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Preparations and Musings

I will be leaving in about a week to come over to Madrid to begin my new adventure. This is my first blog entry about my experience with the CIEE Teach in Spain - Professional program. I am both excited and nervous, which is a strange feeling because I have moved abroad before, but this time it’s different. I don’t know for sure, but I am most likely one of the older students in the Teach in Spain program. I’m 33 and I am basically restarting a part of my career. I realize that I am a bit more cautious than I was thirteen years ago in terms of what to pack, who I contact to get information, thinking about certain aspects of the program. But, building on to my career with a move abroad, in a country where I don’t really speak the language, is exactly what I want and need to do right now.

I’ve studied with CIEE in France (all the way back in 2004). That semester abroad in college changed so many things for me. I continued to study and work in teaching both French and ESL for ten years after that. I am hoping this year in Madrid will bring the same kinds of changes and re-invigorate and reaffirm the work as a teacher that I began after my college graduation. Now, I’m taking a slight step back to learn Spanish and to work in another European city.

I have visited Madrid several times and I have friends who live there. So far, from the perspective of sitting behind a computer screen in my apartment in the Midwest, everyone has been warm and welcoming about my participation in the program. In some ways, I know what to expect from a program like this: teacher training, setting up bank accounts, finding an apartment, buying a phone, etc. But the rest of it is a mystery, in the best way possible. I know it will all get done, although the language barrier is a bit of a struggle for me. I am so happy to know that I will have help and support along the way. I look forward to learning more about Spanish culture. I know some information, but as I make my preparations, I realize that I have so much to learn.

Anna Shailer

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