Thursday, 26 March 2015

Georgina's Year Abroad in Huesca: Part 2

Back in December, Georgina Dorr shared her experiences of her first term as a language assistant in Huesca. Now two-thirds of the way through her year abroad from Exeter University, she gives us an update on life in Huesca, learning Spanish and travelling around Spain. You can also find her over at her blog The Treasured Notebook

Where does time go?

It only seems like yesterday when I was writing the post about my first three months in Spain and how I was just settling in. Flashforward three months and I’m two thirds through my year. How did that happen?!

So, an update.

I’m still loving my Year Abroad, and although there’s the odd moment of sadness and home sickness, it’s very rare and overall I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I really feel settled in Huesca, and am still getting on wonderfully with my housemates. Six months of living together and not a bad word has been said, if only student living in Exeter was this easy!

Exploring what's on her doorstep: Castillo de Montearagon

As for my Spanish, it’s slowly getting there! Some days are better than others and one moment I feel like I’m really there and understand it all, then someone mentions something that leaves me dumbstruck (but that happens to me in English too!). But overall, I’ve improved leaps and bounds since my first day here when I sheepishly muttered ‘Soy Georgie’ and hoped for the best.

In my last post I mentioned that I accidentally signed up for an Economics Masters, and I’m very proud of the fact that I completed the course! It was Economics from a touristic perspective, which was right up my street with my love for travel so I really enjoyed it. 5 hour lectures will make returning to lectures in Exeter next year so much easier, but I actually really enjoyed the module and learned loads, both Spanish-wise and Economics-wise.

Wine tasting with fellow auxiliares in La Rioja

As my course finished in January, I decided to fill my Wednesday afternoons with something else productive, so have started Salsa classes! I have never been any good at dancing and have absolutely no coordination so it’s interesting to say the least, but it’s great fun, as well as being a good place to meet people my own age and to practise some Spanish.

Visiting Sevilla - girl after my own heart!

Although perhaps my favourite past time of them all is travelling, and I’ve so far spent three weekends in Huesca since arriving in September – having the whole of Spain on my doorstep is just far too tempting! Since my last post, I’ve visited Barcelona, Logroño, Bilbao, Sevilla and also hopped on a plane to both Munich and Paris. You’ve just got to make the most of having friends living in amazingly cool places for Erasmus!

For me, travelling is a massive part of my Year Abroad and I just love nothing more than discovering somewhere new and exciting. With Fridays off work too it’s just so easy and an opportunity that I probably won’t have again.

Inside Sagrada Familia

Speaking of work, I’m still enjoying teaching and wouldn’t rule it out as a career. I prefer teaching the little kids and I’m really enjoying seeing them improve throughout my time here. In September, my Primero de Infantil class couldn’t even say ‘hello’, and this week we taught them about The Beatles and they all recited The Beatles’ names and their songs. It definitely makes the teaching worth it. (I also quite enjoy the power of marking speaking exams!)

Snowboarding in the Pyrenees

So overall, my Year Abroad is still going swimmingly, and with less than three months left, I’m trying to squeeze in as much as I possibly can. I’ve spent the last few weekends really exploring Huesca as a region as I said before, it’s really underrated. Huesca boasts two beautiful castles – Montearagón and Loarre, which are both absolute gems. I also ticked a major thing off my Bucket List this term, and learned how to snowboard in the Pyrenees. The opportunities that the Year Abroad scheme throws at you are incredible, and I’d advise everyone to take a year out.

I’ll report back at the end of my year, hopefully I’ll be fluent in Spanish and quite the Salsa expert by then!

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