life in sanlúcar :: part one

while i started this blog about two weeks ago, i am yet to write a post about my life here in sanlúcar! here’s a brief recap of the past month.

i began teaching at I.E.S. San Lucas on October 1–i absolutely love it. the teachers welcomed me with open arms and made starting this adventure far easier than i anticipated. the school is called a “bilingual center,” meaning that it gives students the option of taking all of their classes in English. a little more than one third of each grade decides to take advantage of the bilingual track, so i assist around 120 of the school’s 300 students.

i work primarily in English classes, but also assist science and p.e. [yes, you read that correctly] courses, too. in my English classes, the teacher [usually Rosario, Lola or Pilar] has me take about half of the students into another room to work with them on whatever they’re studying; it usually works out to be a ratio of about one to fifteen.

at first, this was pretty daunting. as you all know, before i started at San Lucas, i had no experience teaching, and a room full of hyperactive twelve year olds whose first language was not the same as mine seemed just a little bit outside of my comfort zone. but surprisingly, it went and continues to go quite well. my students, even in primero, are fantastic. they’re actually pretty cute. whenever i walk into their classroom, i’m greeted with a chorus of “HI!” “HI, LAUREN!” it always makes me smile & feel warm and fuzzy inside. [more on the students later.]

during my first week at San Lucas, the teachers all got together and had a party at Juande’s [p.e. teacher] house. despite the fact that i had only known them for two days, they invited me to come, and Juande even gave me a ride. [when i say the teachers at my school are fabulous, i mean they are 100 percent, without-a-doubt fabulous.] i have intercambios with two of them [Pilar and Carmen], and assist a larger group of the teachers with English conversation.

i don’t want to overwhelm you with too many updates at once, so i’ll use another post to continue this story.

un abrazo,


key words:

primero: 11-12 year olds

segundo: 12-13 year olds

tercero: 13-14 year olds

cuarto: 14-15 year olds

intercambio: an hour where a native Spanish speaker and i spend half the time speaking in Spanish and half in English


my adventure book…

i know this post is a little late, but better late than never, right? 😉 to catch everyone up, about two months ago, i decided to completely change the trajectory of my life [well, at least temporarily] by accepting a language assistant position in Spain. this, therefore, meant leaving everything and everyone in my hometown of Portland, Ore. [and other U.S. cities] behind, along with my fantastic job in PR.

while this sounded [and sounds] crazy to some, i couldn’t have been more certain about my path forward. i knew i had to take advantage of this rare opportunity. that i wanted [and needed] to explore the world outside of the U.S. again. that i needed to quench my thirst for adventure.

now, i’ve been in the town where i’m teaching English for three weeks, and i’ll be living here until June. it’s a lovely little town [pop: ~70,000] named Sanlúcar de Barrameda. so far, i really, really like it.

moving forward, i’ll be using this blog to document my European adventures [with photos, of course], and really anything else that i feel like writing about. i have a lot of free time here [i only work 12 hours per week], so i plan [but do not promise] to update fairly often.

thank you for following my adventure. i think we’re both in for a fantastic year. until next post, i’m leaving you with a clip from the film that inspired the new name of my blog, “Up.”