Student Interview: 3 Month Gap Year Program
Arthur joined us from Oxford, England taking a gap trimester in Valencia after his first year at his university. He decided to take 3 months to study Spanish as well as do an internship to help him decide what professional path he will choose. He did an internship concentrated on Graphic design and Marketing, and also an Internship focused on Education. Before he left, he shared his experience and thoughts about the time spent in Valencia with us!
Why did you decide to study Spanish in Spain and specifically Valencia? What do you like most about Valencia and what is the most challenging for you?
I was studying Spanish in England with a tutor for 2 years and I really wanted to come to Spain to learn Spanish from the source. I chose Valencia because it is not a very busy city but still is big enough, with lots of activities and events going on. It has amazing weather and a beach too. I chose EUROACE because I was looking to sign up for a program with a clearly defined plan and EUROACE was able to offer me this. What I found challenging is that people in the shops in Valencia tend to respond to me in English when I approach them in Spanish, so sometimes that can be discouraging.
What advice would you give to other students coming to Valencia to study Spanish and/or pursue an internship?
Live in the present moment, take all opportunities that become available, interact with the locals and your fellow students, and use every chance to speak Spanish, since this is the way to learn and to explore the local community as well as make friends. Use the chance to explore Valencia and the towns nearby. Keep yourself healthy and fit, participate in the many outdoor activities Valencia has to offer. Push yourself outside your comfort zone.
To what extent did you improve your level of Spanish after the classes?
My Spanish improved a lot. I used Spanish every day in the streets, shops, etc. When I see a sign in the street that I don’t understand, I take note and ask my teacher later. The Spanish lessons are very interactive, the teachers alway have a clear structure of the lessons, but also give the students a chance to customize the lessons and learn what interests them. The lessons are fun and we laughed a lot, the teachers involve every single student in the discussions.
Did you participate in any of the activities of EUROACE?
I took part in the Spanish-English language exchange that takes place every Thursday in St. Patrick’s Pub in Valencia. It was fun to meet other students as well as local Valencian people and to practice Spanish is a fun environment outside the classes.
How satisfied are you with your internship? How did it help you with the planning of your future career?
My internship helped me a lot to see what areas I would like to work in and how to develop my future career. At first I thought I would like to be an English teacher. I started an internship in a school, one hour from Valencia, being a teaching assistant for 5-6 year old children. I continued for a couple of weeks and I found teaching young children a bit challenging, I realized this is not really something for me. I talked to the EUROACE team and asked to change my internship. I got an assignment in the marketing team of FC Villarreal, doing graphic design for the international web page of the team. It was a great experience, the intern supervisor was very supportive, we worked hard and there was a clear plan for our objectives. I met a lot of ambitious interns and this atmosphere made it very easy for me to focus on my professional goals. I really liked the FC Villarreal office. It made me realize that football is not just a hobby but also a solid business and I plan to further develop a graphic design career in the football industry. This internship made it clear to me that I chose the right academic path and I am going back to England very motivated to start my BA degree in Arts.
Would you recommend EUROACE to other students wishing to learn Spanish in Spain?
Absolutely, I would definitely recommend the EUROACE team. I met many interesting students here, the staff of EUROACE was very helpful and understanding, making sure the students and interns were happy and comfortable with their stay, solving any possible issues very fast. The Spanish teachers are great too!
For more student interviews about various programs, click here!