After my first trip to Ecuador in 2014 I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the country and the friendliness of the people. I wanted to go back to Ecuador! And I wanted to improve my Spanish. I was learning with a teacher from Spain at home, but not very successfully because I couldn't use it in my daily life.
Learning Spanish in Ecuador was like a dream for me, I could also imagine to live in Ecuador for a longer time. So I looked for jobs in Ecuador, mostly just for fun, but then found the internship program of Ailola Lingua that also offers free Spanish classes for the intern and applied. Some days and a Skype interview later, I was standing in front of my boss, asking if he would let me go for 2 months to Ecuador to learn Spanish. Fortunately he said yes and I started to prepare my stay in Quito.
Due to my internship just lasted 2 months, I didn't need a visa. And the best, I didn't have to organize any accommodation, because the school provided me to stay in the student residence. So I worked for free, but also got the Spanish classes and the accommodation for free – pretty good deal! I was really looking forward to it.
The First Days
Soon I was on my plane to Ecuador and when I arrived there, Washington was already at the airport in Quito for picking me up. He brought me to the student residence in Quito, which is led by Luly and her familiy. I really felt welcomed when I arrived there. The next Monday my internship started. Paola, the administrator of the school, showed me the school, introduced me to the staff and students and I could start my work. The first day I got a lot of information from the headquarter in Germany but then soon had a concept.
So my days got regular – I asked students for feedback, managed the social media and did some more tasks. I created a timetable for the students, a social media poster, finished the Ecuador volunteering projects to put them online. The hardest part was to create a t-shirt for upcoming students, which should remind them of their stay in Ecuador. But it was a lot of fun doing this. I took also a lot of photos of Quito and went to Ailola Otavalo Spanish School for visiting the new building of the school.
The Spanish Classes
And of course, I learned a lot of Spanish everyday. During my Spanish classes in Quito, during speaking with Ecuadorians, during studying. My Spanish got better every day and now I can speak fluently and understand almost everything. The teachers were really great, helpful and funny. Just once I had a teacher where I didn't feel comfortable and didn't learn much. However after I told Paola, that I didn't like the classes, she tried to find a solution and also explained me again the things I didn't understand.
Also all the other staff tried to find solutions for every problem. Eugenio, the school director, who helped me to plan my trip to the Galapagos Islands. Mario, the good soul of the school, prepared tea when I was sick and recommended good restaurants. Teresa, who is responsible for volunteering projects, gave me any information I needed. Valeria, who answered me any questions I had. And of course all the teachers, who helped me with Spanish grammar, vocabulary or anything else.
All of the students at Ailola Quito Spanish School were very outgoing and friendly. I met so many different people from all over the world, in every age, with a lot of plans. And all of them wanted to learn Spanish, get know the people and the culture and visit Ecuador. I made so many friends and was never bored because there is always somebody to meet or to go out.
Ecuador is amazing in every way. The people are nice, the culture is interesting, the landscape is incredible beautiful. I saw so many places in Ecuador and all of them were unique and beautiful. I was in Baños, Otavalo, Mindo, visited the Galapagos Islands, hiked to the volcano crater Quilotoa and so on. And there are still so many places missing. Also the food was mostly really good. For lunch I often had chicken with rice but I tried also some other typical Ecuadorian food like Llapingachos, Tamales or Empanadas. I really enjoyed every part of the country!
I really loved Quito! It's a beautiful city with an amazing historic centre where you can find a lot of colonial buildings. You can see the Spanish influence all over the city. There are a lot of things to do, go to museums, visit churches and basilicas or just relax in one of the many parks. Taking the bus is the easiest and cheapest way to go from one to another place in Quito. Quito has a lot of traffic. That's also the reason for the very high contamination, that was the only part of Quito I didn't like.
I really enjoyed my time at Ailola Quito and I'm glad that I made this experience. My Spanish got so much better and I met a lot of great people. I just have one recommendation: The communication between the German headquarter and the staff in Quito wasn't always good. Also the organization didn't work always well. It wasn't perfect but it was still a good experience and I really can recommend the Internship program of Ailola Quito. Thanks to everyone who made this real! I will miss the time!
By Gina Debortoli from Austria in February 2016