As I sit on the bus departing from the old restored town of Valdelavilla for the second of my two weeks of volunteering in Spain, I am very sad. But then I reflect on the dozens of new friends I have all over the world; I imagine how and when we’ll see each other again, and I’m energized and excited.

A few years ago, I read an article online about how I could have an all-expenses paid trip in Spain, in exchange for simply conversing in English with Spaniards who want to improve their conversational English skills. I wasn’t sure it was a legitimate opportunity (it seemed too good to be true), but I bookmarked it anyway, figuring I could investigate it when I eventually made it to Spain.

So in planning my European trip, I knew that Madrid would be my first port of call so I could check out this volunteer opportunity.

Vaughan Town Overview

Vaughan Town lived up to its reputation and word, and is indeed a legitimate volunteer experience. Although it’s not exactly too good to be true (you certainly earn your keep), it’s one of the most rewarding cultural experiences I could have possibly hoped for in Spain.

And I didn’t even get to speak a word of Spanish.

The program is paid for mainly by Spanish companies who send their employees on a week-long “retreat” to improve their English skills. English is an important part of business in Spain, and many companies are willing to pay top dollar to help their employees become more fluent. Other Spanish attendees include individuals, and some post-secondary school programs that incorporate it into their curriculum.

Thus, the English-speaking volunteers attend the program for free, their value inherent simply in being willing and able to dedicate a week to chatting in English with the program participants.

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Come to Granada and stay in the white nest!!

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  • Nora Dunn

    In 2006, Nora sold everything she owned in Canada (including a busy financial planning practice) to embrace her dreams of full-…

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