I have now been in Ciudad Real, Castilla La Mancha for four weeks. I am here as an English language assistant with the British Council, teaching in a primary school in Spain.
One of my favourite things about my stay so far has to be how friendly and kind all the locals are. When I ask for directions in the street, they are very keen to help and always have a smile on their face. Secondly, the food here is great; I’ve really enjoyed trying out the tapas and sitting outside to eat it! Tapas is so different from what we eat in the UK; they come in small portions, so you generally get more than one at a time. Some of my favourite tapas dishes include prawns (gambas) and calamares (squid)!
There are many differences to living in Spain compared to England. One is that shops close at around 2pm for a ‘siesta’ (an afternoon nap) and re-open at around 5pm. Another is that people eat dinner a lot later here; they often eat around 10pm, as opposed to 7pm in England! Also, the temperature is a lot higher here than in England … sometimes I feel like it’s summer and not autumn!
This weekend I went to Valencia by train with my new friends from Ciudad Real. I loved it; the city is bustling and there is a great energy there. The architecture is beautiful and there’s also the beach too! My highlights were eating paella, going on a walking tour of the city and renting bikes to cycle around Valencia. I would also recommend visiting the famous aquarium ‘Oceanographic’, which was fantastic.
Two years ago, I studied in Cadiz for a semester at the university there as part of my degree. Living in Cadiz was an amazing experience, one which I will cherish forever. It is so unique; the locals are so unique in their personality, in that they are forever singing and being jolly. There were countless parties on the cobbled streets outside my flat, and I always used to see confetti on the streets. My favourite part about living in Cadiz was living by the sea – something I have always wanted to do. It was great to live five minutes away from La Caleta beach, which was beautifully sandy and had lovely sunsets.
I hope to visit Madrid again and northern Spain, as I have not yet seen it. I am very much looking forward to experiencing more of what Spain has to offer, and I’m sure it’s going to be good!
Would you like to work abroad one day? Where would you go and why?