Summer 2016: July Update 1

I just returned from Spain. I will be back in the States for a total of 9 weeks. At the moment, I am focusing on getting my paperwork for my new visa done and other things taken care of while in the States. I recently applied for a tutoring job. I hope to tutor a few hours out the week, so I can have some pocket money. Also, I am trying to practice Spanish, review so German, and perp for the GRE. I am busy this summer. In a couple of weeks, I am going to Las Angeles for a week to visit a friend. 

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Spring Update

Life:

Everything is looking great at this moment in life. I can’t complain. I will be back in Madrid for another school year teaching English. I got accepted into the BEDA Programme and that means I can stay in Spain on a new visa up to four years. I don’t know if I will stay in Madrid that long, but the idea is entertaining to me. I need to start getting ready to go home for the summer. I need to get a ticket, start packing, working on getting a new visa, and many other things. I am going to sign up for a GRE course back in the States and plan to be a student mostly this summer. I can’t wait to have the GRE under my belt. My next goals in life will be NYC and NYU. I still want to travel and teach overseas for a little bit; before, I return to the States and possibly start a doctoral programme in International Education or International Communication.

Tulips in the Netherlands:

I went on a quick weekend trip to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I got to see the tulips in bloom. The fields of tulips were colurful and just beautiful. I’ve never seen so much colur in one space. I spent about 4 hours in the Keukenhof Gardens and really enjoyed the beauty the flowers. It was so lovely. I went a little crazy taking pictures of the flowers. Overall, it was a great experience to visit the Keukenhof Gardens. I knocked something off my bucket list. I feel accomplished.

Amsterdam:

Amsterdam is a unique city built with canals and waterways. Plus, some people live in boat houses. This city is very different compared to other cities I have visited. The city is a very open minded and I find comfort in this fact. I am a little odd and sometimes don’t fit the mold of what society expects.  There are BDSM bars, coffee shops, and many other unique things only found in Amsterdam. One of the many reasons why so many people flock to this city is because of the legalisation of weed and prostitution.

Some people come from the U.K. to party on the weekend and have a grand time. Then, head back to the U.K. During a walking tour, I discovered that locals in Amsterdam are tired of all the tourist coming to their city to trash Amsterdam and party. The city is working on finding a solution to solve the problem. I wasn’t aware of this problem until my visit. Amsterdam is a party centre for some. Not for me though.

I was impressed with the city’s museums. I went to two museums: the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. Lots of Dutch artists found in this museum. The Van Gogh Museum houses a lot of works by Van Gogh. Also, holds the record for having the most works of Van Gogh in on place. If you like Dutch artists or Van Gogh, you will be pleased with your visit to these museums.

If you move fast, Amsterdam can be seen in two days. I don’t think I care to go back anytime soon, but when I am older I will possibly return to Amsterdam. I have too many places on my travel list to visit, so I want to focus on seeing new places.

Future Trips:

I have 2 more trips planned;before, I return to the States for the summer. I am going back to Barcelona in a couple of weeks and will be heading to Marseille in France in late June. I will spend this summer planning some trips for the coming school year. This year I plan to start saving more of money for my future. I need to start getting more serious about my future.

Solo Travel: Why I Love Going Solo

Over the last year and a half, I have become very fond of solo travel. I have been on many solo trips to Paris, London, Munich, Vienna, Italy (Rome, Florence, Naples, Scotland, and more. As female solo traveler, I find power and freedom in going to places by myself. It is a rewarding feeling to know that I planned and put a holiday together by myself. This gives me confidence in believing that I can do anything in life that I want to accomplish.  Solo traveling makes me a stronger human.

I love going on trips by myself because I can promote more personal growth. Plus, allow myself to discover the world without other people affection my views on life. During my holidays, I don’t feel alone on my trips ever.  Because no matter where I have gone by myself, I have always met many people on my trips. When traveling by yourself, you are never truly alone. Some way you meet other fellow travellers on the road.

Safety is very important to me. When traveling alone, I always put my safety and well being at the top of my list. It’s all about using common sense. Bottom line is don’t leave your common sense  at home. I don’t put myself in unsafe situations. I take care of myself because I can on depend on myself while I am traveling by myself.

I love how I can focus on what I want to spend my time on in a city. If I want to go slow, I can take my time and enjoy what I want to see. There are times that I want to move fast and have an action packed day. When I was in Paris, during the November 2015 attacks, I had one day see what I could in Paris. I got up early and went out to see the major attractions of Paris. Plus, I saw the Eiffel Tower twice in that day. It was amazing. I hope to go back to Paris next spring, so I give the city of lights a proper chance. I enjoy creating the pace of how I will move and see things during my holiday.

I am hoping to spend another year in Spain and then move to Korea. I am running out on places to see in Europe. Don’t get me wrong I love Europe and living here. However, I want to see other parts of the world and allow myself time to see new cultures and learn a new language.  While I am in Korea, I want to go to Japan, India, China, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and more a few other places.  For places like India, China, and Thailand I will go on a group tour so I can be safe.  I want to experience life, be happy, and travel.

Leaving Early from Spain Through the North American and Language and Cultural Programme

I’ve been wanting to write a post about my experience leaving Ministry of Education Programme early. During March, I made the choice to go home early. For most of the summer, I was worried about jeopardising my chances of being able to participate in the Ministry of Education Programme for the 20115-2016 school year. Why was I worried? I didn’t find enough information about leaving early and how it would effect me in the Ministry of Education Programme.  I think anyone would be nervous about making a choice like this and not fully knowing what the end results would be. Especially, if you are living and working overseas.

I have been very lucky with the school I was assigned to work as an auxiliary. My school was fine with me leaving. This may not be fine in other communities in Spain. I have been in Community of Madrid for nearly two school years now, so double check with the community you work in. It depends on the school  and community you work for and if they are willing to let you leave early. As long as you follow the exiting process with the Ministry of Education, you are fine to come back for another school year. Before I left Spain for the summer, I had to write a letter stating that I was leaving early for a summer job and that I didn’t expect pay for the month of June. After the letter was submitted to my boss, I was free to go and it didn’t jeopardise me coming back. I still had some doubt in the back of my mind that I was going to have trouble.

When I got back to United States, I had to apply for a new visa to come back to Spain. It was a pain, but worth going through all the pain to come home early. Plus, I had to request a Spanish background check from the U.S. I got my background check without any issue. It took two weeks to get the background check. I was surprised about that because Spain is notorious for taking forever to accomplish anything.

When I returned to Spain, I made an appointment to get a new NIE card. I got back to Spain and had no issues with getting a new NIE card or going back to school. Also, when applying for new NIE card you act as if you are getting a NIE card for the first time. My visa is about to expire at the end of December, but I can now come and go as I want without any problems.  Again this is a reminder that everything works out in the end.

2016: Making the Impossible Happen

There are about 18 days left of 2015 and it’s time for me to start thinking about what I want accomplish and do in the coming new year. In the new year, I want to apply to some doctoral programmes back in the U.S. I want to specialise in international education. Also,  I need to take the GRE this coming year. Most applications are due in early December of 2016.  Applying to doctoral programmes is the biggest item on the docket for 2016. As long as I apply myself, I can accomplish this goal without any issue.

In 2016, I want finish my travel list for Europe. I am applying to some different auxiliary programmes, so I can continue to stay in Madrid for another year or two.  This year I will be turning 30rd years old and I really don’t have anything special planned for this milestone birthday. I believe if I get into a doctoral programme, travel and live in Europe, and just live a happy life. I think I am doing well for someone being 30rd years old.

My travel list for 2016:

  • Scandinavia: Copenhagen Denmark, Stockholm Sweden, and Oslo Norway,
  • Morocco
  • Italy: Milan and Venice
  • Spain: Canary Islands
  • Multi Country: Istanbul Turkey and Athens Greece
  • Multi Country: Amsterdam Netherlands  and Brussels Belgium

 

Going for the Big Enchilada (Doctoral Degree)

After much debate, with myself, I am determined to get my doctoral degree in International Education. I have become very fond of NYU’s International Education programme. The programme is fully funded.  That means less student loan debt for me to pay off and at the same time I would be learning how to be a good researcher and educator in the field of international education. Also, there are other benefits to attending NYU for this programme:

  1. tuition remission
  2. conference travel support
  3. a $30,000 stipend during each academic year of the award
  4. Health Benefits

With these benefits, I could attend school without stressing over income to support myself, health insurance coverage, or paying the expensive tuition to attend school. This programme is what I have been looking for a long time. I believe NYU would be a great place for me to attend and get my doctoral degree. I would be living in NYC for few years and get to experience life there. I think NYC is closely related to some major European cities in the aspects of city life, metro system, and the size of the place. Plus, I would be close to major airports for travel, there would be diversity, different cultures, and fine arts.  All of which, I am very fond of at this time in my life.

I believe getting a doctoral degree would be ultimate goal to meet. I have been debating this for the last five years about getting this degree, but I constantly have been questioning my intelligences, if I was worthy of going to school for high degree, and money.  This school to me is a great fit. Over the next two years, I will need to start getting ready for this new chapter. I currently call Madrid, Spain, home and plan to spend two more years living there, teaching ESL, and traveling around Europe. During the coming school year, I need to start reviewing for the GRE.  Then, I can take the exam next summer back home in Texas. I will submit exam scores and other material  to NYU’s admissions for this programme by the of fall 2016. I hope that I can move from Spain to NYC in the late summer of 2017. I hope this comes true.