My name is Ainoa, I'm from Barcelona (Spain) and I study Translation and Interpreting at UPF. I just turned 22 and I've been studying English for 17 years now. A few years ago I started getting in touch with native speakers in Barcelona so as to improve my level of speaking and I ended up discovering the amazing world of cultural exchanges! But I do much more than just meeting people. I also love dancing, reading and musical movies - unluckily I'm a horrible singer.
A year ago, I was just back from a life-changing stay in Por tland, OR. I spent four months there, I stayed with a family and I took classes at PCC (such as Zumba or Teaching Spanish). I met lots of wonderful people and lived lots of experiences I couldn’t have lived here (yes, I went trick or treating being 20 years old).
Imagine how happy I was when they asked me to mentor US students that were coming to Barcelona! I wanted them to have the same sensations I had - to feel welcome, to enjoy a different culture, to prevent themselves from cultural shock, to live every single minute they spend in Spain as if it was their last.
They surely did, you just have to see their faces staring at the Sagrada Familia or eating bravas or even sitting at our former President’s seat at the Parlament. That’s what I am getting from them, the funny moments, the cultural exchange, their way of living things as if they were kids again.
In the end, that made me realize how much I want to become a teacher, because when you are supposed to teach, you can also learn from the students, just as happened to me with the students I mentored! Being open-minded to whatever might come and always willing to learn is something you get through your trips over the years, and I hope I was able to convey that to them.