Lucia teaching a music class at Gymboree.
The Local talks to 24-year-old Lucia Escolano from Spain, who moved to Vienna in January to improve her German and find work.
Where are you from and what brought you to Austria?
I am from Granada, in Andalucía, Spain. A conversation with a friend of mine who lives in Vienna and an interest in improving my German brought me here. When I was in Granada I was studying German and teaching English, but I felt that if I wanted to learn German properly, I needed to leave Spain. The situation in Spain means that it is difficult to find a job at the moment... so, I thought, why not? Let’s go and learn for a while!
Did you speak any German before you arrived and what level was required by your employer?
Before arriving in Austria, I had studied German for two years but I couldn’t speak fluently. I was looking for jobs and finding that my German skills were not good enough, but then I found work at Gymboree Play & Music
as a music teacher. It's an international private kindergarten for children aged zero to five, taught in both English and German. When I arrived they were looking for an English teacher, so luckily English was the required language, in my case.
What's the most enjoyable thing about your job?
The most enjoyable thing for me is to see the way children, at a very early age, perceive music. They observe, they follow the rhythm, they
smile if they like the melodies, and they make music with me! It is wonderful to have the chance to introduce music into their lives.
What do you find most challenging, and most interesting, about living in Austria?
One of the biggest challenges, after learning German, is to be able to understand the Austrian accent and dialects! I know it is going to take time to get used to that.
What are the most commonly asked questions when people hear that you're from Spain?
The first thing people ask is “But if you are Spanish, why are you here? Back home you can see the sun and it’s warmer!” Another interesting question I get a lot is: "Is it true that the situation in Spain is that bad?" And a lot of people ask if I miss Spain.
What do you most miss about home?
I don’t like to think about that because when I do, it just makes me miss more things. But I would say that what I miss the most is my family, my friends and Spanish ham!
What do you enjoy most about living in Vienna?
Since I arrived I've been really enjoying meeting new people, speaking German, making music, and of course… using Vienna's public transport! It is amazing!