Combining Spanish and Music
Alisa at Bernabeu stadium Alisa at Bernabeu stadium

I had many international friends but lived with a family that made me feel part of it

"It was overwhelming at the beginning; everyone was all up in my business. But worked out well to practice and now all I want is to go back to Spain!" That's how Alisa feels about her experience teaching English as a Language and Culture Assistant in Madrid, while learning music, her other passion.

Half Australian, half Japanese, Alisa started learning Spanish over three years ago as part of her Bachelor of Music Degree in the University of Melbourne. Something 'clicked' with the language: "Because of singing, I have a good ear", explains. So she did not hesitate to go to Spain when she was accepted as part of the Language and Culture Assistant program to teach English grammar and science in English ("I really had to prepare the classes") in two different bilingual schools in Madrid from Monday to Thursday.

And what did you the rest of the time? "Every Friday I traveled all the way to Albacete to take a class with a specialist in early music, Paloma Gallego. It took me 3 hours each way in a bus, but it was worth it. We became friends. It is true that music is a universal language".

Talking about the kids, Alisa opens her Japanese shaped eyes exclaiming: "Noisy! And not really good with authority... I couldn't tell them I speak Spanish, otherwise they would have refused to learn English. But classes were so much fun. They kiss and hug you freely, I felt like a mum sometimes".

When asked about her favourite Spanish saying, she laughs remembering when she understood the real meaning ('you are good looking') of the literal translation 'you are like a train' ('estas como un tren' in Spanish).

What do you miss? "So many things: friends, food, soccer, short distances, late nights. People go out with friends rather than bringing them home. I experienced an authentic Spanish way of life, as I had many international friends but lived with a family that made me feel part of it".

Alisa is applying again this year: "I would love to go back to Spain, it's like my second house. My mum is still daunted when she sees me using so much olive oil when cooking my tortilla de patatas".

Become an Australian Ambassador like Alisa:
Online applications here!

Not convinced yet? Read about Tom's experience in Granada

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