One of the most important things you can do to improve your English is to use the language outside the classroom. With this in mind, CSIM approached the American universities office in Filologia B and the first English-Spanish language exchange between North American students CSIM students was held in Filología B on Wednesday 28th November. It was a great success, and our sincere thanks go to all involved – especially Amy Olson, the student services coordinator at Universidades Reunidas Norteamericanas.
As there are not very many American students in comparison to CSIM English students, we could not invite everyone. Only the students who had class just before or after the event were invited this time. A special area of the Faculty cafeteria was set aside for the activity and there was an atmosphere of nervous anticipation just prior to the students’ arrival and I surveyed a sea of empty tables and wondered how it would all work out.
We needn’t have worried; over 20 U.S. students materialised suddenly before us, all keen to participate and learn something while offering genuine U.S. openness and humour. The initial awkward glances and shyness soon evaporated as the CSIM contingent of around 50 students began to appear. Students found a partner and soon the room was buzzing with conversation as things got off to a swinging start.
A little later it became clear that the CSIM students were now double the number of US students so there would have to be 2 CSIM students to each US student. This was achieved smoothly when, after 30 minutes we asked everyone to find new partners. The atmosphere was lively and friendly and everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves, as you can see from the photos (apologies for the quality, they were taken with an ancient not-very-smartphone).
Further sessions are planned starting January when a new group of US students will arrive to start their courses at the Complutense. We anticipate that more students will participate in a welcome opportunity to practise their Spanish and, of course, form friendships with Spanish students. So watch this space for more information.
In the meantime, why not look for exchange opportunities yourself by googling “intercambios Madrid” or similar. Make sure you call any pubs or bookshops before going just in case the information on their websites is out of date!
Oh, and MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!