Meet the School: Madrid’s General Director

PedroMeet Pedro Sánchez Alejo, General Director of AmeriSpan's Madrid Spanish school (1st Choice)

What is your background?
I was born in Valladolid in 1966, I studied Philosophy and Letters at the Universidad de Valladolid and specialized in Hispanic Philology. I'm married to Marisa, who also works for dQ as an instructor, and we have a daughter named Andrea. I live in Collado Villalba, about 40 km from Madrid, close to the mountains so I can rest and relax on the weekends.

Do you travel often?
Much less than I would like to. Before, I worked much more. Now I do whenever I have a chance. It is one of the best things that this job offers.

Have you ever studied abroad?
Unfortunately, no.


What languages have you studied?
I've studied and currently speak English. I can get by with some French but I haven't ever studied it. 

How did you enter the study abroad market?
In 1989, while I was still in college, I began working with a Spanish professor who was a sports coach for French youths during the summer. I loved this job. When I finished college, I made this activity my profession.

When was your organization founded?
Don Quijote Madrid was founded in January, 2000.


What is your function within the organization?
I'm the General Director, and am in charge of leading our team of teachers, making sure students' needs are met, and making sure everything runs smoothly. 


What do you like best about your job?
Dealing with students from around the world, the multiethnicity of our school, and the words of gratitude from students who are satisfied with our work.

Was there a person, group of people or organizations that contributed to your success?
The entire management team of Don Quijote who believed in me when I opened this school and especially the help and support of Charity Santana, our academic director, who taught me much of what I know.


Tell us one of your biggest challenges at the beginning of your organization?
Building and training a team of teachers who were capable, competent and dedicated to their work. Creating a pleasant work environment for all of oru visiting students.

Tell us one of your biggest mistakes in your job, studying/teaching a language and/or travelling abroad?
I think the hardest part is putting yourself in the position of the student who is abroad, away from family and friends. Sometimes we do not realize how difficult it is to deal with these cultural clashes. I have learned to do this and listen to their problems and, where possible, resolve them.

How did you and AmeriSpan start working together?
I believe it's been a few years now that AmeriSpan has been a part of the IDEAL/Don Quijote group.

Can you tell us about your school's philosophy, expertise and/or why you think it's is special?

Don Quijote is a Spanish school and we can find a completely professional service but only within an environment that's friendly and cordial. The teachers are highly skilled but also very personable. The location of the school and its facilities are excellent.

Anything else you'd like to add?
I would advise that students come to our school with a desire to learn while having fun. Once you're mind is open, you can have an unforgettable experience. 


Find out more about studying Spanish in Madrid

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