Italian girl teaching English in Spain


Alice is a young girl from Italy who came to experience Ciudad Real life. Meeting with people, getting to know a different culture, cooking together and many other life experiences were waiting for her in Spain. 

  1. Present yourself

My name is Alice. I come from Italy and I am 21 years old. I studied languages – Spanish, English and German in high school. After high school, I came to Spain because my school ran the project in cooperation with Spanish NGO called Mille Cunti in Ciudad Real whose the main goal is to send the limited number of young people to experience working there. The only thing is that no one can decide the city. We have to go to the place where they send us. 

  1. How was your first experience with Spain? What did you do there?

When I came here I spoke Spanish because I studied it for five years. So the language was not a problem for me and my sending association always send people to the environment where they can use the language they speak to make it easier for them. I worked as a volunteer in Mille Cunti. I lived in shared flat with other volunteers from all around the world and I worked in the hospital because Mille Cunti cooperates with different unities there and also preparing many other social events like Tandem (the language exchange activity) and Cuenta Cuentos (storytelling for kids) 

  1. Can you see any cultural differences between Spain and Italy?

I think there are not that big differences between Italy and Spain. I think they are quite similar. What I noticed when I came here was that people were more open-minded. I am talking about the people I know. So since I came here I felt very comfortable here. Everyone was friendly. They are very easy-going and easy to talk about the topics that are in Italy not that usual to talk about, for instance, human rights. When talking about the language there are very similar so it is easier to learn it than for polish. 

  1. By living with different cultures, could you see big differences? 

I think so but it was not that difficult for me. It was interesting and funny experience as we were staying together sharing many things and exploring them. In the beginning, I lived with a Turkish girl called Özge, then with Edyta from Poland, with some Spanish people and just for a while with Radka from Slovakia. There were differences between us but just like cooking habits. We were trying different dishes so we were sharing our food altogether and it was nice food exchange and the way how to know the culture better. The thing I remember and it was a curiosity for me that Ozge ate pizza with ketchup. For me as an Italian, it was a new experience, haha. There was a really big mixture of nationalities, for example, Pakistan, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Lithuania. 

  1. How was life in Ciudad Real comparing to you hometown Turin? Was it hard to adapt? 

It was a surprisingly big difference between them because Turin is really big and busy city comparing to Ciudad Real. When talking about life in Ciudad Real, I think is much more comfortable because it is smaller so you do not have to use public transport and you can walk almost everywhere what I can not say about Turin. In general, it was not that challenging to integrate here because people were friendly enough. After some time, I got closer with some people so I can say I have real friendships here. It was easy to talk to them about the same things I like. There are many options how to get to know local people. Thanks to the activities like Tandem (language exchange), swing (dancing classes) or Open Mike (music event) I have met many people here. 

  1. What do you do in your free time? How is your life here because you stayed here even your internship already finished? 

Difficult question haha. I like walking in Via Verde. I like Ciudad Real because near the town there are many natural places and they are not so far away so it is easy to reach them by walking. Sometimes, I just stay at home watching movies, meeting people or dancing classes. And I finished my project in october and then I left to Italy for one month and then came back to Spain. I was supposed to find a job because it was not internship anymore so the only solution was to find the job. Now, I am working in language academy and giving private english classes. From the september I am going to start volunteering service here in Ciudad Real. It will be related to social work and also I would like to start university (universidad a distancia) and study social education. 

  1. How is working in Ciudad Real?

As I told I work in language academy. I give english lessons to different people during the week. 

  1. How is your experience from Ciudad Real?

Experience with my host organisation called Mille Cunti was excellent. In general, I learned many things there, for example, I became more independent, I lived alone, I shared a flat with other people from different countries. It was very advantageous for me because by living abroad a short period of time I learned many useful things. I also changed my mind and before coming here I believed in stereotypes about different cultures and now I know it is not true so I can say I stopped to judge before knowing it. Another thing that I really like was the international environment in the association because thanks to this I could improve my English and working in the group. The association cooperates with the hospital and thanks to the activities in the hospital I decided to not continue with the work field that I wanted before (administration, international studies) but with social work. 

  1. Why did you come back to Spain?

It was specifically because of what I was doing here. I mean by that working in the hospital, working with people and all these activities. I am very thankful to Mille Cunti because just because of them I could explore what I honestly like and what makes me happy. I really liked all of the mentioned above and enjoyed it a lot. 

  1. Is there anything you would like to say?

First of all, I would like to say big thanks to Mille Cunti because of them I had this agreeable opportunity. Then to all people that are thinking about the opportunity to go abroad and they are not sure JUST DO IT. Even though you think it is not for you, try it otherwise you can not say it is not for you. Before coming here I had the same feeling but I do not regret it. 

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