander Filleul

Escola Regina Carmeli

Carla is a Conversation Assitant at Escola Regina Carmeli in Horta. She’s having a great time here and learning a lot about teaching English!


Hi, i´m Carla and i´m currently living in Horta, barcelona and working at Escola Regina Carmeli. After completing my TEFL course finding this job was the perfect opportunity to get my teaching and travelling experience started and what an exciting city to begin in!

When I arrived in Sepetember I didn´t really know what to expect but my nerves soon disappeared as I was given a warm welcome by the school and my first family. My first day at school I was thrown right in at the deep end, teaching both primary and secondary children with varying levels of English. Having the opportunity to teach all ages and learning levels has taught me so much about teaching in the few months that I have been here. It is real hands on experience, every day is different and the kids and teachers are fantastic!

I get to go on a lot of school trips and this has allowed me to see parts of the city and the surrounding areas that I may not have otherwise ventured to.

Living with families who have kids at the school is an excellent way to settle straight into Barcelona life and is a great way to learn the language and about different cultures. I move families every six weeks, which is possibly a little too often because once I have unpacked and settled in and got to know the family and their routines, I have to move. The positive aspect of moving is that I have been able to see and do a huge variety of activities and I have met so many new people!

The language barrier was at first daunting but I understand more and more evey day. Living and working in the country is the best way to learn a new language. The children, teachers and families help me with my Spanish and I help them with their English.

I would recommend this experience to everyone! I am having a great year!