My decision to teach in Spain with CIEE was a result of many factors. It absolutely cannot be boiled down to one reason, which I imagine is the case for many other participants.
Below I outline my own, unique reasons for signing up with CIEE and committing to teaching English – a decision that I would make one thousand times over.
I ENJOY WORKING WITH KIDS
First and foremost, I have always enjoyed working with kids of all ages. I am not a teacher by profession; however, it does run strong inside of my family – both of my parents are retired teachers and many of my aunts, uncles and cousins are also teachers. You could say that teaching is a family affair. Although I’ve never worked as a professional teacher, I have a lot of experience working with kids. I have coached little league sports teams, I have been a sleepaway summer camp counselor in gorgeous, pristine Maine, I have organized and run youth activities and camps at various YMCA’s, and most recently I worked as a “manny” to a remarkable young dude, who is now 14 and a very special part of my life. Interactions with kids have never been too far away from me, regardless of where I have been in the world. CIEE provides an opportunity for a more formal role with kids and after many years working in a completely different industry of the professional world, I decided it was time to give teaching a real shot.
SPEAKING SPANISH OPENS A DOOR TO THE WORLD
I live in the dynamic city of Los Angeles, CA where over half of the city and county’s residents are Spanish speaking. I am also fortunate to have an extremely close group of friends in LA who are native Spanish speakers. By joining the CIEE teaching program, I realized that improving my Spanish skills was not only opening a door to connecting more with the community, city and state that I love, but I was also building a tighter bond to some of my best friends, their families and their unique heritages.
But a point that is even more dear to me is the simple fact that in Los Angeles (and all over the western hemisphere), the people that are currently struggling the most with the basics of living, working and raising a healthy family are unfortunately the Spanish speaking populations. Being able to communicate efficiently with them is an invaluable tool and one that I intend on taking full advantage of when I return home.
OPPORTUNITY TO TRAVEL ABROAD
The CIEE program places you in Spain…a country in the heart of Europe and its long history. Although I have traveled to all corners of the United States (and everywhere in between), I had not yet had the chance to travel Europe. Selfishly, this program gives me that chance. Europe is well known for its cheap travel, whether by bus, train, or air, so traveling on the monthly stipend is very doable within my monthly living budget. And because the continent is relatively small ease of quick access to other countries is phenomenal with my three-day weekend schedule.
CIEE IS THE BEST, HANDS DOWN
I try to avoid jump into anything without doing my research, considering all options, and the potential for extreme positives & negatives. The internet is riddled with programs offering a chance to use a college degree and the native English tongue to teach abroad in gorgeous locations, but unfortunately not all of them are as honest as they claim. After weeks of research, I concluded that CIEE was the best program available, for me. I WAS NOT WRONG! CIEE has delivered on everything it promised and quite honestly has gone above and beyond with continued support. Partnering with CIEE has been a remarkably successful decision and one I implore others who are on the fence to consider.
MY SIBLINGS ARE TEACHING IN SPAIN TOO
Last but certainly not least the best part – two of my three siblings are here teaching in Spain! My sister is living with me in Huelva and my younger brother is in Madrid. CIEE worked with me and my sister to place us together in Andalucía, and my brother is only a train ride or short flight away. We have a rare opportunity to travel and spend quality time together outside of our California home. My other brother and his wife are jealous, and the rest of our family is proud and excited for us. Hard to beat that!