Spain is ramping up efforts to improve the nations´ English skills by inviting native English speakers into the classroom, and thousands of young people move to Spain every year to teach English, learn Spanish, explore the beautifully diverse country and of course, drink lots of Spanish wine 🍷.
Glittering fairy lights, oversized Christmas trees and the smoky scent of chestnuts and honey almonds roasting on an open fire. Dulce Navidad is playing in the shopping centers and long lines loop through El Corte Inglés. It’s the end of November and beginning to look a lot like Christmas all over Spain.
After the anticipation and farewells back home and the buzz and stress of getting started in your new ‘home’, it finally hits you. You’re here alone. Maybe you won the roommate jackpot or were blessed with a coworker that’s taken you under their wing, but if you’re like many brand new expats, this is probably the time that loneliness and homesickness are starting to set in.
We arrived around two and the fiesta was already in full force. Squeezing through the mobs of sweaty fiesteros and fishermen selling eucalyptus branches for 2 bucks a pop, we made our way through the crowded, narrow streets to Plaza de la Constitución, the heart of enchanting Agaete.
My standard packing style usually starts the night before I leave, typically after my despedida (farewell) dinner, and almost always after one-too-many glasses of wine. It’s one thing to rock that laissez faire lifestyle when packing for a month or two, but a year of living abroad is definitely higher stakes, as I learned moving to Spain as an Auxiliar de Conversación.
To describe Cuenca as dramatic would be an understatement. Originally founded by the Moors in the 8th century, the city was built on a peak protected by severe drops down to the gorges of the Huécar and Júcar rivers below. Everything surrounding the city is verdant green, and everything within the city is solid stone that has witnessed thousands of years of history.
Finding a flat is essential.
Finding a flat you love (or at least like, hopefully a lot) will make a huge impact on your overall Spain experience.
No One Says Apartamento: A Piso Glossary for Spain When I first moved to Madrid, I absolutely thought my Spanish was on point… until I started looking for apartments and had my potential compañeros de piso rambling on a mile a minute about fianzas, ascensores and gastos aparte. ¿Say what? For starters, you’re not looking…
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably received your regional placement as a Language Assistant in Spain… congrats! If you’re like most first-time auxiliares, this will be your first time living overseas for more than a just study abroad stint, and let’s just say… it’s different. Different in lots of good ways, and a few stressful ways, but absolutely different.
The truth is, there’s quite a bit that you won’t be able to do until you arrive – finding a piso (apartment) you love, setting up a bank account, securing a Spanish SIM card, etc. There are, however, a few things you can do now to make the transition a whole helluvalot easier when you arrive, and here are my top 3: consulates, cash & communication.