The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

Lake Views

The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

Lake Views


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Mama in Madrid: From classroom to content creation

Traveling abroad can be a scary yet incredibly rewarding experience. The unknown is both exciting and nerve wrecking, and starting a new life in an entirely new place can be incredibly life-changing. Meet Emily San José, who has seamlessly blended her experiences as an American mom living abroad with her teaching background to create engaging and insightful content.

Emily, formerly known as Mrs. San José to her former students at LOJ, first ventured into Spain in 2013 after graduating from the University of Oregon. It was during this time that she met her husband, Sergio (Mr. San José), and spent three transformative years in Spain before returning to Oregon. The subsequent move back to Spain, fueled by familial connections and support, eased the transition. Despite the familiarity, adapting to a new country and culture always poses challenges. San José reflects on this, stating, “Sometimes I feel like I’ve reverted back to being a child and have to learn to be an adult all over again.”

She highlights the intricacies of daily life, from making doctors’ appointments to understanding the nuances of extracurricular activities for her children. Even seemingly straightforward tasks like opening a bank account can feel daunting in a new cultural context. Her experiences shed light on the struggles that immigrants often face globally. 

As San José got into content creation, her social media journey began as a personal project that evolved into something therapeutic. Living in Spain with a Spanish husband has deeply intertwined Spanish culture into San José’s own identity, making it natural to incorporate daily customs and anecdotes into her content. Authenticity is key, and by being real and honest, she has cultivated a large and strong community. The engagement extends beyond borders, connecting with people facing similar situations in different countries or aspiring to move to Spain.

Creating a balance between playful, entertaining content and educational insights is crucial for San José. Every piece of content holds an educational aspect, whether exploring holiday traditions or comparing the experiences of working mothers in Spain and the U.S. The goal is to offer variety and connect with the audience on different levels.

San José explains, “It’s all about finding a balance and the best way to connect with my audience.” By combining entertainment, lifestyle and education, she strives to provide a comprehensive view of life in Spain, catering to the diverse interests of her followers.

In the realm of modern education, San José recognizes the role of social media in spreading and promoting cultural information. Her videos have been used by Spanish teachers to discuss culture and living abroad in their classes. Social media becomes a bridge for cultural exchange, offering glimpses into real-life experiences that go beyond traditional educational methods.

While acknowledging the positive aspects of social media, San José emphasizes the need for boundaries. The platform can be both rewarding and challenging, requiring individuals to set limits and navigate negativity. She urges aspiring content creators to have a plan in place to safeguard their mental well-being and maintain a healthy perspective on social media’s role in their lives.

San José expresses gratitude for the opportunities social media has provided; however, she emphasizes that beyond the curated content, social media can be a “scary” place. It serves as a reminder that, while the online world offers valuable connections and education, individuals must navigate it with caution and self-awareness.

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