After earning her degree, Joan was standing at a personal crossroads, between cosmetology school and continuing her college education, when her parents suggested she improve her Spanish (a frequently used language in her native San Diego). “I brought up Spain, and then once my brother heard that he said ‘I'm going too!’ He was all in for it. My brother actually came out for the first month that I was here... it was really fun!” After some rapid research online, Joan felt AIL Madrid was a clear winner and immediately enrolled in an intensive course. And, though it is extremely normal to feel some butterflies while heading off to a new country, she adds, “I decided really quickly and then got on a plane and came, so I wasn't really nervous. Maybe I should have been, but I wasn't.”
Joan is a 19-year-old AIL Madrid student from San Diego, California, USA. She has been studying at AIL for nearly three months and, though she's leaving in just three weeks, she's already planning her next visit to Madrid. Born on the island of Coronado, CA, she spent the first six months living on a boat with her parents, who lived at sea for a total of six years. Her family is “pretty crazy, in a good way”, and her energetic mom celebrates every single holiday, even going all out for Crazy Sock Day.
At home, Joan just earned a two year professional degree and teaches children's ballet, as well as gymnastics and ice skating, “I got my degree in dance. I just love dance; it´s my passion and it's my work as well… That's the only thing I miss from back home; my little kids from ballet.” But that doesn't mean she holds still in Madrid: “I go salsa dancing every Monday... I was surprised that people were just so serious about it! They just took you and started dancing with you and speaking in Spanish!”