During February half term, my friend Jacob Shotton and I went to the vibrant city of Alicante, located on the Costa Blanca, for a week’s work experience. I spent five days working in the office of the trades union CGT (Confederación General del Trabajo) and Jacob worked in the harbour administration offices. As a prospective law student, I was particularly interested in spending my week working within the legal or political field, so when I was allocated my placement I was very excited yet slightly apprehensive - I knew little about Spain’s political and economic problems.
Throughout my week at the CGT, I barely spoke a word of English to any of the workers and I learnt a lot about the problems facing people in Spain - particularly for low-earning workers who are facing zero hour contracts and homelessness. In addition, I helped the receptionist to work out the differences between the budgets set in place for this particular trade union compared with the actual spending on research, legal fees and demonstrations. Shadowing a lawyer and having the opportunity to sit in on client meetings was also incredibly interesting and beneficial for my career plans, although it was particularly difficult to understand political and legal vocabulary in another language!
I had a very pleasurable experience in Alicante, and my time spent there has greatly improved my spoken Spanish. In addition, I have become more interested in political affairs and I hope that I have made some valuable contacts so that in the future I might have the opportunity to further develop my linguistic skills in such an intellectually engaging environment.