I’m sure we can all agree that the world has been a pretty scary place in the last few months. Personally, I’ve felt like we’ve all been in limbo – not really sure when “normality” will resume or even what the new normal will look like. The fear and worry of it all have been all-consuming for so many of us. Especially in terms of what’s to come and what the world will be like this time next year. This fear, however, has pushed me to make a life change and finally do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’ve decided to hand my notice in, pack my bags and move to Madrid, Spain to work as an English Teacher.
Since leaving University 2 years ago I have been a bit lost (do I ever shut up about it hahaha) in regards to what I want to do in my life. Immediate post-grad life saw me eager to settle into a career and work my way up that ladder people had spoken so much about. So, I got my first graduate job – a recruitment consultant. Not the path I had ever considered and definitely not my dream job but, with the promise of making it big and earning £40k in my first year, I jumped right in. I waited, then waited… and then waited some more. A year down the line and still making below minimum wage, I quit by announcing I was moving to Spain and thanked them all for the opportunity but no thanks.
Walking out the door, I realised I had no money saved up (entry-level grad job life) and it was the middle of the school year so I probably wouldn’t be able to get a job teaching English when I got to Spain. Definitely should have thought this through. So, for a couple of months, I worked as an admin assistant and applied for a couple of different jobs. This was all in November/December last year and I truly had no idea what my next steps were. One day, I was convinced that by the end of January I would be living in Spain then, the next day I would decide ah I’ll move to Australia and get a job there. It was such a stressful time of my life; I had no semblance of a plan at all. I felt that literally, anything could be possible.
Thankfully, by the end of December, I was offered another job in recruitment – with a big pay rise! Things were looking up and I was genuinely so excited about it. I had a path and I took it as a sign that this was what I was meant to be doing.
I have enjoyed this job so much and I do think that if Coronavirus and lockdown hadn’t happened I would be working there for a bit longer. However, as lockdown wore me down, I realised that if I didn’t take considerable action I would probably get to the point in a few years where life would get too comfortable and I wouldn’t want to take such a leap! I was terrified of ever missing out on a dream I have had for so long.
Moving back to Spain has been in my mind for a long time, it was the thing that I would always come back to. When I was graduating university I knew that if things didn’t work out I would go back to Spain; when I hated my first graduate job I left with plans to go back to Spain and now, faced with a global pandemic, I know that life is way too short to put it off any longer.
After a lot of deliberation, I looked into a few programs that would allow me to become a language assistant in Spain. At this point, I wasn’t really sure if it would even be a possibility as a lot of the deadlines had closed. The main program for UK citizens to do this sort of thing would be the British Council, however, the applications for this were due last November so I well and truly missed out on that one! There are opportunities to get last-minute placements through the British Council and through other programs but considering the situation in the world right now, I didn’t want to risk it especially as I have no experience and didn’t know the processes of finding work when I arrived in Spain.
I decided to apply to a program called Meddeas, in all honesty, it wasn’t my preferred option as they have a deposit of €850 that needs to be paid upon acceptance of a placement. Despite this, I went for it, as I knew I would only have to pay if I was successful and I would cross that bridge when I came to it.
Now, I’m so glad I went with this program! Meddeas is a very reputable company and the whole process from the start has been so smooth and I have had almost daily communication with Meddeas’ support team.
The application, interview, placement and acceptance process has been such a whirlwind. Within a few weeks I have gone from living and working in Edinburgh to handing notice in at my job and flat-hunting (virtually) in Madrid.
Two months ago, I would never have known this would be happening. I applied to Meddeas with no expectations. I didn’t know if I’d even be successful, let alone where I would be placed! Then, one day as I was doing my weekly shop in Lidl I checked my phone and saw the email! “Congratulations! You have been accepted into our Language Assistant Program!” I scrolled down the screen and saw that I had been offered a placement in a suburb to the Northwest of Madrid called Las Rozas and I would be teaching Primary school-age kids of between 6-12 years.
I honestly couldn’t believe it. I was so happy! I never thought I would be back in Spain anytime soon but here I was with a job lined up in my favourite city! It felt like fate.
The next few weeks were a haze of planning the move with my boyfriend, packing up all our belongings and booking flights. We have both handed our notices in at our jobs and now, we are currently living back home with our parents temporarily until we fly across to our new life!
Going forward on this blog, I’m going to focus a lot on teaching English in Spain, teaching English online and also navigating life in a new country in the middle of a pandemic! Life will certainly look a lot different from now on, but I’m so looking forward to living a dream I’ve had for so long!