Spanish classes at Herradura

I arrived in Montevideo in February 2017, I started by taking 3 weeks of Spanish classes to refresh my Spanish and then with the help of the school I completed a 3-monthinternship at a travel agency in the city centre. The three weeks of intense classes at the beginning of my stay were invaluable in helping me to achieve mygoals of improving my confidence in my spoken Spanish. The teachers and other students helped me to adjust to the ‘españolrioplatense’ which was a version of Spanish that I was unfamiliar with. The classes were great – everyday we’d have a new debate or discussion on topics that were mainly chosen by our own interests or current affairs. I particularly liked the active approaches of learning that the school encourages – one of my favourite class activities involved going to a nearby feria and conducting an interview with locals, the results of which formed a group discussion back in the classroom. Overall the teachers were passionate, fun, helpful and most importantly were committed to helping us improve our Spanish.

Uruguayan immersion

As well as the classes the school also offered a complete immersion into the Uruguayan way of life. Margo, Rebecca and Gabi were so helpful and willing to give us recommendations on places to go and things to see. With the school, I was lucky enough to experience the ‘murgas’ and ‘llamadas’ during carnival, visit a nearby vineyard and have a wine tasting, get a taste of the gaucho culture on an estancia in the countryside and take a lesson in how to prepare the perfect mate. All of these experiences were invaluable in making sure I had an unforgettable experience during my time in Uruguay.

Internship

I was sad when classes came to an end but also excited to get into a new routine working at the travel agency. I had an initial meeting with my boss Ana who briefed me on the company’s current goals and missions and we spoke a little about how I would be able to help them achieve those goals. I spent my first week going on some of the tours that the company had to offer – this helped me to get to know the city better and see exactly what the company offers to tourists. From my previous experience travelling around south America, I was able to take notes and report back to my boss on how their tours and customer service could be improved. Other tasks that I was responsible for included creating a questionnaire for use of the customers after the tours. This was invaluable to the company as a way of providing feedbackso that they could better understand the tourist’s needs and desires. I also worked on a project which involved carrying out market research using interviews to find out about the tourists and what they are interested in doing/ seeing during their stay in Montevideo. This research led the company to be able to devise and add 3 additional tours to those that they already had to offer.

Homestay

I really enjoyed my placement and was very lucky to work alongside colleagues who were extremely supportive and willing to help with my Spanish. However, I think that the best part of my stay in Montevideo would have to be the family with whom I lived. I lived with a lovely lady called Andrea and her 11-year-old son Mateo. They welcomed me into their family with open arms and helped me adjust to Uruguayan life – I can’t imagine my experience in Montevideo without them!They recommended shows, events and places to go, invited me to dinner with their friends and family and even invited me on holiday to Argentina with them! We have made the best memories and it will be extremely difficult saying goodbye to them, however, I cannot wait to come back to visit them in the future!!

Share
Link to Facebook