Canada to Spain: Making the Most of my Time Abroad

pic1I’ve always known that I want to be a teacher. What I didn’t know was how could I gain the experience that I need in order to excel in that career.

In high school I worked as a hostess, and later a waitress. Sure, I held some babysitting jobs here and there, and tutored some of the students in younger grades, but I wasn’t satisfied with the work experience because I didn’t think it was helping me get to where I needed to be. That was until I heard of Scotia Personnel Ltd., an agency that provides various Au Pair, nannying and cultural exchange
opportunities. You work hand in hand with an agent who supports you through every step of the process. For me, I was lucky enough to get to know Richelle, who helped me plan my trip to Mallorca, Spain, to Au Pair for 3 children during my summer
after grade 12. Talk about the graduation trip of a lifetime!

This was an experience that I will never forget, and one that I will never miss an opportunity to rave about. I think that this is the perfect chance for university students of all ages to gain some experience working with children, while travelling
abroad!

After an interview with the agency, they pair you with a few families looking for an Au Pair in the country of your choosing. For me, it was Spain because I was looking for an opportunity to enhance my Spanish! I was lucky enough that upon my first interview with a host family, and we formed an immediate connection. We quickly got to know each other better, and before I knew it, I was booking my plane ticket
and then packing my bags for a 6-week long job opportunity in Palma de Mallorca, a tiny island off the coast of Spain.

pic2Once I arrived, I was greeted immediately by the father and his 3 children. We took the weekend exploring the city, and the mother taught me how to use the local buses. The next few weeks were filled with large family gatherings, meeting new friends, swimming with the children, exploring the city beyond the limits of the typical tourist attractions, and a lot of shopping. I worked a typical 8am-4pm day with the children, swimming every morning, cooking together, playing games, tutoring them in English, and going to the park. We celebrated Canada Day together, and I made memories that I will never forget. The mother connected me with some of her cousins who were my age, who welcomed me into their lives with open arms.

By the time I left, Marta was referring to me as her own daughter and was telling me that I would always have a room in her home if I ever wanted to return. I can barely put into words what this job did for me. I discovered a new sense of independence,
and a chance to work with kids that was invaluable.

If I could give any university student one word of advice, it would be to learn by travelling. Go explore a new city or a new country, and make the most out of it. Scotia Personnel gives you this opportunity, and I will always value the support and
memories that they have given me. This is why I have decided to do it all over again, but this time for the entire summer. I have just accepted another Au Pair job in Montreal that I will embark on come May. Maybe this summer can hold similar adventures for you, too.