CAPS Home to Home
After finishing my studies last year, I was undecided as to what step I wanted to take next. I only knew that I wanted to travel, enjoyed learning languages and that I had my TEFL qualification in hand. When I came across the CAPS program online, it really was ideal and I applied without hesitation ... I have now been living in Barcelona for nearly six months and I am sad to say I only have three left - time really does fly when you're having fun! I have been living in a small town, SantAndreu, only 20 minutes by metro to the centre of Barcelona - I have the best of both worlds. And have been working in a school, FEDAC SantAndreu, currently just 10 minutes walk from my house. I am with pupils aged 3-16 years old, which at times can be quite challenging (especially remembering all 700 names!) but we're like a big family.
From the first day, I was welcomed with open arms (and biscuits) and I'm definitely proud to say I'm part of the team! I have now been here almost six months and still can't walk around the school without students greeting me around every corner. I'm thoroughly relishing my time here and it will definitely be difficult to leave all these smiley faces! Before arriving to Barcelona, I was extremely nervous about living with a host family, especially because I haven't lived with my own parents for a couple of years! Obviously, you receive basic information about each one and can contact them via email, but you are still a little apprehensive until you meet them in person. Of course everybody will have their own experience, but personally I have had the best host families Icould have asked for! I am currently living with my second host family and soon to move into my third.
Though at first it was difficult to adapt to living with a host family, changing your surroundings and leaving
your loved ones, it's surprising how quickly you form close relationships with them and how difficult it is to
But you have to remember that these families don't receive any money to keep you in their home and it's only a good experience if you make it one! So get involved with family activities/events, interact with the children, help out with chores around the house and you will definitely be a part of the family. Previously I had never travelled to Spain, this experience has given me the opportunity to visit various places around this beautiful country and satisfied my wanderlust somewhat. .. to name a few: Valencia, Vic and even as far north as Andorra! (soon to be on the list, Madrid) I truly have met the most wonderful people whilst living here ... not only families, students and colleagues but fellow CAPS auxiliars (it's always nice to have people who are in the same situation as you, that you can talk to without having to mime!) and Spanish friends I have made. All making my experience even better! Being an 'auxiliar'has allowed me to gain vital teaching experience, learn about a different culture and their traditions, improve both Spanish and Catalan languages and all whilst the sun is shining! What more could I ask for?