Alumni Spotlight on Rachael Kline: Memories from Teaching in Mallorca, Spain
Do you dream of tapas, beaches and perfecting your Spanish while living in Spain? You aren’t alone! To help you feel a bit more inspired to pursue your goals, we connected with Greenheart Travel alumna, Rachel Kline, who shares her motivation for teaching in a homestay in Spain, a few of her favorite memories from living in Mallorca, and how she hopes to use this unique experience in the future.
Q: What inspired you to travel to Spain and live with a host family for two months tutoring English?
I’ve always had a fascination with Europe, Spain in particular, because I love the Spanish language. I love to travel, but I thought what better way to really experience a culture than to actually live with a family for two months?
Q: Often, the biggest question we get is what it’s like to tutor English to a host family. Can you share a bit about your experiencing tutoring English and advice for future homestay teachers?
I had no prior English teaching experience! My advice would be to just talk with the family and see what they want out of the tutoring. My family was so sweet and easy-going, and the dad gave me a break down at the beginning of what they were looking for with each of the family members.
Q: What part of Spain did you live, and did you do much traveling outside of your host community?
I was located in Mallorca, Spain! I was able to take a week and go to Madrid and Barcelona while my family was skiing for a week.
Q: What are one or two of your favorite experiences that stand out from your time in Spain?
I think my favorite experience was spending my birthday in Spain! I woke up and the family all told me happy birthday, then I went to the city to have lunch with a friend. When I came back I had dinner with the family, and they surprised me with a cake and sang happy birthday to me in English! It was such a special moment.
Q: Has this experience changed any of your personal and professional priorities or goals since your program? If so, how?
This experience has motivated me to continue learning Spanish, and to try to connect with locals more on my travels. Professionally, I would love to find a job in the future that involves international travel so I can experience even more countries and other cultures.
Q: What have been the biggest cultural differences you noticed and do you have any advice for travelers before they arrive in Spain?
I don’t know about culture shock, but I think the biggest thing that took getting used to was the eating schedule! Sometimes my family wouldn’t eat dinner until 10pm! I grew to actually really like the new eating schedule though, we would always eat a big lunch, and then the dinner was late, but always a very light meal.
Q: If you were talking with someone that wasn’t sure about teaching in a homestay because they were worried about living with a host family or not having experiencing teaching before, what would you tell them?
Just go! Take the leap! You absolutely won’t regret it. It’s so cool to be able to connect with a family on another level than just meeting while traveling. My host sister was only 15 but we got along so well, I’ve been gone for 2 months now, but we still talk a few times a week and she keeps me updated on all the things going on in her life!
Q: Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you to get out of your comfort zone that helped you during your travels?
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney
Q: Any other additional thoughts or tips you have for anyone wanting to travel and teach in a homestay in Spain?
Be open to new experience and just take a chance and go! If you only have one month then definitely take it, but if you can stay 2 or 3 months I absolutely would recommend it! I wish I had been able to stay with my family for 3 months, we got along so well! I can’t wait to go back some day and visit them.