Why I Took the Leap and Decided to Teach in Madrid


Dawn McGowen is one of Greenheart Travel’s Homestay teachers who will be spending her summer in Spain. She will be living with a family of six in Madrid, and she shared a few of her thoughts with us as she prepared for her departure to Madrid!

What motivated you to teach in a homestay?

Education is very important to me. I am baffled by those who do not wish to understand other cultures and lifestyles. I am simply curious about so many things, that I can’t imagine I will ever stop learning something new. There are so many things I could learn from the family, and so many things I could teach them in return. To be able to immerse myself into a new environment and experience new things thrills me.

When I first came across this program, I was looking into year long programs that would allow me to teach English in Spain for a year. I kept running into obstacles until I came across this program. I started thinking about the pros and cons of participating in a homestay, and the more I thought about it, the better it seemed to fit me. What better way to immerse myself into a new culture than by living with a host family?


Why did you choose to go to Spain?

Visiting Spain has always been one of my top bucket list items. If I had to describe Spain, based on what I know from reading and research, the word ‘vibrant’ comes to mind. It is a country bursting at the seams with beautiful people, art, food, architecture, culture, etc. The list goes on and on. I have always wanted to witness this vibrant country for myself; it holds so many wonders that call out to my inner adventuress.

What do you hope to gain from traveling abroad?

I hope to gain a new experience that will enhance my personal development. I have had a desire to travel for as long as I can remember, but it never seemed attainable. I am just now realizing that there are so many opportunities and different programs, like Greenheart, that will allow me to travel and immerse myself in different cultures. From this experience, I think that I would also gain a more open mind, a deeper appreciation for education and cultural exchange, and a fierce desire to experience it all over again.


What do you hope to teach your host family?

Apart from improving English, I hope my host family will gain what I wish for myself: enhanced personal development and a deep appreciation for cultural exchange. I hope that their minds are opened to new experiences and cultural awareness, and that they gain a desire to continue learning. I believe that there is much to be learned from other cultures, lifestyles, etc, and I hope my host family learns as much from me as I learn from them.

Why did you choose to travel with Greenheart Travel?

I read many reviews from Greenheart alumni and I just knew this was the program for me. Everyone wrote wonderfully, positive reviews, and the one line that seemed to be repeated by everyone was, “I have no regrets.” That’s exactly what I am striving for. I don’t want to wonder what it would be like to immerse myself in a new culture, I want to live it. I want to experience and learn new things, expand my education, and give back.

Dawn just arrived in Spain, and you can read about her arrival here. Dawn will be blogging about her experiences at “Adrift in Madrid” and Greenheart Travel will be sharing excerpts from her adventures. Stay tuned to follow along with Dawn’s journey through Spain!

Are you interested in this type of adventure for yourself?



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