From Colorado to Barcelona: an interview with Leah

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Leah came to study with us last October, and she’s now a fully fledged TEFL teacher! We had a catch up last week over a coffee to find out how she’s getting on with her new job.

How did you end up in Barcelona?

I’d been working in marketing for five years but I wanted a break. I’ve always been intrigued by teaching and by the idea of moving abroad, so TEFL teaching in Barcelona seemed like a good fit! I came to study here and I loved the TEFL Iberia course, I found it very helpful. It gave me the confidence to go and teach, which I definitely didn’t have before.

And where are you teaching?

I teach at an English school. It’s an after-hours school so I teach from 3.30pm until 7.30pm or 9pm. My students are a mix of children and adults, which is nice. My favourite classes to teach are the teens, and I like one-to-one classes too. I teach a group of ten-year-olds who are fun but challenging! I’ve been working there since January, and I have a contract until June. My current employer wants me to stay on next year too, so she’s looking into a work visa for me. Barcelona is great and I’d love to stay, depending on how my visa works out!

What’s your visa situation at the moment?

At the minute I’m on student visa, which I have through the Developing Teacher course. On the course we’ve been doing all sorts of topics – at the moment we're focusing on teaching the Cambridge exams, which is a good thing to have on my teaching CV. I think it’s really helping me develop my skills and be more adventurous as a teacher. And of course it’s really nice coming back into the school and seeing all the TEFL Iberia staff.

How are you enjoying life in Barcelona?

I like Barcelona a lot, it’s a super fun city! I’ve made some lovely friends through the course and I really like that sense of community. The work-life balance is amazing here – I only teach 18 hours a week. And if I can do that, while covering my rent and paying for my life – well, that’s a beautiful thing! Travel is really cheap, and one of my goals while I’m here is to travel somewhere new every month, whether that’s in Spain or elsewhere in Europe. So far I’ve been to Granada, Valencia, Girona, Malaga, and Bolonia, which I loved.

And what’s been the biggest change for you since moving from Colorado?

The pace of life is much slower here, and that’s been a positive adjustment. Not speaking Spanish has been the most challenging. I’ve picked up some Spanish from my flatmate and his friends, but I’m going to start proper classes in April at Languages4Life. I have a friend coming to stay in March so I don’t want to start classes then – I’ll be having too much fun showing my friend around Barcelona!

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