How Did I Decide to Teach in Spain:
The year of 2013 was a difficult year for me. My grandmother passed away on April 13th and I was in my last semester of graduate school. I wanted to throw my exit portfolio (a collection of work from graduate school) out and forget that graduate school ever existed. 2013 was a year of change and growth for me.
On May 14th, 2013, my college days ended and I entered into the real adult world. I was not aware of the changes that would manifest during my first year out of college. It took me seven months to be hired on at grocery store as a Cashier. Finally, I found a nice part-time job as an Administration Assistant. I was unhappy with my post college life because I thought I would have an amazing full-time job with benefits and not be living at home. In my real life, I was living at home as a poor post college graduate who was suffering from a bad case of depression. One day I was reading articles online and came across an article on what to do with your life after college. I thought about the possibility of living and working aboard and the idea clicked!!!!
I discovered different programs that allowed Americans to teach and live aboard. I spent most of October-December researching different English teaching programs. I was grateful for finishing school with a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Technical Communications and Irish Studies. I thought of all the different reasons why moving to Spain would be good for me. I made a list and here are a few of the reasons why I decided on Spain:
- New friends, place to call home, and life
- Improve my Spanish and resume (I live in Texas and there are a lot of Spanish speakers)
- Travel around Europe
- Memories and experiences
- Food, culture, and wine
- Just because it’s Europe
- Get experience to maybe one day join the U.S. Peace Corps. (It’s been a life long goal)
I decided at the start of 2014 that I was going to apply to the North American Language Assistant Program and teach in Madrid, Spain, for a school year. I thought that I had nothing holding me back in the United States like children, a partner, or other obligations. I knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The Process to Getting my Visa:
On January 8th, 2014, I submitted my application and paperwork for the program in Spain. My inscrita number was 364 and I survived an application form in Spanish. I did not hear anything from Spain for about a month. About February 3rd I received an email with a solicitud admitida status (this status basically means you have successfully turned in all your paperwork and there’s no problem). On April 24th, I received my assignment offer e-mail to teach in Madrid, Spain, and I had to accept the assignment within 5 days of the offer. I accepted my assignment and began the loooooooooooooooong wait for my school placement carta (letter). I remember waking up at 3:00 a.m. to check my e-mail to see if Spain had sent my carta. It took nearly 2 months and so many days for Spain to send that letter. During that time frame, I was worried I would never get my carta and would be stuck in Austin, Texas, working two-part time jobs and living with my father.
I received my carta on June 30th. Before, I received my carta I had gotten my state background check with an apostille, passport pictures taken, visited the doctor for my medical certificate, and application forms per-filled out. On July 17th, I drove to Houston, Texas, to submit my visa application to the Spanish Consulate. I bought my one-way ticket to Madrid the following day for the 17th of September. I now have two months remaining in the U.S.A. and there is still so much to do. I need to thin down my wardrobe, spend time with friends and loved ones, get my affairs together, and start packing. I have to remind myself to take one deep breath and handle one thing at a time. I am moving to Spain!!!!!!
Helpful blogs to read more on North American Language Assistant Program:
- Young Adventures (Great insight into life in Spain)
- Texan in Spain (Helpful for applying to the program and visa process. Amazing blog)
- Two Bad Tourist (Applying for residential visa in Spain)