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Life in Seville / January Interns / Part One

Eduardo - Working at Hombre y Territorio

'My name is Eduardo and I am currently working at Hombre y Territorio, a respected NGO in Spain mostly taking care of the social media, newsletter material and content and other Marketing aspects in 2 of their main projects. Although it hasn't been long I started, I'm finding my projects really interesting especially because I am being key to deliver such important contributions to the environment, seeing the focus is marine research and the impact of human waste.

During my free time I am going to gym and exploring the city through an app called Meetup with activities such as tours, networking events and socialising. Last weekend I had my very first black & white photography workshop - and the best thing is that most of those are free! Obviously they are also great chances to practice Spanish, learn about the lifestyle and cultural aspects that a classroom will not teach you.

This first too weeks have been cold, but I expected that as when reading about it I knew that it is colder inside than outside buildings - weird, I know! So layers and more layers, but the best thing is when you find yourself wearing sunglasses in a t-shirt carrying your jackets because it is so sunny and warm at times of the day.'

- Photo courtesy of Eduardo at Plaza de Espana

Imogen - Working at 3Si as Project Co-ordinator

'I’m working as a Project Coordinator Assistant for 3si, which is also the receiving organisation that welcomed me and the other B3st interns to Seville! Currently my day to day work is very varied as we prepare to welcome 16-18-year-old interns for two to six-week placements.

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been preparing administrative documents like mobility forms and employer contracts, translating emails and inventories from English into Spanish and familiarising myself with the hostel and area where our interns will be staying to get ready to introduce them to the city.

I came to the job with few expectations as I knew it would be an entirely new area of work for me. I’m very happy so far with my work placement and a lot of that has to do with the people I work alongside, who are truly lovely people that make up a really productive team! It’s also great to feel immediately useful in my internship.

In Seville I have been exploring the city, namely through its food, wine and hot chocolate (café Piola’s mousse-like hot chocolate has become a bit of an addiction). I’ve also been going to language exchanges, enjoying Seville’s live music scene and have taken up Cuban salsa classes (not so Spanish but a lot of fun regardless and hopefully a good way to make friends with locals).'

Emily - Working at Kids & Sports as an English Teacher

'I am working at ‘Kids and Sports’ which is a gym club that teaches children from ages 4-14 the English Language through the use of sport and physical activity. As this is a very unique idea that I hadn’t come across before it was hard to imagine what each class entailed, but now I’ve been here a few weeks I can see how English and sport can come together to form effective learning. I’ve been learning the structure of what a sport session consists of, how to aid children in enhancing their sporting skills, what they enjoy and don’t enjoy and also how to incorporate English within their activities. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities to run English focussed parts of the classes which has introduced me to a lot of new ideas, most of which cannot be done as effectively in a classroom like I am used to. Most recently I have been taking whole class warm-ups and also some group skills work too. So far, this new working environment has opened my eyes to a lot of new and innovative ways of teaching English and I am really enjoying it.'

- Photo courtesy of Sophie taken at Kids & Sports

Flora - Working at Kids & Sports as an English Teacher

'I am working as a English teacher for OneWay language school in Nervion. I am teaching 4-14 year olds and have one adult one on one a week, and I am preparing three of my classes for an exam in June. I am enjoying my placement as I feel like I am getting a lot of experience in many teaching skills including lesson planning, marking and exam prep. The school is really lovely and I feel at ease to ask questions about any issues I might be having. I was thrown in at the deep end in my first week and started teaching on the second day but I enjoyed this challenge and like that I have been trusted with quite a lot of responsibility.

In my free time at the weekend I have been on a day trip to go hiking in the Sierra Norte- which was an amazing experience, definitely a must see! We also went to see a flamenco show which was a great experience. Other than that I have mainly been chilling in bars and cafes around Seville having lots of tapas.

I have found adjusting to life in Seville quite smooth as I'm with a really nice group and we've been really good at actively planning fun things to do and making the most of our time here. It was a bit of an adjustment the first week in my placement as it was a lot of responsibility quite fast but I think I've gained a lot from it.'

- Photo courtesy of Flora at Sierra Norte

- Photo courtesy of Flora at Sierra Norte

Gwen - Working as a Research Assistant at Donana Biological Station

'I´m working as a research assistant for a team that are investigating the role of epigenetic in plant germination and development. I have helped set up an experiment in which we will investigate the responses of 2 plant species (one native, one widespread) to a demethylating agent, which we hope may provide insight into whether epigenetic plays an important role in the development of these species. In between setting up the experiment and taking measurements I am spending a lot of time reading papers and broadening my knowledge on epigenetic. The team that I am working with are lovely (all female research team woop!) and I really enjoy going in to work :D There is a lot more independent study involved than I expected though (ie. reading lots of scientific papers) and not so much practical/experimental work, but I guess this may just be the nature of scientific research.

Not had loads of free time to be honest! What with balancing work, community development assignments and Spanish practice, most evenings are spent working. On the weekend I have visited different parts of the city and spent time with friends however the reality is that there definitely isn't an abundance of free time!

I really like living here in Seville. Partly because the city itself seems really lovely and welcoming but also because I am enjoying independent living again, irrespective of Seville! I love the challenge of adapting to a new culture and discovering a new city and new people. Time is going so fast though- I can't believe that 3 weeks have already passed!'

- Photo courtesy of Gwen at Plaza de Espana

- Photo courtesy of Gwen

Joe - Working at Colegio Britanico de Sevilla as a Teaching Assistant

'I've been working at Colegio Británico de Sevilla, a private secondary school teaching the British curriculum, set in a small pine woodland about 40 minutes out of the city and surrounded by vast olive groves and humble pueblos. All lessons taken by the Year 7 class I'm shadowing, asides from Spanish and German, are taught in English, meaning there's a diverse range of opportunities to help reaffirm the English they already know and encourage them to improve. Mostly I am assisting students individually and in groups, but I have also been invited to prepare presentations and study activities for the class. Tapping into the enthusiasm of these characterful students and helping them take an interest in their learning has been an uplifting experience so far.

Outside of the classroom, I have tried to saturate myself with Seville, on my own and in the company of the interns I've befriended here. It is truly a city for anyone's tastes, whether you wish to visit impressive sites encompassing Andalusia's cultural heritage; serene green spaces; 'intercambio' language exchanges where you can practise Spanish; or to feast on tapas, live music and conversation at any one of the hundreds of cafes and bars that sustain the city. For me, it's been a joy to simply saunter through the streets and dawdle besides the river, taking in Seville's charm. Recently, I was glad to visit the countryside of the Sierra Norte with a small group of friends, spending the day hiking through scattered cork oak woodland, seeking out Iberian wildlife, and enjoying a tranquility rather different from the city's kind of ease.

I'm not a city chap, but I feel I've settled in well in Seville. I'm an admirer of the pace of life here, oriented towards being outdoors, and it is an ideal context for learning and practising Spanish (though the Sevillian accent can prove a challenge). It's been pleasing to find that Seville's variety means you can always take yourself somewhere to suit the mood you're in. All this has been improved by sharing the experience with a lovely group of fellow interns.'

- Photo courtesy of Joe 'La Giralda, originally the minaret for Seville's grand mosque which was assimilated into Seville's central cathedral, emblematic of cultural convergences in the city and throughout Andalucia. The view peers between the tall buildings from one of the narrow streets characterising the centre, designed like a system of tunnels which irrigate the city with cool air, warding off the sun as daytime heat soars with the approach of summer. At this end of the year, the streets of Seville generally arrive at a pleasant temperature for roaming the city.'

Gregory - Working at Centris English School an English Teacher

- Photo courtesy of Gregory

'I'm working at a small English Language academy just outside of Seville which prepares students to take Cambridge English exams for a range of language levels. My role is a language assistant which means I have time to help the teachers during their lessons whilst also taking the time to plan and deliver my own. This allows me to experiment with teaching whilst receiving valuable feedback.

I enjoy the variety of students who are both young learners and adults looking to improve English for various reasons. The abilities are from beginner to advanced which means I am adding to my skill set as a teacher. All of the staff have been very supportive, allowing me to learn at my own pace, offering a lot of guidance with teaching, aiding my Spanish learning with the use of their own workbooks and also giving some welcome advice about local places to eat at!

I have enjoyed the adjustment to Spanish life, waking late and staying up late, meeting friendly people from all over the Spain and Europe at the language exchanges every week. Personally I enjoy having the morning to myself and then staying up late after work. The cycle hire has allowed me to explore a large part of the city with so much still to discover. There always seems to be a lively event to attend whether it's live music at the CAAC art centre or a food and drink market at a local allotment. When I've wanted a more relaxing day I've enjoyed simply wandering through the labyrinth of streets with beautiful old buildings hidden round lots of corners.

I have plenty of opportunities to practice my photograph and improve my Spanish. I don't think I'll be coming home any time soon.'

- Photo courtesy of Gregory

- Photo courtesy of Gregory

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