This is not goodbye…

It has been a year since I finally grew up and moved out of my parents’ house and came to study Spanish in Madrid. Despite what has irrefutably been one of the strangest years on record for many of us, I have massively enjoyed my experience here. But I am really sad to leave. As excited as I am to return home to modest old Blighty, and fly over the White Cliffs of Dover at long last, I really am going to miss Madrid. Especially the people! Nevertheless, I am leaving for a good reason: I have accomplished what I set out to achieve when I decided to come to Spain

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Highlights of my Spanish adventure:

Luckily, I’ve managed to get a job in an advertising agency with Spanish-speaking clients, so my studies in Spanish will be optimal in fulfilling my role. Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible a year ago – I had just arrived in Spain and my command of the language was feeble to say the least. A year on, and many embarrassing mispronunciations and misinterpretations later, my language skills have come so far thanks to my Spanish lessons and the immersion in Madrid’s culture. Now, I have the confidence to apply the skills I have learned to my fledgling career. I am immensely happy with my decision to learn Spanish in Madrid. Being bilingual is ever-more sought after in the professional world. With my newfound ability to communicate in the second most widely-spoken language in history, a whole swathe of opportunities have come my way that I had never even imagined.

However, as happy as I am for all the professional advantages of my stay in Spain, I wouldn’t want to bore you with endless facts about careers and job opportunities. My year in Madrid has been so much more than preparing for working life. Some of my favourite memories have been going out from terrace to terrace and bar to bar trying all the different tapas on offer in Lavapiés; going for runs in Retiro Park in the sun and the heat on Sundays then cooling off with a sangría in a shady outdoor café; walking from the immensely imposing Palacio Real to the Templo de Debod and its views looking out across the vastness of Madrid, beyond my beloved Centro. The pandemic did throw a spanner in the works but despite the lockdown earlier this year, I have still been able to enjoy Madrid to the fullest.

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In summary…

I am sad to be leaving the AIL Madrid family that I have grown to know so well, especially so as my Spanish improved and I was able to talk to them properly. They have made me feel so at home, so far from home and I’m sure this is not the end of my Spanish adventure! To all my friends at the school, whether in class or at reception or even in their other departments, you have been so welcoming and accommodating and I will be back one day. There are always improvements to be made, in any language and I would love to come back to Madrid one day soon and see how far I have come.

Good luck to all in your Spanish adventure. I’ll miss you!

Emma.

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