Cora: “This is how I landed here in Mataró and I am really happy I did!”

La Cora és una estudiant d’Alemanya que parla sobre l’experiència de viure a Mataró

Firmat per Mohamed Rida i Alexei Semenov

La Cora és una estudiant que ha acabat batxillerat i està fent el que es diu Gap Year, que consisteix a estar un any sense estudiar per fer viatges, aconseguir experiència laboral i/o per fer una exploració personal abans de continuar estudis superiors o una nova feina. La Cora ha escollit venir a Espanya, concretament a l’escola Gem, com a aulixilar de conversa a secundària i primària i explica la seva experiència mitjançant una entrevista, feta de forma online en anglès.

How are you here at the GEM? And in Mataró?

  • I feel very, very good here! Everyone welcomed me so warm and made sure that I feel good here so I had no problems to integrate at all. Overall I think the people here are super open and want you to feel good in their country. Besides that, I really enjoy working at the GEM. As I am in a lot of different classes I have a lot of variety during the week and I can experience teaching classes of all ages.

How long have you been here?

  • I am here from the middle of October until the Christmas break. Unfortunately, that means that my time here is almost over, as I am leaving on the 22nd of December to spend Christmas with my family at home. During my time here I have realized that time is flying. I feel like I arrived yesterday and now I only have about a week left…

What are you doing here and (activities you’ve been doing, places you’ve visited, etc)?

  • A lot of different things! I signed up in a gym and like to go to classes there. However, I also enjoy going to Barcelona to visit the city, meet friends and go shopping 🙂 With my host family, I went to Blanes and Vic, which are two really nice cities and we ate a Paella in Blanes which was great! However, I also discovered I like football more than I thought, as I went to Camp Nou to watch a FC Barcelona match. Nevertheless, this is not the only new football experience… I also really like the fútbol sala matches – this kind of football rarely exists in Germany or at least I didn’t know it, so it was totally new to me, but I think it is very nice too!

Why did you decide to come here instead of another country or another city?

  • In Germany, it is pretty usual to take a year off after graduating high school and I always wanted to do it before starting university. Especially with the pandemic and everything that has been going on I needed a break from studying… I was really open about where I wanted to go but one day I decided that I would like to go to Spain because I want to improve my own Spanish. I’ve had Spanish for about five years in school and also wrote my final exams in Spanish, but as I am the only one in my family who is able to speak Spanish I wanted to make sure, that I won’t “forget” everything. This is why I started looking for internships here in Spain and found a German organization that offered my internship here at GEM. As I would like to become a teacher of English myself I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to experience school from the other point of view. This is how I landed here in Mataró and I am really happy I did!

What do you think you will miss from here?

  • Definitely the people but overall my host family. They welcomed me so nicely that I feel very good here and I don’t even want to leave. Another thing I will miss is the weather and the beach – I love the beach and going there but sadly we don’t have one close to my hometown. As my departure date is coming closer, I am also scared about the weather back in Germany. After almost three months here I am really used to the sun and the good weather even though it is cold – but back in Germany I will have to deal with rainy, grey days and freezing temperatures. And the food – I LOVE the food here; my absolute favorite is pan con tomate but everything is really good!!!

What do you like the most about here?

  • I think it is difficult to say just one thing. To be honest I just enjoy my time here and try to have a good time. One thing I would like to add is that I am just grateful for the opportunity to be here and experience living abroad for some time. Not just that I could come here but also that my host family decided to host me and everyone welcomed me like they’ve known me “forever”. I am really happy here and want to make sure to return very soon!

What do you think of the people here?

  • As I already said I think that they are extremely open. They try everything to make sure you feel good here and you like and enjoy your time here. Moreover, everyone was, and still is super understanding towards me and patient if I need some time to think about how to say something in Spanish. Also, the fact that I don’t speak Catalan wasn’t a problem at all, for which I am thankful. 

Does our language seem difficult to you?

  • Talking about Catalan when I first came here definitely yes! When I arrived back in October I didn’t understand anything, even if I tried. However over time that changed. Of course, I do not understand everything but I often understand what people are talking about. Even though I have to be concentrated that doesn’t bother me, as I am just happy that I do understand something in a language I never really learned. This just shows me that living abroad is the best possibility to learn and improve a foreign language. And I like Catalan, I think it’s a really cool language. Now that I have been living here for a while I set myself a new goal: I would like to learn Catalan myself and expand the few things I already know how to say “thanks to my host family 😊”.