When you find out that you can spend your next 8 months of your life on an island like Ibiza the first thoughts are maybe: beach, clubs, sun. Everything but not work.
Well, when I have arrived on the island on the 25th of September everything was exactly like that: I got to know the beautiful island with many breath-taking beaches and I also found out that many tourists only visit Ibiza for joining the Pacha and other clubs just to make parties every day. But in the first week I couldn’t think of joining parties because I was still searching for a flat and had so much organisation stuff to do like getting an appointment at the Police Station for the “Ex-18” document which you need when you spend more than 3 months on the island. But in the end, everything was fine and I also found a nice flat with one American girl who is also a language assistant, 3 Spanish people and one dog – Lex. Unfortunately, the flats in Ibiza are a little bit more expensive than anywhere else in Spain. But well, I like my flatmates, even if they force me to speak Spanish sometimes, even if I can’t do it at all.
After one chaotic and (more or less) stressful week my life as a German language assistant started. Every language assistant has to work 12 hours a week either in a primary school (“primaria”), a secondary school (IES- “secundaria”) or EOI which is a language school for adults.
I have to switch between to secondary schools: One of the schools is directly in Ibiza town which means that I can walk and it only takes me about 20 minutes. The other school is in Sant Agusti which is in the west of Ibiza. The bad thing in going to Sant Agusti is: there aren’t many busses, especially not in the winter time. The good thing is: One of the teachers from Sant Agusti lives in the same apartment as me and starts at the same times as me. That means that I can always go with her by car.
The schools, especially the relationship between the teacher and the student, is different to Austria. The main reason for that is that the students call their teachers by their first name. I like it, but I also think that some of the students don’t have the necessary respect, because they kind of see their teachers as friends. They talk a lot during the lessons. Well, the screaming and shouting of the teachers saying “be quiet now, you have to listen” for the whole lesson isn’t helpful either, but okay… My task is to talk with the students. The first weeks started with introducing myself with a PowerPoint presentation. After that the students got the chance to introduce themselves to improve their German. Now I help them with the grammar and we talk about the Austrian and the Spanish culture.
For me the hardest part in teaching German here in Spain is that I didn’t learn Spanish back in Austria and certainly not Catalan, which is the official language here on the Balearic Islands. But even if I could speak Spanish I wouldn’t be allowed to use it, because I am here for teaching German. As you can imagine, it is a lot of fun to see the confusing faces of the students but also of me when they try to speak Spanish with me.
The weekends (well, and every other day after school and language school too) are free for travelling and spending time on the beaches together with people I got to know on the island and quickly became friends for life. Ibiza is really small but the different spots on the island, not only the beaches, are breath-taking and I love everything here.
So the answer for “how to survive on an island like Ibiza for 8 months” is definitely: Enjoy every single moment and try to stop time somehow!
Written by Bianca Trebitsch