Well, one of the things that I find wonderful about Valencia is the possibility to find people to speak Spanish to:) I know, that sounds weird, because I live in Spain. But since normally it takes time to meet people, there is a quicker way to meet them here.
1. Do a tandem: It’s a language exchange between two people. You sign up to the platform and search for people who would like to practise a language. And my advice here – try to search for people of your age group – which is something I decided to do a bit later on, because I realized that if they are too young, it simply doesn’t work. Plus, that way you actually get to meet people who become your friends and you also spend time together doing other activities together and not just tandems.
I have met some wonderful people here. It is also the best way to learn about the culture and the city. Since they are mostly locals, every time I meet someone, I am left with something new to think about. And everybody is wondering – are there any rules – and no, the rule is that there are no rules :::)))) ok, not exactly. You just meet, speak some time in Spanish and then in the other language you can offer. In my case that is English, because, let’s be honest, nobody wants to learn Slovenian – usually people don’t even know we have our own language – well the Russian language is not the only Slavic language that exists!!! – More about the confusion of how my name is pronounced and all the countries I apparently come from in the next post (maybe:)).
And that’s it – sometimes you meet great people, sometimes you know after 5 minutes that this is the only tandem you’ll be doing. Sometimes you spend 6 hours talking on your first tandem and end up meeting all the time and consider him or her a friend.
Other times you find yourself talking for 2 hours straight because your tandem partner doesn’t have that much to say. Which can also happen in Spain:) Other times the tandem is fine, but you just don’t feel the chemistry. So if you do this as often as I do, you soon have no time to live :))) No, I’m kidding, that’s exactly why being a volunteer is great. You have a lot of free time.
And suddenly you find yourself watching a pinball game or talking about anime (which is something I have never really had a special interest in – don’t get me wrong, I still don’t, but at least I know something more about it than Japan and big eyes:))
Or you meet the nicest girl, who is an open encyclopedia and teaches you Spanish history and culture twice a week.
And your Spanish vocabulary and fluency are gradually growing and improving and the same goes for English (because sometimes you just know how to say something in your native language and you have to look up a word in the other two). Plus, since I love walking, I usually go for walks with my tandems in the park Turia. That way I combine everything and it’s all for free – since being a volunteer doesn’t exactly make me rich:) But even though the experiences are sometimes not the best, you always, always learn something! And you know – the joy of life is learning!
2. The other thing is: There are many language exchanges offered throughout Valencia in bars or cafes. It is all very well organized and there are always a lot of people wanting to practise a language and have fun. You just decide when and where you want to go (usually they have it during the whole week in different locations in Valencia), ask for the language you want to learn and start talking:) But for me personally, I prefer the tandem language exchanges because you get to focus on just one person and that way practise more and get to know the person more. But at the end, people are different, so to each his own.
3. The biggest language exchange organization also offers a number of events in Valencia or organises trips and excursions to nearby or distant destinations for very reasonable prices. So if you are stuck in Valencia without a car, it’s a win-win situation.
So that’s it, now all you need to do is come here and get started!