At the request of her teacher we've chosen Katrin (one of our best students) to answer a few questions.
Her teacher Silvia told us the following: "Katrin is a great student and a great person. What stands out most in class is her motivation and how quickly she's picking up the language. As for her character, she always tries to help her classmates, contributing ideas and, most of all, she brings a certain happiness to the class. This is why me and the other students have become so fond of her."
- Where were you born?
- I was born in Austria, in a small village in the North called Ried. I like the peace and quiet there. Even though I like Madrid, and I'm learning a lot here, I don't think I could live in a big city. I don't like the anonymity of big cities, I miss everybody saying "hello", and being in contact with people and getting to know them.
- Why did you decide to learn Spanish in Madrid?
- At school I didn't have the chance to learn a foreign language. Spanish is the second most widely-spoken mother tongue in the world, and to me it seems like a happy language. It seems easier than German or French. I study because I want to, because I like it, although it's also possible that one day I could end up using it to find work, as a Spanish teacher in Austria, for example.
- Have you been in Spain long? Do you think you'll stay here?
- I've been in Spain since 13th July, and in the academy since November. I study Spanish for 2 hours a day. I'm going to stay here until April, and then I'll go back to Austria. I still haven't decided if I'll carry on studying or start work. I've still got some time to think it over. But I think I'll definitely come back to Spain, either for a holiday or to visit people.
- What's been your experience of Spain?
- My experience has been really good. I came here as an au pair. At the house where I'm staying they ask me to speak English with their little girl, and I also speak English with the parents. I have the weekends free. I've made friends with my classmates and I'm really happy.
- Before you started classes, how good was your Spanish?
- In Austria I studied Spanish for 2 hours a week for about 2 months, so about 20 hours. Before I came to the academy, the family I au pair for taught me a few things.
- Why did you choose our school? How are you finding the course?
- They recommended it at the house where I'm working, and also the girl who worked there before me. In terms of quality, I'm really pleased, I really like the classes. I began with a low level (A1-A2), with Silvia as my teacher. I really like her as a teacher. I never get bored, it's always fun and the 2 hours of class fly by. We do some exercises, homework and fun activities. Besides all this, I've also had the chance to meet and make friends with people from very different places. I started with four African classmates, there was one Italian, a French girl, a Morroccan... Now I'm with an Australian, an Indian, and girls from Japan, Russia and China. I'm really growing as a person thanks to the classes and my time in Madrid. It's really worth it, and the price is very good for the quality and what's on offer.
- What's the best thing about you? What are your best qualities?
- I'm optimistic and hard-working. I'm also studious, but it doesn't take me long to learn vocabulary or grammar... I have a good memory. I'm friendly, open and modern. And really like learning. I'm like a sponge. I'm a balanced person too.
- How is your Spanish coming along? Are you finding it difficult or is it easy?
- I'm finding it easier than what I thought. I've adapted to the environment and the classes. Being happy and motivated helps.
- How do you feel about being selected as an outstanding student?
- I feel proud and happy.
- Why do you think you were chosen?
- Because I've been here so long - quite a few months - and because I always participate and communicate in class. It's strange how some of the students from other countries find it harder to speak in class. They're are lot more shy and prudent.
- Do you have any more comments for this interview?
- In the classes I'm not only learning, I'm also growing as a person. I feel like I learn a lot, and my mind is more open, because of the contact with people from other cultures.