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3 Weeks into their time in Seville - This is what our interns have to say! Part 1

Juliette works at Ecologistas en Accion

Photo curtesy of Juliette - 'The sunset at Cadiz'

'Three weeks... already spent 21 days in Seville, which went by so fast yet also feels like I have a new home. My weeks, spent at the allotments have been filled with sun, lovely people and a lot of hard work. I expected the hard work and the sun, although perhaps not as hot... but I underestimated how friendly everyone would be, with ‘Buenas días’ being heard all around. At the plot, the tasks change daily but the focus for the moment remains on setting up the allotments for the children, which means I get to witness how drastically the space is changing… and so do the locals walking by - ‘¡dío que cambió!’.

Besides gardening, I also had the chance to visit some of the schools with which we will be working for the environmental education projects. And just today I even got to feed the most beautiful sheep and goats on the other side of the allotments! Work is fun and so is the life in Seville. During our free time we are discovering new places, cafes, bars, parks and strolling around the beautiful city. We also spent a weekend at the beach in Cadiz, which was a nice way to get to know the group of interns as well as explore more of what Andalusia has to offer. And most importantly we have been continuously meeting new people.

I first thought the language exchange nights would be where I meet most locals, but even while walking around the city people will come and talk to you… such a lovely atmosphere to live in. I have to say that with such an intriguing city and wonderful people it has been much easier to adjust to the life in Seville than I could have ever hoped for. I look forward to seeing how it unfolds over the next few months…'

Photo curtesy of Juliette - 'Preparing the allotments for the kids: imagine all of that flat, full of grass and rocks, and few weeks later we can actually grow food!'

Michelle works at 3Si as an Assistant Project Co-ordinator

Photo curtesy of Michelle

'I'm working as an assistant project coordinator at 3Si - who are also the receiving organisation who welcomed us to Seville. I have been helping with the preparation and organisation of college groups coming to Seville for 2-6 week work placements. So far I am really enjoying it as the work is varied and different every day, as well as working in the office I also work out and about around the city- for example visiting the hostel they will be staying. I am looking forward to the first college group arriving- this Sunday I am going to meet them and pick them up from the airport. -

There's so much to do here, we've done a lot the first few weeks and there is still so much of the city I haven't explored yet. We go to the intercambios every Thursday - which is a great opportunity to meet new people and practice my Spanish. We went to Cadiz last weekend which had beautiful beaches and great food. Apart from that I've been going to a lot of bars and restaurants for tapas and drinks and just generally soaking up the culture!

I absolutely love Seville, I think I've settled in quickly to living here, partly because everyone in our group gets on well and spends a lot of time together. The city is big enough that there's plenty to do, but small enough that you start to know your way round quickly and don't feel overwhelmed.'

Photo curtesy of Michelle - Under Las Setas

Laura works at Kids & Sports

Photo curtesy of Laura

'My work begins at 4:15 after a 20 minute cycle along the river. For my first two weeks here I have been working in Kids & Sports fitness centre in Trianna. Here we mostly teach Dance and Gymnastics to kids in manageable groups ranging from the age of three to around thirteen. I have just started my third week and for this week, I am travelling to schools to teach. The dynamic of teaching in the centre and teaching in schools is very different. The Kids at Kids & Sport are in small groups, have access to all of our materials and a lovely teaching environment. In schools, you can never be so sure about what materials you have access to, the classes are generally larger and more difficult to manage. However, this just means you have to be better organised and don’t stress if the lesson doesn’t go as planned. I predict that once I have more of a routine and get to know the kids better this will become easier.

One of the first things you notice about teaching in Kids & Sports is how encouraging and friendly the staff are. I am not from a Dance/Sports background, but I know a lot of English Language learning games because I have studied and worked in Drama/Theatre environments and the teachers are always pleased for me to lead these games. I have started to write lesson plans for my classes based on my observations and own ideas and I have enjoyed doing this and teaching them- even if they do not always go exactly plan!

Photo curtesy of Laura - The view from Las Setas

I have had my mornings off work so far and have spent this time practicing Spanish, preparing lessons and material for the supporting course, going out for breakfast/lunch, shopping and just generally enjoying the city and relaxing. It is so hot here, which makes me so tired, so I decided to visit somewhere rumored to be colder so I visited Cadiz with some of the other interns one weekend which was great fun! (It was so still so hot though!). I already have plans to visit Madrid next. I also enjoy exploring a bit closer to home visiting Las Setas, Plaza España and restaurants and bars around the city. On Thursdays I have been going to the Intercambios in a bar in the Alameda which always gets busy and everyone wants to talk and you can pick what language you want to speak in.The Alameda is also a great place to go out on weekends with lots of bars and clubs, I always look out for events and festivals that are happening as well, of which there are many, and you can find out about them in a quick google search or just asking around.

So far, I am really enjoying my experience. I have struggled getting used to the bikes because whilst sometimes it can be really nice, they are also really heavy and when you don’t know your way around the city can be frustrating. I have a terrible sense of direction so it has taken me a little while to get my bearings but that is true of moving to any new place. Going with a group of other interns has made it so much easier to settle in and I am looking forward to the next 2 and a half months , I just hope it doesn’t go too fast!'

Photo curtesy of Laura

Amy works at Estación Biológica de Donaña as an Assistant Researcher

'I currently work at the Estación Biológica de Donaña working on the a project about the mutualistic networks between the plant and bird species at Donaña National Park. My weeks currently consist of amazing field work completing plant and fruit transect surveys and bird mist netting in the early hours. I can honestly say it's been amazing, so incredibly interesting to see a different habitat to the UK and handling the birds is such a great experience for me, someone who wants to work in wildlife research. The data we are curry collecting will be compare to historical studies in the 80s to quantify any ecological network changed due to global change, again something I am greatly interested in. The project has exceeded expectations by allowing me to be in contact will other inters, PhD students and top scientists which has given me a real insight to the biological research career.

I have spend my free time exploring the city and chilling in the grounds of Plaza de España must be one of my favourites. This huge found has so much to explore and is a great place to go for a picnic and a few card games. Another favourite of mine would be Alemada del Hercules here is a bustling square with bars and restaurants for everyone! On the weekends I've visited Cadiz to enjoy the sun and the beach - a must go if you love swimming.

Adjusting to life in Seville didn't take me too long. The heat and lunchtimes are the biggest change. Getting used to the late nights and socialising is different but definitely a fun thing to get used to!'

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