What I really love about Oxinity is the diversity of cultures, accents and experiences we have. In our teaching community we’ve had teachers from the 5 continents and I personally can't help but acknowledge how much I’ve learnt by interacting with all of them.
No matter where we come from, what we have in common is that all of us one day decided to make of the biggest changes in our lives: move to a foreign country and start a new life.
Our motivations are different -from moving for love to finding a better weather, new individual challenges or career change- and so are our personal goals but we all have undergone a process that has made us more open-minded, respectful, tolerant and understanding. We've learnt a new culture, a new language, we've blended with the local society without leaving our own personality behind. We are expats in Spain and enjoying it!
In order to help other people make the right decision for them about whether or not consider Spain their final destination, we've had an interesting discussion with people from England, Scotland, the USA and Slovakia. Different as we may seem at first sight, we've all made our way to Spain and are now successfully working here and enjoying local life.
We hope the experiences we've shared help you in your decision. Being an expat and teaching English is Spain is a great opportunity for life growth. It worked for us, it can work for you!
Jake (Australia): Definitely getting the visa. As I'm not from the EU and don't have a passport, the visa was difficult to get.
Julie (USA), Aife (Ireland), Paul (England): The language barrier
Ashley (Ireland): Finding my footing
Autumn (USA): The most difficult thing about moving aboard is, I'm not sure if I could pick just one thing.
Tor (Norway): To actually move. Easy to talk about it, but action takes courage. Also the uncertainty about everything - If I would get a job, if I would get friends, if something happenes etc.
Jake: Be open to trying new professions, I did and I'm loving the change!
Aife: Have a larger amount of savings built up and be cautious when renting apartments.
Julie: Be patient! The bureaucracy in Spain is strong so the paperwork is long and tedious but a necessity.
Autumn: Google is your friend! I would do more research about the different auxiliary programs and ask more people about their opinions. I would have joined more Facebook groups and get a feel how everything is. If I could afford I would try to take a trip and check out the city just to make sure.
Ash, Paulina, Tor: Try and get the NIE organised before coming to Spain
1. Do the research, connect with people who live here and ask questions. I visited estate agents finding out what are some good areas to live amd which ones to avoid.. (raval, roquetes)
2. Your NIE green card can be done in Terrasa much faster. Book an appointment with them and you have it done in 5minutes.
3. If you are from one of the special countries that give you hard time with your paperwork - dont be afraid to reach for a lawyer - for relatively cheap price they can do everything for u and save you a headache and some time.
Jake: Don't wait, it's a great place to live!
Julie: Practice your Spanish as much as you can!
Autumn: These are the two most important things: Are you able to be away from your family for long periods of time? A lot of people go home around Christmas because they are homesick, This experience isn't for everyone so they should know first hand what they are getting into. Can you be opened minded and not compare everything to the USA? I've read a lot of complaints about Americans saying how Spain isn't like the US and well it isn't. In my opinion if you go to another country you must be opened-minded to new experiences.
Mirka: Depends on the place, but re Barcelona - dont expect cheap fresh fish on every corner, mulled wine on the streets during Xmas and bare in mind that they speak Catalan, here!
Julie: It was difficult to get used to kissing two cheeks in the beginning.
Louisa (The Netherlands): I spoke French to everyone and once i started learning Spanish i lost my French
Tor: comparing Norway (cold and boring) to Spain which has everything you need and more for half of the money, you have taken a recipe for a fun life in general, well so far that's my case (LOVE Madrid).
Paul: The “púente” if there is a single day between a day off and weekend blows my mind.
Autumn: When I first arrived I was told to get the entry stamp on my student visa. So, I was waiting in line and it was finally my turn and the immigration officer asked for my passport. I had it opened to the page and he looked at my name and was trying to say my name but couldn't. Then he asked his partner how to pronounce my name and he told him. Then he asked me what does it mean and I told him otono in Spanish. Then he starts making jokes about my name how it's Summer still and Autumn is far away. Like, they were the same jokes I heard in English my whole life and now I had to hear them in Spanish . Then he stamped my passport and it wasn't on the student visa and I told him that I needed on the visa and he told me " ah don't worry espain is different guapa"
Harvie (UK): I wanted to buy bananas on the first day but I bought plantain instead. Knowing that banana is translated as ‘plátano’, that is what I bought but they ended up to be plantain. So i had to think of many recipes using plátano and from now on I buy bananas as bananas.
Julie: Honestly, I do not have any horror stories. Maybe a cautionary tale would be to do your research regarding accommodations.
Ash: Trying to find accommodation was a horror story in itself at times haha
Mirka: The whole paperwork process for my Mexican partner was a horror story - the things we had to go through.. and it took us good 6 months of meetings with lawyers, making appointments and all kind of papers to actually be able to legally start looking for a job. They all seem to have devil-may-care attitude in the offices.
Radmila Gurkova Oxinity.com Co-Founder