Sonia Octavio is a student at the University of Swansea, Wales but currently lives in Ronda. Today we interviewed her to find out more about her opinion about what it is to live, work and study in this city – and especially if she likes to be a güiri in a village in the middle of Andalusia.
1. Sonia, why did you prefer to come to Ronda instead of a big city like Seville or Granada? What makes it so special?
I think Ronda is perfect for living in a traditional Spain. Cities like Seville or Granada might be pretty but I think they are very modern and lacking the Spanish authenticity. I studied the last semester in Paris at the University. The city was too overwhelming, so I decided to spend this semester semester in a quiet, family-friendly city.
2. Tell us a little about the people here, the Rondeños and Southerners.
People here in Ronda are very friendly and open minded. They are always trying to help you even though there is language barrier. I think Andalusian people; I would say they are much happier than the people in my country. They always have a smile on their face and it does not matter if it’s too early in the morning or late.
3. You have been here for a while now (a month tomorrow!) but do you feel that you are part of the community?
At first I felt like a tourist especially when I spoke English in some everyday situations (which I absolutely want to avoid). But the Rondeños including my roommates and the team of Entrelenguas have given me a sincere welcome, which is very important to feel comfortable. After a month, I can say, I feel like a Rondeña. LOL
4. Would you recommend this city to learn Spanish and Why?
Not only do I recommend it but I would say it is a must to learn Spanish in Ronda. If you can understand the funny accent of Andalusia after your stay you will have a good command of the Spanish language. Entrelenguas offers you the opportunity to learn Spanish outside the classroom, which many language schools do not do. So it is easier to remember vocabulary and apply them in everyday life.
5. What was your first impression of Entrelenguas? Do you think it’s a traditional school or different from other academies and why?
Wow! When I entered the school I immediately knew that I was going to have a good time. The school is very traditional and I feel at home here. You get to know a lot of people from different countries and nationalities. In addition, the teachers here are very dedicated and make learning much more fun. Anyway, I can and I will continue to recommend the school to friends and family.
6. Could you tell us more about what you do in Entrelenguas? What are your general tasks?
Here in Entrelenguas I am working as a Marketing Assistant. My main task is to help the team to present Entrelenguas to the world. I am researching for new clients; mainly universities and schools that offer Spanish as a main subject. I am editing of the existing customer card and I am helping out the students, who have questions, at the school as much as I can. There are also tasks where I have to translate important documents, emails etc. for students and clients or update our website in different languages. All in all I can say that the work at Entrelenguas is always diverse and exciting!
Thank you very much Sonia for your time and above all for your invaluable work in Entrelenguas. And to the readers, remember that Entrelenguas offers the possibility of signing different collaboration agreements with universities and other educational entities (Erasmus Plus program, Becas Ícaro, etc.), thus giving young university students the opportunity to be trained in the sector of general tourism and more specifically in language and cultural tourism.