“Who has the language has the world”, some people say. I say, who has as many languages as possible has the power; the power to change the world. By @Stella Pougiou 

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Having travelled a lot around Europe and having stayed in both France and Spain for some period of time (six months and three ones, respectively), I learnt that learning a new language and using it on a daily basis with native people gives you the boost to trust yourself and achieve more. What is even more revitalizing is teaching a language to other people and observing them using it and communicating with other people and feeling proud about it.

This is what I am doing in my country, Greece, for the past 5 years and this is what I did in Barcelona during summer. Teaching English in Spain was a dream which came true. When chosen to spend three months there with the only obligation of teaching English to Spanish adults, I got extremely thrilled. The first thing I did was to start taking Spanish lessons. Immediately I was highly appealed by their intonations, accent and of course culture.

When I arrived in Barcelona, I practiced every day, alone or with the help of a fellow Spanish teacher and the joy I felt every time that I could communicate almost fluently with the local people was remarkable. Needless to say, I still continue my Spanish courses with the only difference, unfortunately, that my practice now includes talking with Spanish friends only on Skype and not having a live conversation.

One typical day back then included more or less 6 different students with different needs, worries and demands. All of them were special and this is the reason why I still keep in touch with most of them. The good and at the same time bad thing about them was that they kept changing, since new students kept coming. On the one hand, I missed some of them but on the other, I got the chance to meet such a lot of people that I could have never imagined. Not only were they kind enough to help me with my Spanish but they were also encouraging me to keep trying.

Every day was a different day, with new people to meet and inspire or get inspired. However, it is undeniable that being in a foreign country, without your friends and family is hard. Thus, there were moments that the disorganization and heavy load I had to bear with were extremely harsh. These are the moments that one should bear in mind the reasons why he/she is there, the experience he/she will gain and the people he/she has yet to meet. Now I am preparing for my next adventure, without knowing what it will be or when; the only thing I am sure about is that it will be amazing, no matter the country, the city or the language I am going to learn and speak.

Stella Pougiou

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