The students of Proyecto Español come from different parts of the world. They all have their own reasons and motivations to study Spanish in Alicante. Echo (30), who comes from a small town in China, came to Alicante in February 2018. She told me about her time at Proyecto Español and her favourite moments.
Echo studies Spanish because she is interested in all kinds of languages and also wants to learn French, Japanese and German in the future. When asked about why she is studying Spanish at Proyecto Español in Alicante and not in any other country in South America she replied: ´It´s more authentic here in Spain and I´m very interested in Europe and its history´.
One difficulty that occurred when Echo arrived in Alicante was the coming together of different cultures at the school. At Proyecto Español, people come from all over the world and they all have different opinions and thoughts. Echo said it’s sometimes a little bit hard to ´mix´ yourself into those cultures because some are more sensitive to certain topics than others. Now, she knows how to react on certain topics and tries to understand other cultures. Furthermore, the eating times in Spain were hard to get used to. Echo mentioned that she still kept a habit from China and tries to eat at 7 or 8 at night, which is not early, but also not that late!
When asked what she thinks about the people in Alicante, she said: ´They are very warm-hearted, welcoming and are very helpful. Spanish communication is similar to the Chinese culture because people talk indirectly and make a story around the topic, and only then do they get to the point´.
Echo joined several activities at the beginning and made lots of friends because of it. ´I think the activities are created to make new friends and to get to know the city, and later when you have your own group of people, you can plan your own activities´. Some activities Proyecto Español organized that Echo joined were: a walk through Alicante, a visit to Valencia, visits to museums and joining the Intercambio.
The best experience Echo has had so far while being in Alicante is that she made good friends who come from different countries. She has done a lot of traveling to cities such as Madrid, Malaga, Granada and Barcelona, which you can easily visit by train or bus. She also mentioned that she loves the teaching method because the teachers at Proyecto Español ´have a lot of passion and they know how to pass on their knowledge on to the students´. Echo started with level B1 and is having C1 classes right now. She has a few more weeks until she is returning to China!