I ended my first solo Europe trip with a week doing Pueblo Inglés. It was better than I could have imagined! I had heard about Pueblo Inglés from my dad, and he convinced me to sign up. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, only that a lot of talking was required. I thought “Great, I’m a teacher, I talk all the time. This should be no problem.” However, it was so much more than just talking. The intensity of the program makes it so that you get to know people, on a very personal level, very quickly. I not only met people from around Spain, but also from around the world, as the Anglos are from all over the place. At the beginning it’s hard to imagine that you will get to know all of these people, but by the end of the week, it’s hard to imagine that you hadn’t known them all your life. The week flies by, even though it is very intense.
At first, I was a bit unsure that I would be able to “fit in” with the rest of the group, as I was the youngest volunteer (I’m 24). However, that didn’t last long. Our MC started us off by saying that we are all the same, it doesn’t matter where we are from, what we do, or how old we are, we are all human. That immediately broke down any barriers, and I was no longer concerned about any age differences or being less capable/experienced just because I was young. In fact, I think it was to my advantage that I was the youngest of the group, as I brought a different life perspective. I learned a lot from everyone else, as they have more life experience than I, but I was able to speak about the world from my generation’s perspective, and how we see the world.
The week is set up with multiple different conversational settings. There are one-to-one’s, telephone calls, conference calls, discussions about random topics, group activities, and time to just chill and have fun. The main goal is to get the Spaniards speaking as much English as possible and to give them a confidence boost. I was so proud at the end of the week when I watched the Spaniards give their presentations, because each of them had learned so much and had come a long was from the beginning of the week. They each spoke with confidence, and it was inspiring to watch. To know that I was part of that transformation was absolutely touching.
I most certainly will be doing this program again. I learned so much and met so many wonderful people that I have to come back. I have been sharing about this program with everyone since I’ve come back home, and I hope that one day I will meet some of the people that I did the program with again.