Life in Seville - Part 4!
Naomi works as a Teaching Assistant at OneWay School
Photo curtesy of Naomi, CAAC
'Time flies when you're having fun, especially in Sevilla! It's hard to believe we've been here a month already or that we all met for the first time, four weeks ago in a training centre in Brighton. Sevilla is everything i could've hoped for and more. Getting to know the city by bike has been one my favourite things to do despite my love/ hate relationship with the Servici service (on the whole it's smooth except when you get stuck in the tramlines or its 30° and you have to get to work )
There is an infectious zest for life in Sevilla that leaves you wanting more whilst also appreciating the time to step back and slow down (this is something I'm still working on) If I was to recommend one place to visit in Sevilla, asides from the obvious (Plaza de España) it would be CAAC (Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo Sevilla) The monastery-turned-museum is magic. Offering everything from giant heads and hands in windows to Sunday jazz and music festivals.
Alongside all of this I work as a Teaching Assistant at OneWay Academy in Montequinto. Initially my role was more about observation. I would take part in activities with the kids and make corrections when needed, whilst also marking written tasks. Since then, I have been given more responsibility in the form of intensive one to ones. The students have different abilities (A2 - B1+) and are either working towards the exam in June or wanting to improve their conversation skills. This has meant that lessons can be very varied, which has taught me the importance of adaptability and organisation ( the latter needs still needs some work ) Overall, I'm really enjoying it so far. The staff at the Academy have been very supportive and offered guidance and useful teaching materials and on the whole students have been well behaved and keen to learn!
Living abroad for the first time is tough especially when you don't speak the language, but we have bonded so well as a group and I feel l have a real support network to reach out to if times get tricky. A glass of sangria in the sun, tortilla on the balcony or tapas and a catch up can make life seem a whole lot sweeter.'
Photo curtesy of Naomi
Penny works as a Food-Bank assistant and Teacher at Co-operacion Internacional
Photo curtesy of Penny on her bike on a bridge over looking the beautiful Guadalquivir
'At Co-operacion Internacional we organise and give food to the local people who are maybe struggling financially, disabled, retired or unable to work for whatever reason. I’m really enjoying the local atmosphere, everyone is very relaxed and friendly. They made me feel at home from day one, its like a little family already! There are also two days of the week where my self and another intern teach english to teenagers in a local school. I’m finding this experience quite challenging as its an after school class so the teenagers we teach all have different levels of English and some of them don’t really want to be there. Luckily we are two so its not totally overwhelming, though you must think on your toes!
I've been enjoying the Sevillan lifestyle. The river is perfect for sunset runs, there are beautiful urban parks everywhere and all the little lane ways and cobbled streets are full of hidden gems. ! I’m also a keen environmental activist and am so happy to say I found a lot of eco shops where you can do reﬁlls for the home and you can ﬁnd fresh fruit and veg everywhere without the unnecessary packaging. Supporting the locals is always a nice feeling also.'
Photo curtesy of Penny doing her weekly grocery shop
Jocelyn works as a Research Assistant at Doñana Biological Station
Photo curtesy of Jocelyn with her research team at Doñana National Park
'The first month of living in Spain has gone by in a flash but I think I have nearly adapted to the Sevillan way of life now. Everyone is really friendly and are not rushing around so much compared to England, for example lunch is enjoyed over 2 hours from 3 until 5, the later lifestyle is something that took time to get used to.
I am working in the Doñana Biological Station where I am surveying tree species across the city’s urban parks to determine their traits and summarise the trends across the city. This involves walking around a lot of green spaces in the sunshine! I've been learning a lot; lots of new species names and some surveying techniques.
The station has so much research happening and I've had the opportunity to assist with other projects which have involved spending the day in the Doñana national park. Here I've been lucky to see flamingos, wild boar piglets, hares and bee eater birds. It's been easy to get involved with different pieces of work which is a real benefit of the placement.
In my free time I've enjoyed exploring the city and surrounding countryside by bike. The city's cycling infrastructure is really great and the whole group have access to the city's Servici bikes, which you can use for half an hour for free, making getting about so easy. The countryside around Seville is really beautiful and there are lots of quiet, olive tree flanked roads to spend all day cycling down and not see a single car.
The whole group get on really well and everyone is keen to explore the food and drink culture of the city, there are so many tapas bars and places to drink it's been easy to try lots of new things, it's also been a great way to improve our Spanish by speaking to locals and bar owners.'
Rachel works as a Teacher at OneWay School
Photo curtesy of Rachel, a group of interns spending the day in Cadiz
'I am working at Oneway language school, where I work 12.5 hours a week teaching three different classes of teenagers and two different classes of 5/6 year olds. I also have 1 hour a week one on one lesson with a man who wants to improve his speaking and listening skills. At first I felt very overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility I have been given, as I am teaching on my own with no assistance, but I feel I am becoming used to it and reminding myself that its good experience and good practice.
I am really enjoying living in Seville. The city is beautiful and there is always so much going on. As a group we go out for beers and tapas on the Alemada, or go see live music and flamenco shows in the numerous quirky bars around the city. We've also enjoyed chilling in the park, biking around the city, or exploring all the beautiful streets in the centre of the city and in Triana. On Sunday mornings we've organised an art club, where different people come up with ideas of things we can make each week.
Adjusting to life in Seville has actually been pretty easy, there's such a laid back relaxed atmosphere here, which I haven't found hard fitting into. Coming as a group has been really lovely as there's a ready made support system for you there, and we can all help each other out and give each other advice. However it is hard to get the chance to speak Spanish, although we have Spanish lessons and online classes I feel the best way is to get out there and talk to Spanish people. We go to an intercambio on Thursday nights, where you can get the chance to speak some Spanish, but I definitely want to find more ways to get my practice in.The city is also well connected to other cities and towns in this region, so far I've visited Cordoba and Cadiz, and we are planning a trip to Granada too!'
Photo curtesy of Rachel
Photo curtesy of Rachel of the weekly art club