Case Study: Max Jenkins – Valencia 2023

Firstly, I would like to thank the John Speak Trust for helping finance my study abroad in Valencia. This really helped further fund different activities and nights out that I would not have originally been able to afford!

I was really spoiled during the five months I was in Valencia. I think that before my arrival and the stress of planning my trip, I hadn’t truly considered the effect of what this journey would have on me. It is safe to say that it isn’t anything that I will ever regret or want to change.

Arriving in Valencia in January, I was welcomed to lovely warm weather, not so typical of a British winter! I jumped straight into exploring the city and starting University. Looking back, it is surprising how fast it took for me to adapt to the daily life of Spain. I suppose I had to in some ways though, as the majority of shops all close for a break in the middle of the day!


However, this did not come without its challenges. While I actually found quite a few similarities between my University in Spain and England, there was a very large learning curve in that I was learning everything in Spanish! Working in classes with the majority of Spanish students was definitely a challenging experience, but it put me in a position where not only did I have to speak Spanish, but I was also listening to Spanish all the time.

IMG_20230315_15243716That opportunity to be immersed in Spain’s culture and be able to speak Spanish on a daily basis is something that has been extremely useful in the advancement of my Spanish speaking, especially in terms of my pronunciation and general fluency. These advancements obviously came with plenty of nervousness and lots of mistakes, but this is very normal!

My time abroad has helped me become more comfortable with making mistakes.

I am very grateful to have had this opportunity! Not only did I get to come study abroad, but I could afford to go out more often and try new things! Jiu Jitsu and Rock Climbing are two examples of activities that I tried for the first time while abroad, and they were fun! It was definitely a struggle being taught how to learn certain techniques in Spanish, but I think it immensely aided my comprehension. Similarly with food, I was able to try many different examples of local dishes, some of which include paella, arroces melozos, and a type of dried and smoked octopus dish often served at coastal seaside towns in the Valencia region.

In conclusion, the five months during my time in Valencia allowed me to greatly develop my Spanish speaking.

Thanks to the trust helping me gain some further financial freedom, I was able to make the most out of my time abroad by going out and trying different, new activities and meeting new people!

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