Uhuh, yup, that’s right, apparently as of Tuesday 2nd September I will be living in España, working as an Au pair whilst I learn the español. I am super nervous about it, but also crazy excited this next chapter of my life to begin! I’ve been dreaming of living abroad for yonks now, and I’ve been determined to pick up a foreign language ever since I failed Latin in my first year. I decided to take the leap around Christmas after realising a PGCE was not the path I wanted to take, and instead I deemed a gap year dedicated to language more beneficial to both my career and my sanity (I’m sure I’ll regret saying that in a few months time!). The vision I have in my head is most certainly romantic, but I’m fully aware picking up the language and embracing the culture is not going to be a piece of cake. I will run into many hiccups – for one, I’ve never met the family before and I’ve never visited Madrid, but I was fully aware of the risk when I signed up and heck, where’s the fun if it’s guaranteed to be perfect?
Ultimately, I’m just excited to try something new. I was mercilessly bored of my degree by the end; typing up nearly 200 footnotes for a dissertation is one way to slaughter your passion for a subject! I fell in love with Spanish after my month spent in Peru last Summer, where I started a few lessons in Mundo Antiguo Language School. I realised here that my linguistic abilities were not totally handicapped (as failing Latin had lead me to believe), just that I needed a different appraoch. As a dyslexic with zero language experience beyond a bit of french in middle school, the grammar & translation heavy aspect of my Beginners Latin course was never going to be a match made in heaven. Learning primarily through practice conversation, however, was and I shocked myself how quickly my understanding developed in such a short space of time, especially considering that I was volunteering for a British Charity I wasn’t even fully immersed. So, hopefully living with a Spanish family, attending classes 5 days a week, and living in a suburban area for 9 months should do the trick… My aim is to be level B1 by Christmas, then C2 by the end of the year… Here’s hoping!