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Things I Would Have Done Differently When Moving Abroad

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Even though it seems like I just got here yesterday, I’ve been in Spain for just about two and a half years now. And overall, it’s been a pretty great 2.5 years. I definitely wasn’t expecting to stay this long, but here I am with no plans to leave, and I feel good about my decision to stay. [Read more]

Small Town vs. City Life in Spain: Auxiliares de Conversación 2-Year Review

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Two years ago, I said goodbye to one of my favorite places on earth: Ohio University and Athens, Ohio. Being a Bobcat truly changed me for the better, but as I walked across that stage I had no idea that the best was yet to come. [Read more]

1 Year in Spain: (Other People’s) Expectations vs. Reality

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With my one-year Spaniversary coming up next month, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the past year has brought me. I had no idea what to expect when I stepped on the plane at Port Columbus John Glenn Columbus International Airport in September of 2015, and (understandably) neither did a lot of people in my life. For months leading up to the big move, I heard a lot of the same things: some of which have turned out exactly as people expected, and others that couldn’t be further than the truth. Here are just a few of the things I heard before boarding my one-way transatlantic flight last year (as well as since then) and the truth about whether or not they’ve come to pass. [Read more]

The Truth About Living in Small-Town Spain

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It never fails to amuse my Spanish friends and colleagues when I mention that, with a population of just about 1 million people, my hometown of Columbus, Ohio is considered a “small” city by U.S. standards. Among Spanish cities, only Madrid’s 3.1 million inhabitants have C-bus beat considerably, and Barcelona edges us out with 1.6 million. Although we’re a far cry from New York or Los Angeles, and most Spaniards will just kind of nod and pretend to have heard of it when I tell them where I’m from, I still love Columbus and feel more at home in a city as opposed to a small town. [Read more]

The Perks of Speaking English

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I live in a town with a lot of British people. As a result, all of us non-Mediterranean-looking English speakers are easily interchangeable among the locals. When people refer to me as “la chica inglesa” because they can’t remember my name, I’m never sure if they mean it as “the girl from England” (false) or “the girl who speaks/teaches English” (true). [Read more]

How Your Life Will Change After Moving to Spain

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You’ll step onto the concourse at Madrid Barajas exhausted and disoriented after spending the past seven hours suspended in a flying metal tube over the Atlantic. Even though you’ve most likely been sitting for the majority of those seven hours, you’ll still be inexplicably tired, more so after noticing the vast endlessness of Terminal 4 (international arrivals) stretched out before you. You have to walk what seems like at least a mile 1.6 kilometers (gotta start thinking in metric units) to get to passport control and baggage claim. You’ll want to do nothing less. [Read more]

So You Want to Live in Spain: Auxiliares de Conversación FAQ

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I have a job and responsibilities here – I’m not living in a Eurotrip storybook fantasy. I am getting paid to live in Spain, but it requires some effort on my part. I work as a language and culture assistant (auxiliar de conversación) with a program run by the Spanish government. Because the application period for the 2018-19 school year is in full swing, I thought I’d share what this opportunity is all about for those who are interested in applying. [Read more]

Settling Into the Land of Sun, Sangria & Siestas

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Tomorrow will mark two weeks since I left the U.S. to start my new adventure here in Spain. I’ll be spending the 2015-16 school year working with the North American Language and Culture Assistants program, teaching English at a high school in Andalucia, the southernmost region of the country. Here’s how Spanish life has been treating me so far. [Read more]