Emma and Ian

Dates employed: September 2014 until June 2017

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR

  1. The Town

Andujar is a small, friendly town. In the spring and summer there is always something going on. There are many fiestas including the Romeria. The cost of living here is low and the cost of a wine or beer with a tapa is around 2.50 euros. There is a lot of opportunity to practice and learn Spanish, it’s very easy to set up a language exchange with somebody and there’s also an “intercambio” group that meets up on a Thursday night.

2. Getting Around

Public transport is not too bad. You can get to Jaen, Malaga, Cordoba and Madrid quite cheaply and easily. It´s very easy to take advantage of any bank holidays or to just go away for the weekend. The Malaga bus is particularly handy as it leaves early on a Saturday morning and gets back into Andujar late on a Sunday night. The buses to Madrid are also very cheap and there are about 5 each day. If you can afford it, buying a car is a fantastic idea as there is lots to explore. Spain is such a diverse country in terms of scenery and temperature. In February, we went to Ronda and drove through snow covered mountains in the morning and ended up at the beach in the afternoon wearing just a T-shirt!

3. The School

Our experience in the school has been nothing but positive. We were both fresh from our CELTA when we applied and had heard horror stories about some academies in Spain. As we were newly qualified we were almost expecting that we wouldn’t be able to find a decent school that would take a chance on us. The support we had was phenomenal! We were helped with finding an apartment, guided through the paperwork we needed to complete and helped with settling in to the job and life in Andujar.

4. Materials and Resources

There are so many resources available it´s almost daunting to a new teacher. From folders to containing ideas for those first classes in September, exam preparation books and plenty of extra materials to use in class such as plastic food, telephone, and toy animals with the smaller children. There´s anything and everything a teacher could need and more.

5. The Staff

The support has been fantastic. If you are ever stuck for an idea, there is always someone who has a solution for you. Everyone helps each other and you really feel part of a team in ECI.

6. Students/Classes/Levels

Most of the students are motivated and willing to learn. If you do have a problem, you are encouraged to speak to the parents in order to resolve it. The classes are very comfortable and all have interactive white boards and internet connections. The levels that you teach are varied. Every teacher has a preference to what ages and levels you prefer and ECI will try to accommodate you, however, the majority of classes are usually children.

7. Teacher Training

If you want to improve and develop there is ample opportunity. If you have any specific area you want to improve in, just speak to someone. We had the opportunity of watching some classes when we started and something small like this helped so much with our confidence. We also had the chance to go to the FECEI conferences in Madrid and the ACEIA conferences in Seville, these were invaluable! We also had numerous other workshops both in house and in Jaen.

8. Finding a Flat

When we arrived, our Spanish was almost non-existent. Having to deal with the language barrier when looking for a flat would have been immensely stressful. We expected that this was something that we would have to do for ourselves. However, Julie helped us find a flat and checked everything was legitimate with the contracts. Then, after we bought a car we started looking for a new place with a garage, this time Lorraine (director of studies) helped us. Everyone in ECI is willing to help you out if you need it.

9. The Cost of Living

Cost of living as we’ve said above is much lower than the UK. To be honest, our wages in Spain are less than what we earned in the UK but our disposable income is so much higher! We’ve been able to go away for the weekend at least once a month, buy a car, return to the UK every Christmas and have decent holiday in the summer whilst working here. Obviously, there are two of us in our household and this helps a lot.

10. Health Cover

Health care from what we’ve seen is great. Booking a doctor’s appointment is very easy and can be done online. Medication has to be paid for and isn’t free like in some parts of the UK but it is very cheap.

Other relevant comments:

As we’ve said above I feel very lucky to have had the support we’ve had these past three years. We will be very sad to be leaving the school and Andujar. We’ve made friends here that we are sure we will keep in contact with in the future. Thankyou ECI for your support and helping us develop as teachers.

Emma and Ian Reynols

Sue

I came to teach in ECI Andujar in April 2016 for three months to cover a maternity leave.

Everyone at the school has been very friendly and welcoming. The support from management and colleagues is total and the atmosphere is friendly. The teaching resources are extensive and the classrooms are well-equipped with interactive whiteboards. It’s a really nice place to work.

Andujar is a small town with a lovely historic centre and all amenities. There are lots of shops and supermarkets and a riverside walk. It’s easy to get into the hills on the edge of the Sierra Andujar if you like walking.

There are bus and train connections to Sevilla, Córdoba, Malaga and Madrid as well as local towns.

In the few weeks that I’ve been here, I’ve joined a gym, found a wonderful Spanish teacher close to the school and been invited out for drinks and excursions. There is also an English conversation group in the town where you can meet local people to chat in English and Spanish.

Sue Kullai

Amy

Dates employed: Nov 2015-June 2016.

Amy is moving back to Britain to do a PGCE

-Andujar is a typical small Spanish town with plenty of bars and shops. People here are very welcoming and patient with my Spanish.

– Though there’s not much to do in Andujar it’s easy to make weekend trips to other cities in Andalucia such as Seville, Granada, Cordoba, Jaen, Cadiz etc. Bus and train tickets are reasonable and easy to buy online.

-The School is in the centre of town with bright classrooms and a whole library of resources.

-The staff are incredibly supportive and friendly, if you have a problem they’re quick to help and offer advice. We usually go out for a drink together after work on a Friday and often do things at the weekend which is a lovely way to relax.

– I teach a variety of ages and levels which keeps things interesting. They all follow a course book but I supplement with resources from the staff room. The students are lovely, they are very sweet and eager to please.

-I’ve really enjoyed the training on offer with ECI, I have been to three ELT conferences this year. It’s a great way of learning new things and getting ideas for the classroom. There are also internal sessions which are great and particularly helpful for exam groups.

-Julie found several flats for me to view when I arrived in Spain which was a great help. I live in a flat above a Spanish family who are wonderful and always inviting me to do things with them and making food for me!

-The cost of living is much lower than back home and I manage to save each month as well as go on regular weekend trips.

I’ve loved teaching here, working with a variety of levels has broadened my experience and there are plenty of opportunities for professional development. Everyone is super friendly and it’s great working in such a collaborative and supportive environment.

 

AMY SCRIMGEOUR

Amy Scrimgeour

Vicky

Deciding on a private language school in Spain can be a daunting experience. With so many to choose from it can be hard to separate legitimate business from less reputable employees. For me, the priority was finding a place where I could be an actual teacher and not just a glorified babysitter or tape-recorder. El Centro de Ingles was definitely the best place for me.

You certainly get a great variety of classes at ECI: at 6:30pm I’m teaching six year olds in their first year of English; one hour later I’m teaching advanced adults. We teach eight or nine different groups a week, so that’s sixteen or eighteen lessons (always 21 hours) to plan. However all the classes use textbooks which are accompanied by great teacher resource books and the school has more resources than you could ever get through. There is an established culture of sharing at ECI and if you’re stumped for an idea, somebody else will have one. One thing I was really keen to add to my CV was experience teaching internationally accredited exams like Cambridge and Trinity. I have been able to get that in spades!

I have seen photos and videos of the “classrooms” that some teachers in Spain get to enjoy; good luck doing any kind of movement in those tiny spaces. At ECI all are classrooms are big enough to deserve the label ‘classroom’ and have windows and a/c. Your classroom is yours for the year, and comes with a work laptop that is also “yours”. Anything that breaks is quickly repaired. These might seem like small things but it’s worth checking whether the school you’re thinking of applying to includes them. The staff is a nice mix of new teachers, more experienced teachers, and downright veterans; married couples, those with families, and singletons. We work hard and you are held accountable for the progress in your classroom and fulfilling administrative requirements, but in return absolutely everything is legal and above board and you will never have to worry about what you are being asked to do and whether you will get paid. If anything becomes a problem – professional, pastoral or personal – you will find a supportive and accommodating atmosphere at ECI. Definitely expect to add some professional development to your role when working here. There are weekly meetings, which often involve a teacher training element, and the opportunity to attend conferences.  In my second year I was able to expand on my role to include delivering some teacher training.

Andujar is a city. Yes, a city! I didn’t believe it either when I was corrected for calling it a town. You definitely need to put the qualifier “rural” city before that to give you a better idea of what to expect. You can comfortably run around the circumference of Andujar in about 40 minutes and everywhere is accessible by foot, even the big supermarkets. The benefits of this include a community feel – expect to see someone you know every time you go out – and lots of independent businesses. But don’t expect any items on your usual city checklist; a Carrefour, a Lidl, and a McDonalds are the only big name hitters. If you do crave the metropolis, Seville, Madrid and Cadiz can be reached by public transport for a weekend away, especially if it’s a long weekend. I’ve even managed to make it to Barcelona. Nights out in Andujar tend to be of the bar-hopping tapas variety.  Buying a car in my second year gave me so much more freedom and it was a non-negotiable for staying on in Andujar.  I definitely think you need to factor this into your decision to come to ECI:  can your budget run to a car?  Will you be happy with occasional car hire?  Or are you prepared to save money but forgo experiencing a lot of what Spain has to offer?

If you want more from your weekends then just relaxing and tapas, Andujar has some great road-biking and mountain biking potential. The city doesn’t have the dramatic mountains found in other areas of Spain (the town itself is unnervingly flat!) and the land in every direction as far as you can see and beyond is given over to olive production. But the Sierra is a drive or a committed morning’s bike ride away for some hiking. Jaen – a 40 min drive or one hour bus ride away – has some impressive limestone crags for climbing. El Chorro is a two and a half hour drive away (not really accessible by public transport for a weekend) and has enough world-class climbing to keep you occupied for years. You can also rock climb, hike and ski in Granada, which you can get to by bus for the weekend, or very easily by car. As Andujar is so flat, running is a good activity. There are always races of various lengths in nearby areas including Cordoba and Malaga. There is a very strong contingent of those who live for the active lifestyle in Spain but you have to seek them out, especially in Andujar. With a little bit of effort and confidence and you can meet up with people who share your cycling/running/climbing/skiing passion and will be happy to act as your guide. If you have a car, the world is your oyster.

Unlike my co-workers, I chose to wait until I arrived in Andujar before finding a flat. There are a few websites which can give you an idea of what’s available but I didn’t want to commit to a rental without seeing the place for myself and understanding its position in Andujar. It wasn’t a problem as a teacher at ECI very generously let me use their spare bedroom when I first arrived, and I was out and into my own place just under a week later. Most apartments cost around 350 Euros per month but the quality (and the tastefulness of decor) differ a lot, so decide on your priorities.

Aside from rent, my monthly expenditures include the internet and mobile phone bundle (about 45 EUR per month), a bi-monthly water bill (about 60 EUR) and a bi-monthly electricity bill (about 100 EUR). My electricity bill is based on no air-con in the summer and no heating in the winter. I’m from Yorkshire and I’d rather wrap up in a blanket than spend the money! Look to spend around 35 EUR a week on food if you like cooking for yourself. Fruit and vegetables are cheap.

The general consensus is that it is difficult to save money in Spain, but living in Andujar helps as there isn’t much to spend money on. Prior to living in Spain I lived in Asia, so for me the cost of living is high.  I also live on my own which means my experience is different to those teachers who are in couples.  I would say it is definitely possible to put something aside, but it is hard.  It is especially hard to save if you start to do anything at weekends as even with my frugal sense of adventure, petrol, camping fees and perhaps a museum entry or similar, soon add up in Spain.  My advice?  Get a roommate, it’s the only real way to make any significant savings here.

And now for the TLDR generation… Andujar in a nutshell: small, quiet, olives. Possible necessities to make the most of it include a car, a sense of adventure, drive to learn Spanish, patience, a hobby for those quiet weekends. ECI: lovely school and facilities, helpful staff and senior management, caring atmosphere, oodles of potential for building your CV.

 

Vicky Woollven (teacher at ECI Sept 2014 – June 2016)

Vicky Woollven

Robyn-Tahnee

Dates employed: 09/2014 – 30/06/2016

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR

  1. The Town

Andujar is a lovely town, very traditional with a great community atmosphere. It’s the type of town where everybody knows everybody. It isn’t jam packed with things to do, so would certainly suit someone who is ready to get stuck in with the local community. There are plenty of religious festivals and events throughout the year that are wonderful to experience – especially the Romeria in April.

      2.Getting Around

Within the town everything is accessible by foot and if you happen to have a lot of shopping there is a local bus which runs from the centre up to the big supermarkets. If you’re going further afield, there is a train station and a bus station which have fairly regular links to Cordoba and Jaen and a few of the other major cities. Once you get to Cordoba, Spain is your oyster as there are trains to pretty much every province.

     3. The School

The school is located right in the centre of Andujar, perfect for nipping out for breakfast or a coffee in the morning. The school is split over two buildings, the main school and the annex. The classrooms are modern and bright, with everything you need.

     4. Materials and Resources

All course books come with a wide variety of resources, almost all the books have ipacks and the classrooms have interactive whiteboards. Teachers are given a laptop that is “theirs” to use – so that’s useful for designing and organising your extra resources. The staff room is fully equipped with so many books and resources that I guarantee you’ll find whatever it is you need.

     5. The Staff

The staff are so supportive and there is always someone who can help you with an idea or solution to a problem both in work and outside. There’s a real community feel amongst the staff and there’s always somebody to do something with. I’ve made some great friends during my time here that I’ll be sad to leave behind.

  1. Students/Classes/Levels

Each teacher will have a variety of ages and levels, from young learners to exam classes. This means that everyday is different and enjoyable! There are no more than 12 students in each class. Spanish students tend to be very passionate (noisy!) but generally are very keen and willing to learn.

  1. Teacher Training

There is a wide variety of training both internal and external, with sessions paid for by the school, in Madrid and Seville each year.

  1. Finding a Flat

Finding a flat is very easy during the summer, there are flats or houses to suit most budgets and generally come with all the appliances and necessities you need.

  1. The Cost of Living

The cost of living is very reasonable, especially being able to have a drink and a tapas for less than €3 after work! The most expensive things are the utility bills, normally electricity comes every two months and water every three. On average, I would say they run a little more expensive than the UK, whereas your groceries and day to day life will probably be cheaper here.

  1. Health Cover

You are fully covered on the health system, I have experienced both visiting the GP and attending A&E. Appointments are easy to make however you may occasionally have to wait longer and you certainly will need to establish your place in the line – Welcome to the Spanish queuing system!

 

Robyn Tahnee Moss

 

 

Robyn-Tahnee Moss

Ian

Dates employed: Sept 2014 – present (and staying)

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR

The Town
Andujar is a small town, it has plenty of amenities for most peoples needs. There are plenty of bars to socialise and enjoy tapas. Andujar is small enough that it is easy to walk around and take in some of the interesting architecture. There are plenty of different fairs and festivals throughout the year to enjoy.

Getting around
Andujar is in a great location to be able to see a lot more of Spain, there is a bus station in the centre of Andujar, with buses going to Malaga, Cordoba, Jaen and Madrid daily, plus many other cities. there is also a train station on the edge of the town, which connects with Cordoba and Jaen, from Cordaba train station you can connect with most of Spain. If you have a car, there is a motorway on the edge of Andujar, which links up with Madrid, Cordoba and Malaga.

The School
Is in the centre of the town, just off the main shopping street, the school consists of two buildings which are both on the same street.

Materials and Resources
The resources and materials available to us teachers are excellent, we have interactive whiteboards, with all course books that we use available on the whiteboards. We also have a library stacked with plenty of supplementary resources, and exam practice materials for all exam types and levels.

The Staff
The staff at the school are excellent and extremely helpful, you never have to feel alone at the school as everyone will help you as much as possible. The management are open to ideas from the staff if you feel there is an idea that could help other teachers, it is a great team environment at ECI.

Students/Classes/Levels
Class sizes are great maximum of 12 at teenage and above, with classes ranging from beginners to Advanced, the students in Andujar are generally willing to practice and speak English as much as possible and are fun to work with.

Teacher Training
Teacher training is excellent at ECI, with plenty of in house training on all aspects of teaching and use of equipment. Plus the school also offers staff the options on external training sessions, at many other locations including Seville and Madrid conferences. I feel that ECI is excellent in encouraging their staff to become better teachers.
Finding a Flat
There are plenty of websites available to help with flat hunting and the staff at ECI are willing to help anyone find a flat. There are plenty of websites available, and plenty of flats available throughout the town.

The Cost of Living
Compared to the UK is cheap, half a beer and tapas roughly €2.50, weekly shopping is fairly cheap and fresh fruit and vegetables are very cheap compared to the UK.

Health Cover
Spain has a system similar to the NHS, doctor appointments are easy to arrange just by booking online, you have to pay for prescriptions but they are not that expensive.

Ian Reynolds

Emma Reynolds

Dates employed: September 2014 ongoing

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR

The Town
Andujar is a lovely town. Cost of living is low especially when compared to the UK. A glass of red wine and a tapas costs less than 2.5 euros. The people are really friendly. When walking around town be prepared to hear “Hello teacher!” at least twice per outing. In the warmer months there always seem to be some sort of festival or parade going on but generally it’s a very relaxed sort of town.

Getting Around
Public transport is not too bad. You can get to Jaen, Malaga, Cordoba and Madrid quite cheaply and easily. It´s very easy to take advantage of any bank holidays or to just go away for the weekend, since September I´ve visited Madrid three times and been to the Costa del sol via Malaga three times. There´s also a lot to see locally especially in Cordoba which is a beautiful city.

The School
I cannot recommend the school enough! It´s located in the centre of town and has a very good reputation with the local community. Students return year after year which shows the kind of welcoming atmosphere the school has.

Materials and Resources
There are so many resources available it´s almost daunting to a new teacher. From folders to containing ideas for those first classes in September, exam preparation books and plenty of extra materials to use in class such as plastic food, telephone and toy animals with the smaller children. There´s anything and everything a teacher could need and more.

The Staff

All of the staff are really friendly and very supportive. Being a new teacher was something that I was very nervous about. Everyone made me feel very welcome and I now class them all as friends. Whether you need someone to help you with ideas for lessons, a problem with a class or even help in buying a car, there is always someone willing to help. I feel so lucky to be working with such a nice group of people, I don’t think I could have got through my first year of teaching without their help.

Students/Classes/Levels
Students are all generally good fun to work with. I work with children from the ages of six through to adults. The good thing about this is that each class is different and stops any monotony. The children and teenagers are on the whole very good but be prepared they can be very loud! You also get the opportunity to work with lots of different levels, my current classes range from false beginners to FCE first years.
Teacher Training
I’ve worked for the school for a year. So far I’ve been to teacher training days in Seville and Madrid, a conference with regards to FCE exams in Jaen, a training morning with other schools in the area at our sister school in Bailen, plus we’ve had numerous training sessions and workshops as part of our weekly meetings. If you want to improve and develop there is ample opportunity.

Finding a Flat
I assumed that this would be my responsibility and obviously this is normally the case from what I know from other people’s experiences. This was not the case at all. I emailed Julie the flats I liked and she took it upon herself to check them out for us. When we decided on the flat we wanted she came with us to check the contract and made sure everything was as it should be.

The Cost of Living
Cost of living as I’ve said above is much lower than the UK. Both myself and my husband are not getting paid as much as we did in the UK however we are able to save and have a much better and healthier lifestyle. It’s much cheaper to be sociable out here and added to the fact that the weather is great we’ve found that we spend a fraction of what we did at home.

Health Cover
Health care from what I’ve seen is great. You can book an appointment easily on line and the one time I have been to the doctors I was seen promptly.

Other relevant comments:
As I’ve said above I feel very lucky to have had the support I’ve had this year. As this is my first teaching post I was expecting to have to work somewhere awful until I had enough experience to get a job at a “decent” school. If you want a career in teaching, you want to learn and really care about what you do, I highly recommend ECI. The change in myself and my husband since we started working at ECI is amazing, we are happy, we love living in Andujar and we actually enjoy going to work! I cannot thank everyone enough for making our first year go so smoothly and making us feel so welcome

Emma Reynolds

Dan

Walking around Andujar is very easy, though a car may be better for weekends. The train and bus links are good.
The school is quite simply the best I have ever worked in. Excellent resources, including a huge variety of books suitable for every purpose in the library, as well as the collective knowledge of the current teachers who have a great deal of experience and are more than happy to share it. Indeed, sharing ideas is a big part of the school, and opportunities to do so are given regularly. We often have the chance to observe our peers in the classroom and be observed in turn, which is a great opportunity for professional development. This school year the school paid for the teachers to go to a development seminar in Sevilla, including rail and hotel for the night, which was another great opportunity.

It was very easy to find an apartment, and with the help of Julie, the owner, we had an apartment ready to move in to on the day we arrived in Spain.

The students are lovely. Almost all, whilst noisy at times, are enthusiastic and willing to learn. Most students are existing groups who have been in the school for a number of years, and their previous teachers have instilled upon them a strong desire to learn and good work ethic.

Dan Grant (Teacher at ECI Sept 2015- June 2016, moving back to Britain to take a PGCE).

Dan Grant

Sarah

Dates employed: September 2013 to Present (Returning)

1. The Town

The town is small (ish) and everything that one needs is available and accessible. The people are friendly, and it’s a very much “everyone knows everyone” type of place. There are also fairs, festivals, carnivals and the likes that take place throughout the year. The most famous is the Romeria de la Cabeza which really is worth seeing.

2. Getting Around

There is a train station on the outskirts of the town, and has a direct train to Cadiz (which goes through Cordoba and Seville) and to Barcelona (which goes through Linares and Valencia). There are also regular trains for Jaen and Cordoba. But for other cities, you would have to change at Cordoba. There is also a bus station which pretty much goes everywhere in Andalucia as well as Madrid. Within the town, everything is within walking distance.

3. The School

The school is in two parts, the main school and the annex which is literally three/four doors down. The classrooms are of various sizes, and are equipped with everything you need and want.

4. Materials and Resources

There is a staff room full of resources and materials for various ages, levels and teaching points which is continuously growing. The management are open to new ideas for resources, etc. There is also a huge selection of books for those who are studying for a diploma.

5. The Staff

The staff are great, supportive and will help wherever they can. They have a vast range of experience and expertise between them, from young learners to exam skills and knowledge.

6. Students/Classes/Levels

The students are, as a whole, great fun. The classes are never with more than 12 students and the levels range from beginner to advanced. The children are noisy, the noisiest I have ever had, but wanting to learn

7. Teacher Training

There are lots of opportunities for external training with talks and sessions offered and paid for by the school in Seville, Granada and Madrid, just to name a few.

8. Finding a Flat

My partner and I were lucky. We told Julie what we needed before we arrived, as we were also bringing three cats (insane, we know!) and within two weeks of emailing her, we had a gorgeous flat, which we?re intending to keep for next year.

9. The Cost of Living

Everything is cheap. The most expensive things would be toiletries and the electricity bill and the latter only appears to be expensive because it isn’t paid monthly but every two months. It is still slightly more expensive than the average UK bill.

10. Health Cover

Having injured my foot early in the school year, I had the experience of visiting the hospital and the doctor’s clinic. Excellent care and treatment provided and as the school has arranged for a medical card, nothing is paid for or rather the bare minimal is paid for. My partner’s asthma inhaler cost 36 cents on the medical card. You couldn’t ask for better!

Sarah

Jo

Working at El Centro de Ingles has been a great experience. I’ll be sad to leave and am only doing so because I want to move back to the UK.

I don’t think you could find a more helpful boss than Julie. From arranging my first flat here and taking me to the supermarket on the day I arrived to helping me at the tax office, she has always gone out of her way to make it as easy as possible to adapt to working in the town.

She also provides lots of opportunities for professional development. In the two years I have worked at the school,

I have been to both ACEIA and FECEI twice and have attended a number of other external training sessions, which have all been really helpful.

Although the town is small, there is always something to do or see and if all else fails, it will take you a few weeks to get round all the tapas bars and restaurants before you even consider going anywhere else.

There is also a lot to be said for being able to walk to work in less than five minutes. Unless you have a car, you will need to plan weekends away carefully but there are buses to Madrid, Malaga, Seville and Cordoba on a fairly regular basis so it is possible to get out and about.

Coming here was a good decision for me. I gained experience of teaching lots of different levels and age groups, got to work with a lot of fantastic teachers and made a few very good friends. Not bad for two years.

Jo

Jane

If you are already an enthusiastic teacher of young learners, or a newly-qualified teacher with an interest in becoming such, then the ECI in Andujar could be an excellent next step in your career. It is a small school run in an absolutely professional way, with an excellent team of senior teachers who are genuinely helpful, approachable and supportive. They will do their best to help you settle in, both in your new job and your new home, always going the extra mile if any particular problems arise, or additional support is needed. The classrooms are well-equipped with all the latest technology, so if you are already a whizz on that kind of thing, or would like to learn it, that is a big bonus too. The town is small, but with a pretty, typically Andalusian historical centre, and those famous towns like Cordoba, Seville, Malaga are a convenient bus or train ride away.

Jane Harry worked at EL CENTRO DE INGLES from September 2013 to February 2014 to cover a maternity leave.

Jane Harry

Tom

Dates employed: October 2013 – July 2014

The Town

It´s a medium-sized place, you can walk to everything that you need. It´s a little quiet but by the time spring comes around there is plenty to do.
In spring Andujar comes alive and April seems to be one long party with Easter, Romeria and then the smaller San Eufrasio fiesta. Romeria is a great chance to see the beautiful gitana dresses and if the weather is good for camping, the party at the sanctuary goes on all night. It´s a peculiar mix of religion and Glastonbury.

If you have some evenings free, you can study Spanish free of charge at the adult education centre on Calle Maestra

Getting Around

Having your own transport would be a big plus because while there are inter-city coaches they are not very regular. While Andujar is a small town it has a surprisingly large amount to do. In winter take advantage of the cooler temperatures and go hiking in the Sierra. There are a few different loops you can do that take an hour or so but if you have transport or are super fit there are hundreds of tracks deeper in the mountains – getting to them is the only problem. Bikes are fairly cheap – 100 – 200 euros in Carrefour, Sprinter of the 2nd hand bike shop near El Corte Ingles.
I bought a bike so I could get up into the mountains and would recommend doing the same if you like that sort of thing.

The School

The school is very well organised, clean and modern.

Materials and Resources

All of the classrooms have laptops and projectors and the staffroom is well-stocked with supplementary materials – some old favourites and some new ones too.

The Staff

It isn´t a young party town and the staff reflect that. Everyone has been very friendly but apart from the occasional post-work tapas, people tend to do their own thing.

Teacher Training

We´ve had the opportunity to go to 5 or 6 conferences, which has been good for OPD and sightseeing!

Finding a Flat

I found a flat easily on elalquiler.com and Julie was very helpful in arranging viewings, even accompanying me when she could.

The Cost of Living

Flats seem to rent for about Eur350. My wife and I have lived comfortably on the salary from the school and had a couple of holidays, so a single person should be able to live well and save a bit too.

Per month

Rent approx 325eur

Internet connection approx 45eur
Bills approx 100eur depending on season

Extras

Gym membership for a couple incl pool 40eur p.c.m
Beer + tapa approx 2eur
Menu del dia approx 6.50eur
Car rental 40eur per day (empty tank).

Tom Abraham

Joanna

Dates employed: September 2012-present (and staying on)

The Town

Small and friendly. Pretty much everything is within walking distance unless you want to buy 50 litres of water in one go.

Getting Around

It’s really nice being able to walk to work in less than five minutes but it took me a while to get used to not being able to jump on a tube, bus or train whenever I felt like it. The train station is a five minute taxi ride from town and the bus station is a short walk from the centre. As long as you plan in advance, you can use the public transport system to get to lots of places but if you want to visit somewhere a bit more remote, you really need a car.

The School

Small and perfectly formed. The classrooms are arranged around a courtyard, which is filled with plants and flowers. It’s great to have my own room.

Materials and Resources

We get our own copies of teachers’ books, student books and workbooks, which makes planning really easy. There are plenty of other resources and everything is very well-organised.

The Staff

Everyone has been extremely welcoming, friendly and helpful.

Students/Classes/Levels

Every teacher is given a variety of age groups and levels to teach. The students are mostly lovely to teach, although it took a while to get used to how incredibly noisy some of them are!

Teacher Training

Brilliant. I’ve already been to two really useful conferences and the school has also organised visits from external speakers. In-house support has also been very helpful, particularly for exam preparation classes.

Finding a Flat

Finding a flat was incredibly easy – Julie found one for us! We decided to move after a few months and it was really easy to find another flat as there are plenty to choose from and all are very reasonably-priced.

The Cost of Living

You can rent an apartment for around €300 a month. Electricity is a bit pricy during the winter and phone and internet access are more expensive than at home but my salary goes a lot further than it ever did in the UK.

Health Cover

Julie helped us to apply for our health cards and paid for a health check.

Joanna MacLeman

Phoebe

Dates employed: September 2012 – June 2013 (and staying on)
Living and working in Andújar

Andújar is a small town located 30 minutes from Jaen, in Andalucía. It has all of the amenities that you expect from a small town, the only disadvantage to Andújar and most small towns is the variety of restaurants, you generally have Spanish restaurants with Spanish food with the occasional pizza place or kebab shop.

It’s very easy to get around on foot, if you do want to travel to other places there are buses which you can get to Jaen, Córdoba, Madrid etc.

El Centro de ingles is in the town centre, it’s very easy to find, and if you can’t find it, ask someone, the director and the school are both very well known in the town.

The staffroom contains a lot of resources and materials, for all levels and abilities and the staff are friendly and always willing to help. Each teacher`s timetable has a variety of levels and ages and class sizes are a maximum of twelve students and for the very young learners a maximum of eight.

The school also has input sessions most Fridays, where you can get help and advice especially on Cambridge and Trinity exams.

When looking for accommodation when you haven`t been to Spain before, or you can`t speak Spanish is very difficult but the director will help you with this, as she has many contacts in Andújar, which is one thing you don`t have to worry about when relocating.

Another important thing is the healthcare, with your contract you automatically receive full heath care, the same as a Spanish national.

Phoebe Walter

Heather

Dates employed: September 2011 – June 2012

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR

The Town

Very small and Spanish, and family-orientated. Cheap to live and free tapas with a beer in many places!

Getting Around

Great links to Madrid and other cities by bus or train.

The School

Fantastic school, the best I have ever worked in. I have developed so much in my time working here, and would recommend it to anyone.

Materials and Resources

Second to none, there is so much available and with the ebeams, your teaching life is as easy as you want to make it.

The Staff

A ton of support is available, experienced staff and directors who are always willing to help you and assist you, and 100% professionalism at all times.

Students/Classes/Levels

A variety, more than I am used to, I taught between 4 year olds to adults but it keeps your mind active and keeps you on your toes. Class sizes are great, no more than 12 and the students are generally nice and willing to learn.

Teacher Training

Plenty of training, you will definitely have all the support you need and never be left wondering about something, this training is invaluable for your future career also.

Finding a Flat

Julie was fantastic at helping us finding a flat we liked and quickly. Lots of nice ones are available, landlords generally prefer to rent to teachers to be sure that they can pay!

The Cost of Living

Very low, you can get by on about 50 euro a week if you are careful, not including rent or bills!

Other relevant comments:

I do not regret anything about working in this school. I am just leaving to go travelling. Be ready to find a group of friends and knowing a bit of Spanish always helps! An open mind is required to live here, without a doubt.

Heather Martin

Carole

The Town
This is a small town that is easy to get around. The bus station is walking distance from the town centre and the train station is 5 minutes by taxi. All major cities such as Madrid, Seville, Malaga, Barcelona, Granada etc are accessible by both train and bus. The main airports Malaga, Madrid and Seville are all accessible from Andujar.
Getting Around
Because Andujar is a small town, everything is walking distance. The major supermarkets such as Mercadona and Carrefour are 15 minutes walk from the town centre. Local supermarkets such as Dia and MasyMas are very handy for the daily shop or an item you may have forgotten to buy in your weekly shop. If you are looking to go for a bite to eat or go shopping for new clothes or shoes, there is a plethora of shops and tapas bars to choose from. Some bars even offer a free tapas with every beer you buy.
The School
El Centro de Ingles is a Trinity and Cambridge Exam preparation centre. Students are prepared for the First Certificate, PET and KET exams. Those taking the Trinity exams are prepared for both the GESE levels and the ISE level.
Materials and Resources
Course books are used for each class. There are excellent additional resources available in the form of grammar games, vocabulary quizzes, puzzles and crosswords. There is also a library of DVD’s and Songs available with prepared lesson plans.
The Staff
The staff are very experienced and come from England, Scotland, Ireland and South Africa. The ethos of the school is to pool and share ideas. Teachers are available to brainstorm ideas or to help a Teacher who needs advice on a particular part of the Curriculum.
Students/Classes/Levels
The maximum size of every class is 12. Levels vary from beginners to advanced. Pre-School, Primary, Secondary, University and Adults are taught.
Teacher Training
Teachers are given the opportunity every three months (Semester) to go on a Training day. The training sessions are held in Madrid, Seville and Granada and are a very useful learning tool. Training sessions are also held in-house on a Friday morning to help Teachers prepare their students for the Cambridge and Trinity exams
Finding a Flat
There is plenty of accommodation available in Andujar. The school helps teachers find suitable accommodation at the best price.
The Cost of Living
It is cheap to live in Andujar. It should cost no more than €20-€25 for a weekly shop. To go out for tapas and beer/wine should cost no more than €8-€10.
Health Cover
You pay a social insurance contribution in your monthly salary which covers you for doctor visits and hospital appointments.

Carole

Darren and family

Dates employed: Sept 2011-June 2012

The Town

It’s a small, safe town with really friendly people and a lot going on throughout the year.

Getting Around

Bus services to major cities such as Madrid and Cordoba are efficient and cheap. A bicycle is the perfect way to get around the town.

The School

The school has a great reputation in the community and many students choose us over other schools in the area.

Materials and Resources

All the classes have been fitted with the E-Beam this year which make it easier to teach and more enjoyable for the students.

The Staff

Support is always there when it’s needed with everything not just work.

Students/Classes/Levels

A max of 12 students .

Teacher Training

Lots of teacher training to help you with parts of the job you need help with.

Finding a Flat

Lots of help and good quality modern apartments.

The Cost of Living

Very cheap. I have a baby and my wife who is a full time mother and we get by and run a car.

Health Cover

When the boss’s husband is a doctor you know you are in good hands!

Darren Walshe

Suzette

Dates employed: October 2010 – June 2011 and staying on next year

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR

The Town
Andujar is a small historical town.The people are warm and friendly. There are a lot of good local shops.There is a cinema, theatre, sport centre,local swimming pool which is very useful for the summer.There are also a lot of gyms.There are numerous bars, pubs and restuarants all within walking distance.

Getting Around
Possibilities of shopping in Cordoba, Sevilla and Granada all within easy reach by public transport.

The School
The school is in the city centre providing a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.

Materials and Resources
Wide range of books, DVDs, games and activities. All classrooms are equipped with a digital white board (eBeam).

The Staff
The teachers have Celta or Delta teaching qualifications.The majority of the teachers have many years of experience teaching a range of levels and they know how to make learning not only fun, but also highly effective. They have a constant willingness to help new teachers and are very friendly.

Students/Classes/Levels
Students are friendly and helpful and they love the idea that they have a native teacher and this arouses interest. A wide range of levels and gives you a lot of experience on a personal level.

Teacher Training
Teacher support, both personal and professional is very important in the school.Support is always available for class planning, class management, material design, technology and any other area of teachers activities.
Continuous staff training is regarded as being vital to the ongoing development of teachers as individuals and the school as a whole.Teachers are observed once a term.There are teachers’ meetings regularly and this leads to motivation and working together as a team.

Finding a Flat
It’s very easy to find cheap flats to rent in Andujar and information is always available and any help needed always given.

The Cost of Living
The cost of living is quite low and affordable and with time you will know where to find cheaper products in different places in town like food and clothes.

Suzette Ronel Cillliers

Nick (year 2)

How long have you worked at ECI?
For two years (2009-11)

What made you decide to stay on for another year?
I was happy in the area, was getting to know people around town, enjoyed my first year teaching at the school and saw it as a chance to further my professional development.

Comment on the role of the school in the following areas:
a) Support regarding everyday living in Andújar
From the day we arrived, we’ve had all the support and help we could ask for in terms of finding somewhere to live, settling in, getting used to living in the town and area and all manner of little things along the way – having this support allowed us to concentrate on the teaching side of things, and made it much easier to adjust to living here and focus on our job. Our landlord has been excellent, too.

b) Training/helping me grow professionally
The school has always been ready to support us in furthering our experience and ambitions, from both financial perspectives and in terms of encouragement and help with the specifics; arranging training around our needs, encouraging us to lead sessions and share our experiences etc.
Starting on the Delta has made aspects of this year challenging – not least managing the workload – but the help we’ve received from the school has made it wholly do-able.

Comment on the type of social life you have had (meeting people, blending in).
Andújar’s a moderately-sized, conservative town – and of course, there are few native speakers outside of work – but this has its upsides. People are friendly and welcoming, and unfailingly generous if you make a little effort. We’ve enjoyed making friends here, and will miss those we’ve got to know – and it’s been extremely good for our Spanish living here. Andújar itself has everything you’d need socially and practically, as well as goodish transport links to nearby, larger cities.

5. How have you managed moneywise (food, rent, travelling and going out)?

Wages go a long way here – rent is much cheaper than that we’ve been used to paying in the UK, and your money goes a long way in terms of finding spacious, well-equipped and well-located accommodation. Travelling around is also pretty affordable, and food and drink are equally cheap – it’s not expensive to eat well here, and I’ve enjoyed not having to worry about buying quality products at the market. Seafood in particular is a bargain.

6. What recommendations would you give to someone coming to work at the school/live in Andujar?

I think it’s important to know what to expect from Andújar, especially in terms of the social circle you’ll need to build up – but with an open attitude, it’s not hard to meet people. The students are extremely friendly and will often help you in this respect. Although transport’s decent, having your own car is a real advantage – while the major cities are all well-connected by bus and train, there are some great off-the-beaten-track places nearby that would otherwise be difficult to reach if you didn’t have your own transport. Parking can be a pain in Andújar, though, so a garage would be a good idea.

Nick Adams

Maria (year 2)

1. How long have you worked at ECI?
2 years

2. What made you decide to stay on for another year?
Liked the local area, liked my classes and the timetable

Comment on the role of the school in the following areas:
a) Support regarding everyday living in Andujar: we received lots of support when we arrived in finding a flat and finding our way around. We also received lots of information about the local area (travel information / where to shop etc) and local events.
b) Training/helping me grow professionally: I’ve been given lots of opportunity to provide training and to experiment with new ideas, particularly with regard to the new interactive whiteboards.
We also received lots of support in module 1 of the Delta, and discussion groups were organised to pool ideas which would help us to prepare for the exam. The school also ordered the books necessary to complete module 3, which I’ve been very grateful for.

4. Comment on the type of social life you have had (meeting people, blending in)
Living in a small town helps with this-I really wanted to learn Spanish and outside of the big cities, people will let you practice this, rather than addressing you in English. It’s also easy to get to know the locals by interacting on an everyday basis when buying food etc.
5. How have you managed moneywise (food, rent, travelling and going out)?
It’s much easier to manage financially here than in England, as the rent is low and food and drink is cheap. Even in big, tourist areas the prices are not astronomical, as you might expect e.g. it only costs €11 to enter the Alhambra in Granada. One thing that is more expensive is the cost of bills- internet / telephone / electricity.

6. What recommendations would you give to someone coming to work at the school/live in Andujar?
Bear in mind that the winter here can be cold, and that houses are not as well insulated as in England- you may need a winter coat, as well as a pair of thick pyjamas and a decent duvet!
Shop at the market rather than at supermarkets, where possible- people are very friendly ad will chat to you, and the food there is fresher and much better value

Maria Ardley

Maria

Dates employed: From Sep 2009 and staying on

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR

The Town- Andujar is a nice-sized town. It doesn’t have loads to do, but there is a cinema and plenty of bars, and Cordoba is within easy distance if you want a good place to go shopping.

Getting Around- It’s very easy to get around virtually the whole town on foot. Buses and trains are relatively frequent and buses in particular are very cheap.

The School- It’s a nice size with a pleasant courtyard in the middle.

Materials and Resources- There are plenty of resources and materials in the staff room, including several sets of themed flashcards and some games to play with students.

The Staff- Staff have a good range of experience and are friendly.

Students/Classes/Levels- Students are generally very friendly and nice to teach. I have a range of levels and ages, so can gain a good range of experience, including in exam classes. I enjoy having a mixture of children, teenagers and adults.

Teacher Training- There is a training session in Seville once a year which provides some useful and interesting workshops, as well as a couple of other sessions organised by the aceia organisation during the year.

Finding a Flat- I had a lot of help with this and found a really nice flat. One thing you need to ensure is that you have a flat with good heating and air-conditioning.

The Cost of Living- Andujar is a reasonably-priced place to live- rent is relatively cheap and if you buy your meat, fruit and veg at the market then you save a lot on food too. Going out for a beer or coffee is much cheaper than in England.

Health Cover- Despite going to the doctor’s several times, I don’t feel like I’ve ever overpaid- prescriptions are very reasonably priced- depending on what you need, you normally only have to pay between 1 and 2 euros for medication.

Maria Ardley

Nick

Dates employed: From Sep 2009 and staying on

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR

The Town- A pleasant, easy-going provincial town, Andujar’s a consistently agreeable, friendly place in which one can quickly get to know the people and language. With all the basic facilities you could need by way of shops, bars, restaurants and cinema, it’s also ideally situated for countryside – the extensive hills of the Sierra Morena – and city, with Cordoba, Jaen and Granada within an hour or two’s easy drive.
Getting Around- Trains and buses offer regular connections to Spain’s major cities and transport hubs and the town and surrounding area encourage and reward exploration by foot.
The School- Small enough to feel fairly intimate, the school’s also extensive enough that everything you need for your lessons is at hand; classrooms are well-equipped and based around an attractive open courtyard.
Materials and Resources- A good range of resources make it easy to supplement lessons, with Interactive Whiteboards being introduced and bringing a new set of possibilities to the classroom.
The Staff- Eight or nine teachers work at the school, each with their own experiences and skills to bring to the staffroom.
Students/Classes/Levels- Students are, across all levels and ages, enthusiastic and keen to learn, and respond well to communicative, challenging teaching – you’ll get a lot out of the children, who make each day different and entertaining.
Teacher Training- The annual ACEIA conference in Seville is an excellent opportunity to get new ideas and hear the views of some of the biggest names in the industry, whilst the organisation’s Guest Speaker scheme allows you to travel to different schools around the region, meet new people and attend interesting sessions.
Finding a Flat- The school give excellent, invaluable help in finding accommodation and orientating oneself in the town, and speaking with experience of only the one landlord, any problems with the flat have always been dealt with almost immediately, with our landlord only too happy to go above and beyond the call of duty to help us. Settling in is quick and incredibly easy – what could be a really difficult time is made wonderfully simple, allowing you to focus on getting into your job and exploring the area.
The Cost of Living- Everything’s pretty affordable here, from flats to food, and it’s easy to live well in the town whilst also being able to see plenty of the city. There’s a good range of eating and drinking options for different budgets and only telephone/internet contracts and electricity bills could be said to be at all expensive.
Health Cover- Although queuing at the surgery can take some getting used to, healthcare is excellent here and you’re always seen quickly and given the right care when needed.
Other relevant comments: Andujar’s a great place from which to get to know Andalucía and Spain, with all the benefits of provincial town-life alongside the proximity to major cities and associated attractions. The town’s a warm, friendly area and the school is an enjoyable place to work that affords staff a range of excellent opportunities.

Nick Adams

Nyk and Lenka

Name: Nyk and Lenka Bigmore
Dates employed: September 2006- June2007

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR
Andujar is a pleasant place to live. It is an unpretentious working town, with friendly locals, a fabulous daily market (great for fresh foods!) and some vibrant and colourful local festivals. I was initially disappointed by the dearth of bookshops and art galleries, but there is a reasonably good library with helpful staff. And culture-vultures need not despair, for Andujar is extremely well-located for trips to Cordoba, Granada and Seville. For me, the town’s greatest asset is the Andujar National Park, a vast expanse of unspoilt wilderness which starts just a few kilometres to the north. The park is one of the last outposts of the Iberian Lynx, the world’s most endangered ‘big’ cat. On one memorable late spring afternoon, my wife and I were fortunate enough to see one of these exquisitely beautiful creatures basking on a rock. There are numerous other exotic flora and fauna, such as the multi-coloured European Bee-Eater, and the park is a nature-lovers dream.
Getting Around – a) Without a car: It’s really a car culture here (at least in this part of Spain), and local public transport services are not very good. Bus services within Andujar itself are virtually non-existent, but this isn’t really a problem as everything is within 15/20 minutes walking distance. And the bigger cities further afield are quite easy to reach by public transport, especially Cordoba, Seville and Cadiz, which are on a direct rail route which runs through Andujar. (Granada is also a fairly easy bus journey away, although it does involve a change in Jaen). The biggest problem for those without a car is access to the Sierra (National Park). Inexplicably, there are currently no bus services up to the park, so if you don’t have the use of a car, you’re stuck. The fringes of the park are within walking distance of the town, but unless you’ve got lots of time and energy, walking right into the park itself isn’t really an option. For ecologically-minded and/or skint teachers, who don’t want to buy a car, I’d say a bicycle would be a good investment. But be warned, the park is very hilly! b) With a car: Thanks to Julie’s generosity, we’ve had the occasional use of her feisty little Renault for trips at weekends and on Public Holidays. (I’m not sure if this generosity will extend to the next teacher; the car is getting on a bit!) This has been a huge bonus for us, as we’ve been able to explore some of the more remote villages in the area, and get a real taste of rural Andalucia. c) Car or No car?: Opinions differ among the teachers as to whether it is really necessary to buy a car in Spain. One of my colleagues bought a second-hand carquite cheaply, and has found it indispensable, but another has managed without for some time now, and swears it is an unnecessary expense. All I would say is that rural bus services are very infrequent, so if you do want to do a lot of exploring, then you’re going to have to either buy a car or get on your bike!
The school is centrally located in a quiet pedestrian street. The classrooms are quite small, but they overlook a small central courtyard, so they are light and pleasant. Class sizes are also small (no more than 12 students), so the whole class can participate in fun-filled lessons using the recently installed classroom-wide whiteboards!
Materials and Resources – There are loads of supplementary teaching materials to choose from, including lots of games and activities for younger kids. Every thing is very carefully filed away according to the relevant topic area or grammar point, so these invaluable resources are easily accessible. The school has also built up quite a collection of additional stuff, such as balls, animal toys, educational posters, maps, flash cards, and the like, all of which is useful. There are plenty of good quality dictionaries, both monolingual and bilingual, and a huge array of course books, theory books, etc. There are 2 video/dvd players, and the spacious staff room has internet access. Each classroom has its own large box of scissors, glue, crayons, etc.
The Staff – Everyone at the school is very friendly and helpful. I was especially impressed by everyone’s willingness to help me out with tricky phone calls and bureaucratic hiccups in the first few days and weeks. The school is extremely well run, and all the staff have a very professional but relaxed attitude to their work. Julie and Lorraine (the DOS) expect high standards, but are very supportive and encouraging!
Students/Classes/Levels – It’s been both a challenge and a privilege to teach such a range of age groups (from eight year-olds to forty-eight year-olds), and the experience has been very fulfilling. It’s quite a busy schedule, but fortunately everything is well-organized, so you soon get in to a routine. The class sizes are kept very small, which enables you to build up a close rapport with the students. They can be quite noisy at times (perhaps rather more than Northern Europeans!), but this indefatigable liveliness does tend to grow on you. The students are all very friendly, and I’ve had some good laughs.
Teacher Training – Julie is determined to get the best out of her teachers (!), so she provides lots of opportunities for teachers to hone their skills. This happens both within the school (ideas are pooled at regular ‘sessions’, and there are also observed lessons once a term) and also outside the school, at training sessions in Seville and Malaga. At the same time, individual teaching styles are encouraged and respected. All in all, there’s a very supportive and enlightened approach to teacher development.
Finding a Flat – Julie was very helpful, and took me to see quite a few flats, but none of them were quite what I was looking for. In the end I found our flat myself, by simply walking around the town looking for ‘Se Alquila’ (To Rent) signs. I was lucky, in that my wife came over a few weeks after me, and one of my new colleagues kindly put me up during my flat search. These factors enabled me to search around for two weeks. I recognise that teachers coming over with partners or families may not have that luxury, but I would still caution against snap decisions, as rents do seem to vary a lot. Enlist the help of other teachers (I did!), and hunt around.
The Cost of Living – Rents are cheap. Our rent is 300 euros a month including the community charge, which is below average, but then there is no air conditioning, and the fittings are all slightly dodgy. The kindly landlord and the large balcony more than make up for these deficiencies. Electricity prices seem to be comparable to the UK, but Internet/ phone prices are ridiculously high. We’ve been paying up to 100 euros a month, and after living here for almost a year I still don’t understand why. Again, it’s worth shopping around, and if you can avoid Telefonica, do. On the positive side, fresh food is cheap and good.
Health Cover – This is all sorted out by Julie, who makes sure staff and their families have proper medical insurance. Lenka became pregnant here, and the medical care (both at the Local Health Centre and at the brand new hospital on the outskirts of town) has been excellent.
Other relevant comments: Lenka (who is Czech) was offered free English lessons by the school. Through the friends she made in class she became involved in voluntary work in a local primary school (Where she helped present the English Corner on the school radio!). She also found work at a Day Care Centre for Children with Special Needs.
Through these voluntary jobs she arranged weekly English/Spanish conversation exchanges with some of her colleagues, and was thereby able to make quite rapid progress with her spoken Spanish. There is also a very good indoor pool in town, and Lenka really enjoyed the twice-weekly swimming/coffee sessions with staff members and their partners.

Nyk Bigmore
12/05/2007

Nyk Bigmore