My Volunteer Program in Spain
I choose to spend 2 additional weeks with Centro MundoLengua, spending part of my day volunteering and the other interning. These additional two weeks helped me push my Spanish skills and grow my independence.
The first two weeks of the trip I was in a class with Centro MundoLengua, and had a bunch of fun meeting new people while practicing my Spanish. I made so many friends in those two weeks and was sad to see them go, but optimistic about my next two weeks in Seville. These two weeks were an interesting shift from the prior ones. I had to adapt to making sure I was on time, a task my roommate had previously kept track of. My volunteer program in Spain also forced me to speak more Spanish because I no longer had friends that could help me understand or figure out what I was trying to say, now it was just me. I learned to better trust my instinct and to navigate the world around me. Due to my very busy schedule in the beginning of the trip, the final two weeks gave me plenty of time to explore every part of the city. I loved visiting the different plazas at nights often they would be filled with people playing guitars, trumpets, or drums.
I would begin my day by taking a bus to Pulseras Rosas, the place I would volunteer. This is a shop that sells things that women would need before, during, and after cancer. Most of the profits go to cancer research or to create free wigs to give to women who can´t afford them. Here I would do everything from sorting bracelets to mail, to helping organize donated hair. However, my favorite would be helping customers and hearing their story. Although it was difficult because often times these women spoke very fast or would use terms I did not know. My volunteer program in Spain was very rewarding to know that I was able to help and give back to this community even in a small way.
After lunch and a short siesta at home I would then walk to my internship with Centro MundoLengua. There I would write blog posts (just like this one) about my time here or I would help do whatever else needed to be done. This was also a good experience because it gave me a chance to get used to working in an office environment and use conversational Spanish. I am glad I was able to help Centro MundoLengua grow as a program by doing research and other preparations.
Overall I really enjoyed my additional two weeks here in Seville. I think that my volunteer program in Spain helped me become more independent, self-sufficient, and a better Spanish speaker. I would recommend if you are interested in working abroad after your program to do it. It will push you to fully immerse yourself in the culture and to get out of your comfort zone.