Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Early Bird Gets The Visa


I’m never on time, I’m always early. So as soon as I received official word that I’d be in Spain come fall, I leaped at scheduling a visa appointment at my local Consulate of Spain for as soon as possible. Though I did not have all of my documents at the time I booked it, I had faith that my school placement, background check (BGC, as the cool kids call it) and medical clearance would all be in my eager little hands before then. With the exception of the BGC, I had all of these documents ready to go the day of my appointment. I contemplated rescheduling since I had not received the BGC in the mail yet but finding out that the next available date was 4 weeks before my estimated departure date I decided to take my chances and show up to the interview anyway and hope that they’d let me bring it in once I receive it.

Parked my car across the street from the consulate thirty minutes before my scheduled appointment.

Walked over to the consulate with my documents in hand and waited in front of the consulate. A group of Spanish speaking people walked by and entered the building. A few minutes later the other person who was waiting outside with me (applying for a student visa for a study abroad program) and I were buzzed in. We took a seat in the tiny waiting room.

Roll call.

We were then handed a sheet and told to organize our paperwork in the order listed.

A very chic looking woman opens the door and calls my name. I follow her up the stairs to her office for the interview.

Immediately I let my interviewer know that I was still waiting to receive my apostilled BGC. She said that was fine and that I should bring it in as soon as I receive it. Score!

The interview continued and was very pleasant. The interviewer was absolutely lovely and we yenta-ed it up the entire time as she was processing my docs.

Process complete. Headed down to the payment window where a very handsome Spanish man was waiting to collect the fees for the visa. He said something, I got all giggly and distracted and couldn’t count my money. Luckily he had the counting thing down and I successfully paid him. If this is a little sample of what’s to come in the hombre department en España, I’m all for it.

In my car and done.

Now that the visa process is pretty much squared away, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and now it’s starting to feel real. Like, seriously. I’m going to be living in Madrid. Waaaaahhooooooooo!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The One With The Introduction


Hey, now!

So, I’m not new to this blogging thing. You see, I had a teensy weensy little food blog a few years ago that I loved but eventually neglected to keep up. Well, here I am again and I guarantee you I will have a lot to write about. “Why?” you ask. Let me clue you in on a little something: in a matter of mere months I’ll be embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. Come September I will be spending nine months in, wait for it…

Spain! Yes, Spain, one of the most beautiful, lively, historic countries in the world. Thanks to the Ministry of Education in Spain, I’ve been granted a golden and much sought after opportunity to become an English teaching assistant. 

This long and drawn out process began back in November when I applied to the program in hopes of jetting off to Spain and helping English students improve their language skills. Between November and March thousands of other hopefuls applied with the same thought in mind. Since the start of the application period to now, lots of drama ensued. There was news coming out of Spain about teaching assistants not getting paid on time, the country falling into a devastating recession, and major cuts to the education budget which included regions participating in the English teaching assistant program eliminating the program all together. With three major regions pulling out of the program and others cutting available positions by a significant amount, a record number of applicants were waiting to hear whether or not they will be placed and if so where. Tensions were running high and to describe candidates’ feelings as anxious would be a major understatement. After a month of delaying notification, placements began trickling in and within a week a huge chunk of applicants were offered a placement.

 I received my placement via email while I was at work and though I wanted to get up and do this:

Instead I sat quietly and continued working like this:

So, where the hell in Spain am I going to be?

Madrid! The very lovely and beautiful Madrid. 

Now, I’ve never been to Spain but let’s just say I’ve been there via some very good friends of mine. You may have heard of them? Lonely Planet, House Hunters International and my bff Rick Steves. But I’m so over hearing about their adventures and am ready to start my very own super, awesome, fantastic aventuras en España.