Cultural Ambassador in Spain: North American Language and Culture Assistants
This program aims to:
- Promote cultural, educative and scientific knowledge exchange.
- Support Spanish teachers in teaching and students in learning the Spanish language.
- Foster understanding and appreciation between different cultures.
The Assistants get a grant in Spain to provide support to the English or French teachers in language and culture classes and also have the opportunity to learn about the Spanish language and culture and use their experience upon their return to the United States or Canada, thus developing cultural understanding between the citizens of Spain and the United States of America and Canada.
This school year, I am working as a Language and Cultural Assistant, in Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands of Spain. I first heard about the program after a representative from the Spanish Ministry of Education spoke to Spanish classes at Wheaton. When I found out that I had been placed in the Balearic Islands, I did not know what to expect. Now that I am here, I realize that I could not have anticipated anything with much accuracy. I am learning to accept and even expect the unexpected.
Although I am living in the city of Palma, I am working in two schools located in the southeast part of the island. In this sense, I have had the opportunity to get a glimpse of both city and village life. Since I first arrived, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and hospitality of school staff. Likewise, I have become smitten with the students with whom I work. I assist with English lessons and in classes such as art and music that are taught in English as part of the Balearic Islands’ trilingual educational approach (including Spanish, Catalán, and English). I have also had the opportunity to share information and culture relevant to the United States, which forces me to reflect on my own cultural background and on the country I come from. By working alongside teachers and students, I feel I have learned more about education, teaching, and learning. This experience is strengthening my interest in the field of education and further defining my educational philosophy.