Author Topic: Biggest Concerns?  (Read 33236 times)

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ali914

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Biggest Concerns?
« on: March 22, 2012, 04:54:14 AM »
What is everyone's biggest concern/worry about accepting this opportunity? Is everyone mostly worried about the being paid issue? Or are there any other major concerns that people are having?

ord2mad

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 05:12:34 AM »
This is going to sound silly, but my biggest concerns are properly heated apartments and a clothes dryer. There are always laundromats, but I HATE going to them and waiting and waiting. I have some anxiety over getting my long term visa in Madrid. Also if I'll even be accepted into this program...admitada doesn't necessarily mean "you're in."

Also of getting ripped off regarding my piso deposit. What recourse would I have if someone decided not to give it back? My Spanish isn't good enough to hire a lawyer. It looks like most people have an agreement. Oh yeah...having a lock on my door. I've had things stolen by roommates and the "one night only" friends of roommates.  :-X  I'll probably just buy a big chest and padlock to store my laptop, journals, etc.

There's culture shock syndrome which affects everyone differently. I'll be in trouble if I start talking about how great the U.S. is.  ::)

Those are my rants.  ::)  What about you?



What is everyone's biggest concern/worry about accepting this opportunity? Is everyone mostly worried about the being paid issue? Or are there any other major concerns that people are having?
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.  ~Mark Twain

I Am Zlatan

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2012, 05:18:19 AM »
I'm afraid I'll go to apply for my NIE but my Spanish will be so mangled that whoever's at the counter will just look at me funny and I'll end up getting the wrong thing.


Runner

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2012, 05:57:00 AM »
I'm probably most concerned about finding an affordable flat--preferably alone. My Spanish is no bueno so I think the apartment hunting process will most likely be a challenge. I've been checking out Idealista everyday for ballpark prices for flats in Barcelona and Madrid and at a glance they seem reasonably priced but you can't really be sure until you actually see the place in person... As long as I've got a roof over my head, I'm good.

What are everyone's plans for apartment hunting?

I Am Zlatan

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2012, 06:34:44 AM »
I'm probably most concerned about finding an affordable flat--preferably alone. My Spanish is no bueno so I think the apartment hunting process will most likely be a challenge. I've been checking out Idealista everyday for ballpark prices for flats in Barcelona and Madrid and at a glance they seem reasonably priced but you can't really be sure until you actually see the place in person... As long as I've got a roof over my head, I'm good.

What are everyone's plans for apartment hunting?

I'm hoping to find a room with Spaniards/non-English speakers.  I'm trying really hard to avoid living with other Americans--my Spanish will never improve if I spend all my time with English speakers!  And hopefully a place with grad students/professionals, since I'm a little older and don't want to live so much with college-age kids (been there, done that).  ;)

I've been scouring Idealista/a few other Spanish apartment sites.  I figure I'll wait until I find out my school assignment, use that location to zero in on the best part of Madrid to live in for the shortest commute (I plan on living in the city regardless of the length of the commute, but obviously I'd like to at least live on the side of the city closest to my school's town!).  If all else fails I'll do what I did in Germany, which was to just walk every single street and look for "for rent" or "room available" signs and call the numbers.  The Spanish course I'm taking provides accommodation so I'll have a month of living in that apartment while I find a permanent one.

Runner

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2012, 07:13:58 AM »
I'm hoping to find a room with Spaniards/non-English speakers.  I'm trying really hard to avoid living with other Americans--my Spanish will never improve if I spend all my time with English speakers!  And hopefully a place with grad students/professionals, since I'm a little older and don't want to live so much with college-age kids (been there, done that).  ;)

I agree! I'm going to turn 30 in Spain and if I have to share a flat I'd prefer grad/professionals as well. Living with Spanish speakers would definitely help in the language-learning process. I've never roomed with people that I didn't know beforehand so it'll be a new experience if I end up sharing a place, which will most likely be the case...
That's a great idea to enroll in Spanish course before beginning the program--I need something like that. I'm trying to brush up on my Spanish via free podcasts but haven't had the time or motivation to be consistent with them. And I know I'm gong to regret it once I land and I can barely communicate con la gente...

ciaobella11

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2012, 08:36:30 AM »
I have a friend up in Galicia that was able to find housing because the school she was assigned to had some connections with some pisos from previous auxiliares. I am lucky enough to have my bf up there to help me in the hunting process. I just hope I am able to find suitable flat mates...Spaniards would be nice! I had a Spanish roomie before, they sure know how to cook :]

pittel

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2012, 08:38:38 AM »

Just so you know, I have yet to see someone (at least someone whose not totally loaded, like my private lesson students) with a dryer. EVERYONE hangs out their washing outside. It kinda sucks for time, but it saves energy, and you get used to it.

If you aren't comfortable with your Spanish, ask a teacher at your school to help you. Unfortunately, many landlords WILL try and take advantage of foreigners, and ones that don't speak Spanish as well are perfect targets. If you have a Spanish person with you, they'll be less likely to screw you over, or your teacher will be able to tell they're sketchy.

Finally, everyone always wants to live with Spanish speakers, which is a great way to practice your Spanish, but don't make it your only criteria. Use the same standards you would use back home with finding a roommate, and if someone seems weird or you get a bad vibe, don't live with them. I know plenty of people who have had bad experiences with Spanish roommates (myself included!). On the same vein, don't pass someone you like up just because they're an English speaker. I live with a British girl and I've learned so much about English culture just from living with her.

If you want to improve your Spanish, you will, whether you live with Spanish speakers or not. The year I didn't live with Spanish speakers was the year I improved the most, because I was more proactive about getting intercambios and making sure I was keeping up on things.

El Venado

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 10:54:00 AM »
Yeah, dryers are a rare commodity around here. But, if the weather is nice, you can dry your clothes in a day or two hanging them out.

And I also would encourage asking for help from a teacher at your school regarding housing, if your Spanish is not so up to par. Find a teacher or colleague that you can communicate well with and explain to them what you´re looking for or at least what you will accept, and see if they will act as mediator/translator throughout the whole ordeal, just so you´re very clear on the situation.

I'm afraid I'll go to apply for my NIE but my Spanish will be so mangled that whoever's at the counter will just look at me funny and I'll end up getting the wrong thing.


If I were you, I would ask for everything that you need in writing. Ask them to write you a list of all required documents, they probably won´t mind. It will make the process smoother for them, and for you.

 

runningloose

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2012, 03:50:23 PM »
My biggest concern right now is my pup. (I know, who gets a dog when they're thinking about moving to Spain, right? But it just kind of happened and I love her more than anything.) I'm worried about flying, since I've heard it can be really traumatic for dogs; and then there's finding a perro-friendly place to live, since I can't really crash at a hostel with a 40-pound critter in tow. Either of my parents could take her for the time I'd be gone, but seriously, I don't think I could survive without her at this point.

Concern no. 2 is money. I've been saving as much as I can, but still--I don't have enough to make it for a year without being paid.

In conclusion, arrrrgh!

Ojala

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2012, 04:46:47 PM »
My biggest concern is also not saving enough money.   :-\

I'm about to graduate from college and I still have some college debt to pay off (which thankfully thankfully can be paid off in a month or two) but still I would like to save 2000-3000 dollars for Spain and I also need to purchase a two-way plane ticket.

I'm not sure I will be able to save up enough money over the summer; in fact, it may very well be impossible to do all of this.  I'm looking into an online job (in addition to a full-time job) I can do over the summer - and then carry over into Spain (I also want to do private lessons). It's making me really nervous.  I know I can't sustain living in Spain for the entire 8 months if I do not get paid.  I know I'm going anyway if I'm accepted; but I'll purchase a two-way plan ticket just in case (under the idea that some time in Spain is better than none).

But let's be optimistic and hope we get paid!

abrazenas

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2012, 05:17:02 PM »
My biggest concern right now is my pup. (I know, who gets a dog when they're thinking about moving to Spain, right? But it just kind of happened and I love her more than anything.) I'm worried about flying, since I've heard it can be really traumatic for dogs; and then there's finding a perro-friendly place to live, since I can't really crash at a hostel with a 40-pound critter in tow. Either of my parents could take her for the time I'd be gone, but seriously, I don't think I could survive without her at this point.

Concern no. 2 is money. I've been saving as much as I can, but still--I don't have enough to make it for a year without being paid.

In conclusion, arrrrgh!

Im in the same boat with my 7 month puppy. Im wondering if i could get my boy sent to me after i find a place...
Do work, son.

Meg1061

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2012, 05:58:57 PM »
Im in the same boat with my 7 month puppy. Im wondering if i could get my boy sent to me after i find a place...

I am also concerned about my dog - my parents got me a Newfie about a year ago after I spent a semester in Seville, probably hoping that I wouldn't move away again, but returning to Spain is something I really want to do.  And I adore my dog!!  The biggest problem is that he will be nearly 150 pounds when we leave in Sept.  For you dog lovers, I've done some research and it seems like one of the best, if not the very best, airline to take a dog with you is Lufthansa, and I already talked to a representative.  (Continental's "Pet Safe" program has good reviews, but I spent 25 mins on hold and was never connected...) Depending on your dog size  (check the website), the MOST it will cost to ship them **WITH YOU** is $400 USD.  Not bad, especially if you have a layover in Frankfurt where you can take them to a doggy playground, there is also a vet, and I think they can get washed up too.  But, that is only if they fly with you.  "Shipping" is another ball park- they go on a cargo plane and it costs a lot more.  Then, you have to find a way to transport them to your city... the RENFE doesn't take dogs over 12 lbs, and I'd rather rent a car then get on another hot plane ride.   So... maybe find a dog friendly hostel/ hotel while you piso search?  Or, on idealista.com, you can search for viviendas instead of a room, and then find a roomie on idealista (which is probably your best bet since the searches I've done never say no mascotas).  On the other hand, it can be traumatizing for a dog to fly, so I'll have to ask a friend to watch my osito (parents are out of the question).

Another concern of mine, aside form money, is making friends!  I really want to become fluent in Spanish and I don't want to be only with Anglophones.  I'm hoping to be placed in Seville where I have my former host family and friends, plus I know where the hot spots are to go out and mingle.  If not... well, I can be really quiet and shy when I first meet people, and I don't like going out solo!  I guess I'll have to find some type of soccer/kayaking/running/ intercambio club to join and meet new friends :)
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radiomars

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Re: Biggest Concerns?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2012, 06:10:44 PM »
This thread has given me a lot to worry about..