How did you connect with this job
My second cousin is an alum of the program and recommended I apply.
What attracted you to this
The flexibility of the job (lots of free time to travel, take classes,
and experience the culture).
What are the most gratifying
aspects of your job?
Building relationships with Spaniards and learning from their culture
and language. It is also rewarding to see the students and teachers
improve their English and to be able to share about the U.S.
What has been/was your biggest
challenge as a first-year teacher?
It was a challenge learning to be an efficient and helpful co-teacher/assistant rather
than the head teacher. Communicating with the Spanish teachers about my
role in the classroom can be confusing.
How did your time at GCC prepare
you for the teaching field?
Student teaching helped me to practice my classroom management skills
and plan practical lessons.
would you give to a current pre-service teacher in order to better prepare
for his or her future
Travel and learn from different cultures because students light up when
you share about life outside of their daily routine.
What job search tips would you
give to GCC students?
Start early and schedule appointments with Mrs. Snyder. I spent hours
and hours researching teaching abroad opportunities, and I don’t regret
any of my effort.
Ellie's suggestions for the
auxiliar program in Spain: ♦
Start the application early (around December)
so you have a higher likelihood of getting your
first choice. ♦
Don't be discouraged by the online application; it's quite
confusing, but worth it! The screening process is very, very
small...the hard part is just accurately completing the application
because it's in Spanish. ♦
Apply for your visa the moment you get your placement and keep
all the documents. The paperwork involved is the most frustrating
part of the process.
What are the challenges and
rewards of teaching in another culture? ♦
Challenges—It takes a lot of energy and time to go through the paperwork and
logistics of working oversees. It is also difficult to get settled the
first month if you don’t have people to help you find a place to live
and give you guidance with ordinary life. ♦
Rewards—Exploring the many different ways people learn and adopting new methods
to your American teaching style.
What are the challenges and
rewards of living in another culture? ♦
Challenges—It takes considerable energy every day just to communicate in a
different language and understand the culture. You must have an
adventurous spirit and be willing to take risks and meet people. ♦
Rewards—Traveling to new places, broadening your world view, meeting other
international expatriates, and trying new hobbies (for example, I am
taking a flamenco dance class and working as an au pair for a Spanish
to Alumni Profiles
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