Well sadly it is time to head back into the Oficina de Extranjeros and stress about your paperwork and not knowing exactly what the outcome will be. I was lucky enough to spend TWO HOURS in the extranjera office in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia this past week. Don’t worry, this is not normal and I’ll tell you exactly how not to spend that much time there. Every office and situation is different depending on your region so this information can and possibly will vary if you’re in the Sevilla or Madrid office so I’d do further research if you are going to any other place besides Santiago.
There are plenty of super cool expats here in Spain. Most people who decide to move to a foreign country are open-minded, fun, and maybe just an overall bad ass. I feel very lucky to have met some and connected with others on social media. Moving to a foreign country can be a little intimidating but it´s a heck of a lot easier when you know that there are people just like you out there. So I thought I´d introduce some of these charismatic travelers on my blog so you can hear their story. Maybe their story is similar to yours and it can help you with any problems you´re facing or questions you may have. For me I find it so interesting that people love exploring just as much as I do. I´ve asked a few expats some questions and I´m linking their blogs below. Follow along and let´s meet them.
Here is Cassandra Le!
Her background: Originally a Virginia native, Cassandra is a Lifestyle & Travel Blogger and Spain Expat. She’s creating her “American Dream” outside of America, which includes a lot of traveling and frolicking through pretty cobble-stoned streets. Her mission is to inspire women to travel more, be fearless, and take on the adventure! You can join her on the adventure through her IG: @TQpineappleor her blog: www.TheQuirkyPineapple.com where she blogs about travel, being an expat, post-college years and the messy in-betweens of life.
Wow, this year has been such an incredible experience. I can not believe that it has flown by so fast and I am finished with the auxiliares de conversación program here in Spain and I’m actually pretty bummed about it. Before working at this school here in Burgos I worked as an Au Pair for a family in Madrid and one of the kids was a 14 year old boy in a secondary school. He was a royal pain in the ass and from that experience I honestly wasn’t really thrilled to work at a secondary school with 100+ teenagers. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong about what my year was going to be like.
I ended up loving every single student ((like honestly I’m not bullshitting you)) and teacher at Felix Rodriquez de La Fuente… except maybe like two professors who never talked to me and the jefe de estudios (headmaster//principal) who maybe said hi to me twice. My experience at this school has been absolutely amazing and so much fun. I was actually supposed to renew in Burgos buuuut if you read my last post you’ll know that my heart was set somewhere else. Sorry kiddos.
With all that positivity there are definitely things that I wish I knew before starting this journey. Sure, there are literally dozens of blog posts, YouTube videos, and Facebook groups to give you advice and tips but I thought I’d throw in my dos centimos and come up with a few things I wish I knew before embarking on this new adventure here in Castilla y Leon Spain.
Apply as early as possible for EVERYTHING
Unfortunately the application period is closed for the 2016-2017 school year so this won’t help you now but remember this for next year. I for one did not know that you can actually begin the application process and get your inscrita (application) number without actually submitting any paperwork. Your inscrita number basically ensures gives you little hope of being placed early and in your region of choice. Placements seem to be all over the place but “generally” if you have a low inscrita number you have a better chance of getting placed where you want. Also, apply for your background check ASAP. But not too ASAP because they don’t tell you that it is only valid for 90 days after you get it. It takes 12 weeks to process so take care of that as soon as you are able to. More on the background check and everything you need to know about your visa process in Chicago here.. Also when you actually get to Spain apply for your TIE (tarjeta de residencia) as soon as you get all your documents together.