Former English Language Assistants share the highlights of their placement experiences. You can also hear ELAs chatting to the team on a range of themes in the ELA podcasts.

Here's a story from the language assistant. Read the article published on the Voices Magazine, titled The Value of Living Like a Local in France. It explores the experience of relocating 500 miles from home to work. Molly Noble, an English Language Assistant (ELA) based in Nantes, France, shares insights on how embracing the French lifestyle and living like a local has enriched her experience to the fullest. 


Amanda Cowan, Canada (Quebec)

I loved my placement. My students took every opportunity to celebrate the big and small things which meant that there was a real sense of community and genuine support within the whole adult education centre.

Xin Fan, Germany

My time as an ELA was the brilliant sum of many little gems including the joy of cultural exchange with the kids I taught and making friends across Germany, whom I still message today. Being an ELA was a truly formative experience, gifting me unbuyable anecdotes and bags of confidence with spoken German. I’d recommend it to anyone — especially those slightly older graduates, like me, who never got the opportunity to have a year abroad. Mach’s einfach!


Georgia Elliott, France

This photo was taken by a great friend, who was also an English Language Assistant, whilst we were having a photo break on the Ile de Porquerolles. Off of the south of France are some beautiful, tropical looking islands with white sand and clear sea, and even in late February the sun was shining as we cycled around the island. It only took a twenty minute boat journey from the port of Hyeres and I truly felt like I was in the Caribbean for the day!

Emma standing in front of an illuminated building at night

Emma Glover, Spain

Being an assistant through the British Council isn't just a job, it's an international adventure. On the many (many) festive days and fiestas, you become immersed in Spanish traditions and culture and learn how to celebrate the Spanish way. This photo is one from Los Fiestas del Pilar in Zaragoza overlooking the 'Cathedral-Basicilla of the Lady of the Pilar' where bouquets of flowers are brought by hundreds of people in their traditional dress following a parade through the streets.

Grace Grossman, Spain

I got the chance to teach a kids yoga class at the College of Education and Primary San Jose Obrero, Seville. Two of my passions include working with kids and practising yoga, so the chance to explore this route really encourages me to pursue teaching kids yoga professionally after seeing such a positive effect of filling the classroom with good energy. 

Jack Cork, Spain

During my placement year I was able to learn a lot about the history of the Canary Islands. While out walking one day, I stumbled across the 'El Atlante' sculpture at the north-eastern edge of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This nine-metre-high figure made from local volcanic rock was constructed by Tony Gallardo in 1986, inspired by the myth of the legendary continent Atlantis, whose ruins some people believe lie at the bottom of the sea beneath the Canary Islands.

Jasper Gogol-Sicklen, China

The largest impact that the ELA programme had on me was my own personal growth and employability. I never imagined that I would do a speech to twelve thousand students and faculty members, create my own modules for international students and engage in areas of public speaking and confidence building all whilst inspiring a whole new generation of young people. Three years afterwards my Chinese had grown exponentially.

Matt Dawson, Mexico

This photo was taken at Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico, during the Christmas break. They are calcified waterfalls found in the Oaxaca valley, and I am pictured on the left standing in the thermal springs. On my right is my friend Ignacio, from Argentina. We met in Spain, and thanks to the British Council ELA programme, we were able to meet up again two years later in Mexico, a shining example of how the programme promotes cultural exchange and the growth of friendships across continents. 

Roslynn Beighton, Mexico

This photo is of me dressing up as a Katrina for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at the university where I was an English Language Assistant. I was asked to be a judge for the Katrin/Kartina competition and loved being a part of all the exciting events the school organized for this unmissable celebration! Being an ELA gifted me a unique learning experience about a different part of the world and the opportunity to make meaningful connections with so many lovely people.