We recently had a chance to catch up with our former intern abroad candidate Trisha Long for our alumni candidate spotlight. Trisha and her husband Travis, from Trinity Christina College, interned abroad in Madrid, Spain with Adelante abroad in 2008. She interned in the non-profit sector for Cam-Cooperacion International. Find out about her experience in Madrid and what advice she has for future candidates below.
My Experience in Madrid with Adelante
My husband Travis and I loved our time with the Adelante program in Madrid. We have very fond memories of that time, and what became part of a year long trip abroad from our home in California. We were newly married, both teachers prior to going, and had the goal for the year to improve our Spanish skills and have an overseas adventure. We did all that and more! Adelante found us a great apartment right by the Metro stop Sol (if I remember correctly), and we quickly adjusted to European life. We went to Spanish classes every morning, drank a lot of Cafe con Leche, loved the wine and tapas, and enjoyed our internships. I think what we enjoyed the most was being fully integrated into Spanish life, each having a business to go to independently, taking the metro, teaching a little English, etc.. It was surprising to us that most of our students were from South America, not Spain. But we loved learning all about their lives before they immigrated as well. All and all, it was a really great month. From there, we ended up volunteering a couple weeks in Spain with Pueblo Ingles, which was an incredible, immersive experience. We followed that up with a few more months traveling in Europe and volunteering here and there, and then we headed to Central America where we found jobs teaching English at a school in Nicaragua. We taught there about 5 months and were grateful for what we learned at Adelante to prepare us to navigate the Spanish in Central America. We returned to the states in August of ’09.
Did you have any plans for your career before your internships abroad? Did they change after your internship experience?
Yes, we both wanted to learn more Spanish to help us in our teaching careers. There is a large Hispanic population here in Los Angeles so it’s helpful to know Spanish to work with these kids and their families.
What is your current job / business? What experiences from your time in Madrid helped you in your career?
My husband Travis has since gone on to become an Administrator. He’s been an Elementary School Principal now for about 7 years and often relies on his bits of Spanish recollection to help him in meetings with students. I have become of two kids, ages 5 and 7 years old. I don’t use Spanish often in my daily life, but am very glad for the base that I have from our time abroad for those times when an opportunity presents itself.
What is your most memorable experience from your Intern Abroad program?
Favorite memory? We loved all the excellent museum tours, guided art gallery tours and walking tours Adelante provided. We LOVED Spanish culture~ we still do a lot of things on “Madrid time” like eating our dinner much later than our friends and family :). I’d say we also loved our apartment there, right in the middle of all the action, and taking advantage of all the wonderful excursions and side trips from the city into other parts of Spain
What advice would you give to current / future Adelante Abroad candidates?
Honestly, I would do the whole thing again in a heartbeat! Our time in Spain was our favorite of that year- we visited 14 countries, slept in over 60 different beds, but our favorite month of all was Madrid. My advice to any new candidate would be to embrace the culture, embrace the learning, and let yourself sink in to all that Spanish culture has to offer!
I’m glad the Adelante Program is still going strong! Hopefully our kids can go there someday!