Testimony of Cassandra (Yichi Zhang) from China

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My name is Yichi Zhang, my Spanish name is Casandra, I am from China. I came to Spain with my dream in February 2015.

Yichi Zhang Casandra As I receive traditional education in China, I did not expect that I could have a close relationship with the teachers, and I did not know how teaching worked here either. Although I studied Spanish in China, I couldn’t understand Spanish people in the street. On the 9th of February I started my first day at Tandem very nervous. When I was in the class, I realised that I was able to understand everything the teachers said. Also my attention followed the teacher. So, I went to Tandem every day. In the following 8 months, I started to love the Spanish language and the Spanish people. I met friends from all over the world, got to know Madrid and fell in love with the city. At the beginning of my stay in Madrid, I felt lonely. I was far away from my friends and family, and the language didn’t work well for me. I didn’t know the culture or the way of life either. But I looked forward to every day of class at Tandem, because at school I could find my passionate teachers and classmates with whom I could chat.

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After a few weeks, I was participating in cultural activities. From coffee and news to bars, museums and micro theatres… my life started to get richer. I met many friends from all over the world, and the culture, the way of life in Madrid. Also the teachers seemed like my families. I made friends with people from different countries, in their sentences, I could learn more ways of thinking and their cultures. This knowledge for me is as important as Spanish. In the classes, I liked everyone else. The teachers gave us exercises in various aspects. They care a lot about the reactions and feelings of the students. They also know the weak points of each student.

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Months went by, I applied for a master’s degree in Madrid. While living here I encountered many problems in life, the professors helped me a lot to solve them. I think they were taking care of me from their heart and that touched my heart. Time flies, now I am in the classroom at the University of Madrid, my master’s professor explains ecosystem restoration in Spanish. My classmates are from Spain or South America. I like to be understood. I think I am very lucky. Because I have been in such a good school. Many times I said to myself that I would recommend Tandem school to everybody, because I see not only the language here, but also the desire, the care, the concern and the sympathy. So, before I left Tandem, I drew some small pictures in a month to give to my teachers. I hope we will always be friends. I will study in Madrid, for sure I will come to Tandem to visit my beloved ones. I can say, Tandem gives me everything in Madrid, except a boyfriend.

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