Life in Villanueva – Janine

It’s been a super busy time in Villanueva! After intensive courses started, I’ve been teaching a least a couple classes everyday. It’s been great getting to know my students and learning to teach lots of different age levels, from younger children all the way to college students and adults. Slowly my students have been gaining confidence in their speaking abilities, and I enjoy seeing my students become more comfortable using English in the classroom. Sometimes, though, my instructions in English are hard for students to understand, which can lead to me speaking in my often confusing Spanish. I’m always super happy when, after a mixture of some interesting Spanglish, everyone understands what is going on in the classroom. I also find it hilarious how much all of my students love games, regardless of their ages. The 8-year-olds I teach love playing hangman just as much as the college students! Games definitely make the classroom more fun and less intimidating, and I hope to think of some interesting games to incorporate in lesson plans in the coming weeks.
When I’m not teaching, I’ve had plenty to do in Villanueva and around Spain! I went to Madrid a couple weekends ago for World Pride, which was a great experience. Madrid was absolutely packed with people, and it was amazing to see so many people from different places all celebrating together. Madrid is a beautiful city, even though it also feels a bit crazy. I’ve never been to New York City, but I imagine Madrid feels similar in a lot of ways to NYC. There were so many different types of people and so many giant stores lining the streets of Madrid. I stayed in an apartment near Callao with some of the other interns from Academia Manhattan, and the apartment was pretty classy. I also ate some really good Mexican food that weekend! Overall, I’m glad I was able to experience Madrid during World Pride, despite the craziness!
This past weekend, I went to see Córdoba, which was also interesting. Córdoba feels ancient, which is a feeling I never get from cities in the United States. I saw a bridge that the Romans built, which is still standing today! Córdoba definitely has a lot of history and I was happy to experience it, even just for a day. I also went to a concert from the guitar festival. I’ve never really heard flamenco style music before, and it was special for me to experience it first-hand.  It was also fun to visit Córdoba with Catherine and Libby, two other interns, who spent their past semester studying in Córdoba. I (and all of the other interns!) appreciated their knowledge of the city and their skills as guides for the weekend.
That’s all for now!
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