Valentín Salazar

To the best EOI DIRECTOR(Ana Flores) in the world:

Hello, my name is Valentin, and I was the EEOOII Estepona’s English language assistant for the 2008-2009 school year. Being an «auxiliar de conversación» has been without a doubt one of the best and coolest experiences of my life.  Although I had visited Spain before as a tourist, actually living in Spain for a couple of months helped me understand this fascinating country even better.

In retrospect, I was fortunate to have been assigned to a small Mediterranean town on the Costa del Sol. The faculty and staff I worked with at the language school in Estepona (Malaga) made me feel incredibly welcomed and helped me adjust to life in Andalucia (which was at times difficult getting used to).  Since most of the people at the school are easy-going and friendly adults, it was not long before spending time with many of the teachers and students outside of class became one of the main highlights.  I have many memories of exchanging language lessons at cafes, eating delicious homemade Spanish food, trekking and traveling, partying and laughing together.  Volunteering at an elementary school was also a lot fun since the kids took an interest in someone from the States: I was asked many questions about basketball and videogames, singers and hamburgers.

The local festivals throughout the year made Estepona come alive and catching the sunsets on the Mediterranean coast never got boring.  I would strongly recommend this program to anyone wanting to go beyond the siesta/fiesta stereotypes of Spain and as a good way to live abroad.  On top of the amazing historical architecture and impressive landscape, it’s the Spanish people who are the ones that make the experience wonderfully magical and memorable. Even though I have recently come back home to southern California, I am already planning on returning to visit my Spanish «family» and friends. ¡Hasta luego!