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Erasmus+ Internship during a Global Pandemic: Part 1

Daisy is working at OneWay language school in Seville and this is what she has to say about living in Seville:

Photo courtesy of Daisy

My experience of living in Seville has been amazing so far. The city is beautiful and it's been really nice to explore every weekend and find new cafes and bars down all the little streets. The climate is gorgeous and there aren't many rainy days - I feel really lucky to be able to wander around in a t-shirt in mid-November. Work was quite daunting at first as I'm working at OneWay and they very much throw you in at the deep end. After a few weeks I felt far more comfortable and now I'm enjoying it a lot and feel I've gained a lot of good teaching experience.

Highlight of your internship so far:

It's hard to pin-point one specific highlight as there's been so many. We've done a few nice day trips around Seville to Cadiz and Sierra Norte national park, plus a weekend in Portugal. One of my favourite things to come out of this internship is my daily coffee at a local cafe (Los Nenes). A few of us meet there every day before work and it's so nice to relax for 30 minutes and people-watch in the square. Macarena is a fun place to live as it's so lively and feels very welcoming.

What weekend trip would you recommend to others?

In early October a group of us went to the Algarve in Portugal. It was such a nice weekend and we felt so lucky to be able to go to another country so easily. We rented a nice (cheap) villa and spent some time relaxing by the pool and also did a boat trip to the Benagil Caves which were beautiful.

Thoughts on how Covid-19:

Due to Covid restrictions, we can only have 6 students in a classroom. This means that any more students have to attend the lesson online and it can be quite difficult managing this and planning lessons to suit both in-person and online students. Wearing masks in a classroom feels quite weird, and it's sometimes harder to demonstrate punctuation etc while wearing one. It definitely gets easier with time as you become more used to the restrictions and have more experience with planning activities around them. My only advice would be to just roll with it and try your best. These restrictions are new to everyone and you can only try your best to adapt and it's not worth stressing too much over what will or won't happen.

Advice to future interns:

Try and learn as much Spanish as you can before you arrive! Especially in the Macarena area, not many people speak English and it's good to have some knowledge of common phrases before you arrive. Other than that, I don't have much advice. The time flies here so just make good use of your time and enjoy yourself!

Photo courtesy of Daisy

James is working at Estación Biológica de Donaña as a Researcher Assistant:

Photo courtesy of James

Highlight of your internship so far: For me the highlight has been visiting Doñana National Park as part of my work placement. This is one of the most important places in Europe for wildlife and much of the park is off limits to the general public. I have seen a lot of exciting wildlife, including eagles, flamingoes, vultures, wild boar and mongooses!

What weekend trip would you recommend to others?

I have managed to get out on a few weekend trips, but my favourite would be a day hiking in the Sierra Norte, a mountain range just north of Seville. The scenery was beautiful and it was only around an hour’s train ride away from the city.

How is Covid-19 affecting the internship?

I can’t deny that Covid has had an impact on the placement. Some of the activities I would have liked to do in normal circumstances haven’t been possible and since restrictions were tightened around halfway through my time here, the things you can do are even more limited.

Hopefully, the restrictions will be eased soon and my advice to future interns would be to just make the most of what things you can do, as Seville is still a great place to be despite the situation.

Advice to future interns:

My main advice would just be to make the most of your time, as 13 weeks soon flies by. Also be prepared for the local accent, which is challenging to understand even if you know some Spanish!


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