Hello, my name is Dora and I am the school groups coordinator for AIL Español. I have been in charge of managing the school trips for 7 years and I absolutely love my job. I love being part of the whole process of setting up the Spanish Educational Study Tours and I love being able to guide and help the teachers and students to start this exciting new adventure.
From my professional and personal experience, I know that booking a study trip often generates uncertainty and many questions. Many of my colleagues at the school experience this on a daily basis with our adult students and, understandably, in the case of families with children there is always greater nervousness on the part of the parents.
For this reason, the teachers who accompany the students abroad have a very important role to play in reassuring the families. I know it’s a complicated job because it’s totally normal for parents to feel fear in this situation, and since I’m a mother, I empathise even more with that feeling.
Many of the teachers I am in contact with often have the same doubts. That’s why I think it’s a good idea to use the AIL Madrid blog to answer the questions I get asked the most. I also do it with the purpose of encouraging and reassuring parents to allow their children to live an experience as inspiring and productive for their future as studying Spanish in Madrid.
I am completely honest when I tell you that this is a very important point for me. At AIL we want our students to have the best experience in Spain. For this reason, our host families are carefully selected. We also ensure that they meet the following requirements:
- They must live in the centre of Madrid: this is the easiest way for our students to be close to our schools. In Madrid, the public transport network is very good and therefore they can reach any of our centres quickly.
- They must facilitate the student’s integration: learning Spanish in a host family is very easy and fun. We only select families that are trustworthy and eager to experience the exciting cultural exchange that hosting a student from another country will bring.
- Students’ rooms must meet their needs. To this end, they must be equipped with at least a wardrobe, bed and desk. We also ensure that they are in a clean and well-kept condition.
A very interesting point to discuss is that when the students arrive at their host families, they tell them the easiest way to get home from school and the students have to do it themselves. They tell them the easiest way to get home from school and the students have to do it by themselves. I think this situation is very positive to give them autonomy and to help them to build self-confidence. It is also a great way for them to learn how to move freely around the city.
As I said before, I enjoy my job very much. It is usual for me to keep in touch with some of the teachers who have come to Spain to accompany a group of students on a language course. Many of them have told me that the parents of the students told them about the great change they noticed in their children after their return. Apart from the high level of Spanish, they also saw it in their character: more aware and sensible.
That is why I encourage you as a teacher to encourage your students and their families to experience this language immersion in Madrid. It is up to you to offer them this opportunity that will undoubtedly change their future.
¡Hasta la próxima!