Becoming an active member of the Barcelona community
Sara Condon, BC'15 student
University of Colorado Boulder
Since moving to Barcelona and becoming an active member of the Barcelona community- I felt that I needed to give back and felt a great achieve this was through volunteering. I decided to volunteer at INS Ernest Lluch secondary school because I love working with other students and I felt that this would be a great way to learn more about the Spanish culture. My role at INS Ernest Lluch was to help local students, ages 14-16, with their English. On my first day of volunteering I felt nervous and didn’t know what to expect- I ended up showing up about 35 minutes early because I didn’t want to be late! However, my nerves quickly diminished the minute I started talking to the teacher that was in charge of the class I was going to volunteer with. She was incredibly nice and so grateful that I found the time in my life to help students with their learning. The students were as great as the teacher was. Everybody was so interested as to where I was from- they were very intrigued and a little bit confused when I told them I lived in the mountains (Breckenridge, CO). They were also very confused by the fact that I went to school 16 hours away from my parents and family and that I lived in a house with a bunch of my friends. I loved getting to know the students and telling them stuff about myself and where I’m from. Some of my favorite moments thus far have been when I explained that in America we eat eggs for breakfast (to which they were extremely shocked and very very confused- I suggest telling any Spaniard this and watching their reaction) and when I ask them about their thoughts and feelings about America. The responses the students provided me when I asked about America and Americans in general were that they thought it was a cool and fun places inhabited by, the like, cool and fun people. Repeating words that came up when I asked the students about America have been; hamburgers, Los Angeles, New York, Modern Family, movies and television. All in all, my experience volunteering has been an amazing one so far. I’ve not only learned a lot about the Spanish culture and the people, but I’ve also learned a lot about myself through this experience! I would recommend volunteering in some way or another to anybody that wants to contribute to the greater good of society and learn more about the culture they are living in!