My Time at Escola de les Aigues in Barcelona, Spain
Megan, Fall 2024, Barcelona
March 19, 2024

I had the opportunity to study abroad in Barcelona this past Fall Semester. It started with the hope of experiencing a new city and a new school. However, I got the opportunity to do much more. I found out during orientation that SAI offered a program that allowed students to work at an elementary school. Even though my major is Graphic Design and not Education or Spanish. I’ve always loved working with kids and one of my goals was to experience the culture of Spain, and what better way than a school?

With the assistance of an English teacher, I worked in a 4th-grade class once a week. We did many activities from the kids creating a family tree to playing a team-based game consisting of the kids running in and out of the classroom. I also lead a lesson based on Thanksgiving. Since it’s not a holiday celebrated in Spain I was able to teach them the history and my favorite things to do during the holiday. As well as we made hand turkeys. If you are not familiar with this craft; you trace your hand and then you make it into a turkey. It’s a fun activity and I would highly recommend it. I did it all the time as a kid. Shortly after starting at Escola de les Aigues, I joined the English Art class. The kids were first and second graders so they did not know much English. Yet, I still had a blast constantly exchanging “How are you?” with them. Which typically consisted of the kids saying “I’m good!”. Even though it was a simple exchange they made sure to add a lot of character to it.

The main thing I struggled with during this experience was not being able to communicate with the kids sometimes. It was especially hard if they were struggling with an assignment and needed help, but they couldn’t communicate it to me. It was an area I grew in though with learning how to communicate without words. The experience pushed me constantly to look at how different some things are compared to living in The United States. Where for instance in the U.S. everyone speaks English and you don’t need to learn any other language. In Europe though it’s normal for people to speak multiple languages. In Barcelona, a good part of the population speaks Spanish, Catalan, and English.

There are so many other things I could say about my time working at the elementary school but to sum it up. This time allowed me to step outside of my bubble and experience life in someone else’s shoes and I will always cherish that.

Written by: Megan, Fall 2023 Barcelona student, from Missouri State University

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