I’m Joan Linton. I live in California in the USA. Last year I visited Spain to attend my first EG immersion program and do some volunteering.
When I was younger I taught myself a second language, which has had a huge positive impact on my life. Nearly all my adult life has been spent earning my living using my bilingual skills. Because of this I know, better than many, the importance of, and enrichment from, being bilingual. I can read novels and poetry, and watch plays and films in their original (always better) form. I can appreciate lyrics to music that would otherwise be inaccessible to me. I always had the advantage over monolingual applicants for jobs. I can communicate directly with millions of people more than would be possible with only one language.
As everyone knows, English is the “lingua franca” of the modern world. Fluency in it opens doors. People of every nationality increase their options when they add English to their skill sets. So it’s no surprise that lots of Europeans look for opportunities to improve their English speaking and listening skills. Those of us who have unlimited supplies of English conversation can help them, and in the bargain, have a nice time making friends in a lovely place, for the cost of getting to the pick-up point for English Getaway.
My volunteering experience at English Getaway
I did a weekend program with English Getaway in June of 2017 and wish it had been longer. The venue was perfect, with kind and generous hosts, fabulous food, and an idyllic, serene setting. The EG staff were like instant friends, and the other participants, both Spanish and “Anglo” were wonderful. Good weather allowed us a variety of activities, but I believe that even confined to our lodgings we would have enjoyed every minute.
The typical traveler goes to see the sights and try the cuisine and such, but rarely gets to know new friends in any depth. By the end of the EG program, I felt I could visit any of the participants, and would welcome them in my home. It’s an excellent way to get to understand the world outside one’s own culture — seen from a new perspective. As for the Spaniards, I can only say that the improvement in their English is astounding. Being part of this metamorphosis is a true honor. It’s an experience I intend to repeat again and again. In fact, I’m already booked for a weekend in March.