Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Aussie projects in Catalonia: THE KANGAROO KITCHEN

Another interview to an Aussie who has started a project in Catalonia. She is Lauren Cahill, co-founder of THE KANGAROO KITCHEN, a cooking school for children in English.

When did you come to Catalonia?

St Joan's Day June 24th 2011

Do you know more Aussies living here?

Yes, one! My friend & business partner Bree.

What is your project about?

I co-own & manage a cooking school for children in English called The Kangaroo Kitchen. We hold regular weekly classes in a private restaurant, for children aged between 5-14 years. It is a fun, interactive class where we cook food from different countries and learn about that countries' culture, environment, animals, food etc.

Was it difficult to get started?

Not really. The biggest hurdle for me personally is my limited fluency in both Spanish & Catalan, but I am learning quickly and Bree speaks fluent Spanish & Catalan! We have had hurdles to jump in trying to understand how to reach people (in particular busy working parents) here. We've really had to rethink the consumer behaviour strategy we initially thought would work.

All start up's take an enormous amount of work but compared to the stress and hours I experienced from my previous corporate jobs, so far I am really loving this project. Who wouldn't love baking delicious recipes with a group of happy & hungry kids!

Are you optimistic about the future of your project?

Absolutely! Despite the economic hardships right now, there is both room for growth and a high demand for children to learn English in a non-pressured environment. Coincidently, Catalunya is only just seeing the start of the global baking craze so it's a good time for us to enter the market. The response so far from the kids & parents to our classes has been encouraging so we are happy

Thank you!!

Aussie projects in Catalonia: IMMERSCOM

We start here some short interviews to Aussies living in Catalonia, if you want to be part of it, send us an email.

Here you have the words of Andrews Ambrosius, who started his business 3 years ago, it's called IMMERSCOM and it's about business English training.

When did you come to Catalonia?

I moved to Catalonia 5 years ago, in 2007.

Do you know more Aussies living here?

Yes I know some, they all live in Barcelona though and I live in Manresa. I think I am pretty much the only Australian who lives in Manresa.

What is your project about?

My project is Residential Business English courses, basically we take Executives and business people out of the city and relocate them to a very nice comfortable rural environment for 5 days and immerse them in business and social English. They get to practice English for the entire week. We work on making them feel more confident with their English in many different situations. We develop presentation skills, telephoning skills, negotiation skills and many, many other useful business skills that people can apply straight away in their business life.

Was it difficult to get started?

The project is still only 3 years old, it is slow, especially with the crisis but we’ re happy with the outcome, people really enjoy the courses and that is rewarding. The group sizes are small but this allows us to offer a very high and detailed level of customer service. We are hoping to expand the number of courses we hold per year as well as the number of participants.

Are you optimistic about the future of your project?

Yes, I am very optimistic, it is a great product, our facilities are fantastic and people really learn what they need in a short period of time.


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Interview to the President of the Australian Football League of Catalonia (LFAC)

I met Pere Casan, president of the Australian Football League of Catalonia (LFAC), the federation of Catalan footy clubs at the Michael Collins Pub while we were watching the Australian Football League Grand Final. He agreed to answer some questions to inform about the situation of Aussie Rules in Catalonia.

Does footy have many followers in this country?
Footy is still fairly unknown in this country. Most people know about it, but they don't know what is it about, what it stands for and the fact that they can play it in here. Footy is more known for its fights, hits and tackles than for what it really is: a great sport with a lot of strategy, dinamism, perfect to get fit and a lot of history behind.

How many clubs are in the LFAC?
Currently there are three clubs, two of which coexist in the southern part of Catalonia (near the city of Valls) and the other one in the outskirts of Barcelona.

Do they play international matches?
The clubs have played a few friendly games against other clubs from Spain, France and the UK. Our Catalan national team is a founding member of the nowadays called AFL Europe, organization through which footy is arranged around Europe. We have been playing in the Euro Cup (the 9-a-side European Championship since 2005). We have only missed 2012 due to the economic crisis, but we hope we can travel again to participate next year.

Can anyone practise Australian football?
In Catalonia, yes. We're amateur, so we're in it to have a good time. In Australia, they are professional athletes who earn salaries for playing footy. To be honest, we're also far from the best countries in Europe on this sport (Ireland, Denmark, UK, etc), but we still manage to compete with passion nonetheless. We welcome both catalans who want to try the sport for the first time (and we teach them) as well as seasoned Aussies who either live here for a short period of time and need to mantain their fitness, or those who live here in a more permanent basis and just want to keep some kind of contact with their background. The more the merrier.

If you are interested in playing footy, who should you contact?
Anyone interested should send an e-mail to and we will try to get the information required, and help in any other way we can. We are always looking for more players, everyone will be welcome.