University of Texas at Austin
Language Proficiency Level
For my service project in Granada, Spain, I spent the last few months volunteering in special education at San Rafael Hospital, working with students who have disorders ranging from cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy to autism. I witnessed first-hand how Andalucía’s warm culture can have a positive impact in the workplace, an advantage in comparison to American education.
I worked one on one with the children helping them in their activity books. These lessons challenged my creativity to explain mathematics or grammar in ways the children could understand, a feat considering my limited Spanish. Volunteering at San Rafael redefined my meaning of success in education.
Adjusting the first few weeks was difficult without any previous experience, especially helping feed the children lunch on Wednesdays. However, not only did I soon become familiar with each student’s capabilities and quirks, but I have bonded with the children. My service became the highlight of my Mondays and Wednesdays and the reason I had a smile on my face for the rest of the day.
Disability and Equity in Education | Special Education and Teaching
Vichier-Guerre, Cecilia, "El Éxito del Colegio de Educación Especial San Rafael / Success of the Special Education School “San Rafael”" (2013). Spain: Language, Community, and Social Change. 9.