Every year there are many non-Spanish speaking students who decide to take a Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) exam at our university. For this reason, we have decided to publish an interview with Andrea, one of the candidates, for a first-hand account of her experience.
-Hello Andrea, where are you from?Well, I’m from Brazil.
-And how long have you been living in Spain?
-Now, a year and a half but I had already lived in Spain before. It was while I was doing my PhD in Barcelona. Of course, everything was in Catalan, and you didn’t need much Spanish, but you could write the doctoral thesis in Spanish. I spent three years there studying both Catalan and Spanish, but I didn’t take a language exam.
– Very well.
– When I finished my studies, we were allowed to do part of the research here in Spain and then go back to our countries to finish writing the dissertation and you end up getting into the day-to-day life at the university, i.e. teaching and working in a surgery, as I’m a clinical psychologist, and eventually you stop using the language because you don’t need it.
– So why did you decide to take an exam?
– I have returned many years later because I had the opportunity to do a postdoc, and since I spoke Spanish despite not having talked the language for so long, I decided to do the exam. From my point of view, it’s very useful for whatever you decide to do later on in life, I think it’s important for someone who speaks the language to have the certificate.
– How do you think the DELE certificate will come in handy?
– It’ll be useful not only for me but for anyone from another country that comes here and wants their university degree validated as you are asked for a certificate to prove that you speak the language of the country. Then, if you return to your country it’s also important, because it allows you to teach, for example. Many places may require you to speak a second language, so you have the certificate that shows it.
– Why did you decide to do it here? You are not a student at this university…
-I’m not a CEU student, but my daughter is, so of course, when I was looking for references, the first reference I had was this university. In addition, when I searched online for DELE exams, the CEU offered many different dates.
– Would you recommend taking the exam to our international students, or don’t you think they need it?
– I think it’s very important that students understand that they must have a certificate of everything they do, from a language, to an internship or a conference, they have to have certificates because it’s the way they have to prove what they know.
– Thank you very much.