Julie joined AIL Madrid a month ago, as part of her gap year adventure. A native of Neckargemuend, Germany, Julie just earned her high school degree and felt drawn to an adventure that would have practical bearing on her future life: “I thought before I start university I need some time off. And since I only learned English in school- and Latin, which I don't need for anything- I decided it would be good to learn a third language that I can actually speak!”

Julie Germany

Spanish and Art

Meet Julie!

Julie and Madrid

Julie is not the first member of her family to venture out to Madrid. When her mother was Julie's age, 19, she came to Spain and stayed for a full year. Her language skills flourished and, years later, she is working as a Spanish translator in Germany. While Julie doesn't necessarily feel that this was a direct inspiration, she does admit, “She did tell me it was good to learn Spanish, I was between Italian and Spanish and she said, ‘You will need Spanish more. More countries in the world speak it.’” And so Julie and her mother took to the internet,

“We were looking up places in Madrid to learn Spanish, looking through various language schools, and she picked it out [AIL Madrid] and said, ‘Oh look, I found something where they have Spanish and art,’ so I thought, ‘that sounds nice, I’ll do that!’”

Julie and AIL

As for her entrance to AIL Madrid, Julie says, “I took Italian for two years when I was in high school and the grammar is quite similar to Spanish, so that was what I knew when I came.” And her background definitely helped Julie to transition into learning Spanish, “I learn fast. I am good at learning things, memorizing things, and the grammar is not a problem for me.”

So, with the help of her incredible teacher Lucia, Julie has gone from a complete beginner to an A2 level in just a few weeks, “I can actually talk to people on the street already and I've only been here for a few weeks!”

Of Lucia, she says,

“She's always friendly and really sweet, and she never says, “that’s wrong”, she always suggests a better way to say it, and I like that very much. I also like that we play a lot of games in class, because it really helps.”

Julie discovers Madrid!

But Julie's life in Madrid also expands well beyond AIL, though she made many of her close friends in her Spanish class. Together, the group often ventures to Gran Via (where the lights are particularly dazzling) for shopping trips, or on various culinary adventures, “I like to go to Calle Huertas, because there are a lot of good restaurants and tapas bars that aren't as expensive.” Beyond that,

“I really enjoy going out with friends, because in Madrid something really crazy always happens. Which we don't have to get into! But I do stuff with my girlfriends from class, and I have some Spanish friends who I visit. I really like going out here, something surprising always happens!”

Julie Recommends...

When asked if she has any advice for potential students, Julie responds,

“I would recommend Monday salsa at the Independence club, it’s really fun. Especially afterwards, when the DJ is playing... and of course all the classes are really good! I think next time I come to AIL Madrid, I’ll stay with a host family, because that would be really good practice!”