Why I'm renewing my contract as a Language and Culture Assistant in Spain

Programs for this blog post

Teach In Spain Program

Authored By:

Caroline B.

In a city as surprising and beautiful as Madrid, I’m not quite ready to leave.


When I left Madrid after studying here for a semester in college, I knew I still had some exploring to do here. I knew I’d be back, but I didn’t suppose I’d be back so soon for my first job out of college. I consider myself lucky to be coming into adulthood in such a safe and vibrant city. I’m lucky to love my job and the connections I’ve made here. For these reasons and more, I’ve decided to renew my Aux contract and stay for another year.


I love my job.

student art

I accepted my position as an Aux primarily to bring me to Madrid. I was excited to teach, but I never knew that this occupation would compel me so deeply. I quickly learned that I find working with children so rewarding that it’s shifting my perception of my future career trajectory. Every day I go to school I want to show up for my students. I want to give them all my effort because they deserve teachers who show up fully for them. When I arrived at my school in October, my students immediately greeted me with hugs and drawings just for me, and every day I try to earn that freely-given appreciation. I owe it not only to my students but also to myself to spend more time honing my skills and becoming the best teacher I can for them.

My students, mainly 4th graders, are curious and willing to learn. They’re not afraid to ask questions and express their ideas in a new language, fearlessly learning from their mistakes. I aspire to be like them. Their enthusiasm to connect and their willingness to make mistakes inspires me to make more connections with people from Spain, even if I fumble through some of the more complex structures in my second language. I need to move through the world more like a 4th grader by letting go of my ego and embracing curiosity. Spending another year here will allow me to continue to learn from my students.




It’s imperative to practice spatial awareness in any city and stay mindful of your surroundings. That being said, I have never felt so safe walking in a city as I do in Madrid. I can count on one hand the amount of times I have felt fearful while walking around in this city. Because Madrid is the real city that never sleeps, streets are rarely empty, even at night, adding an important layer of security. The general feeling is friendliness when out and about, and the culture of spending time outside contributes to a sense of community that sets Madrid apart from any other city I’ve visited.

The real danger: pickpockets. Make sure you keep your phones and wallets close to you! But I’ll take risking my belongings over my personal safety every time.




Wow has my Spanish improved since getting here in October. But, I’m a perfectionist, and I’m not ready to leave Madrid until my Spanish is well near perfect! (And we’ve got a ways to go before we get there…)

Next year, I resolve to study Spanish on a disciplined schedule, integrating conversation, reading, writing, and listening. I might consider hiring a tutor until I find a routine that works best for me. The increased auditory and written input I’ve consumed since being in Spain has dramatically helped my comprehension of the language, but my output needs some help. I want to be speaking more fluently and diversify my vocabulary, and that can’t happen passively. Improving my spoken fluency and vocabulary will require commitment, but with the increased time I expect to have next year, I am ready to put in the effort. I hope to settle my housing before arriving in September, so my transition into the next school year will be smooth and I can start my studies off with a bang.


The connections I’ve made here.


Madrid is wonderful, but it’s only half of the picture. Without the wonderful connections I’ve made here, Madrid would not be as magical as it is for me. I have made lasting friendships here and am so excited to keep nurturing them next year. When I visit my favorite places in the city, I am followed by the memories I’ve made in each special spot. When I’m at the Templo de Debod, I see my friends and I having a picnic at sunset. When I’m passing the taberna down my street, I see my roommates and I having a celebratory beer after signing our rental contract. Madrid to me is a place full of happy memories, and I can’t wait to make more, with old friends and new.