Friday, 26 October 2012

Autumn is here (kind of).

Well the temperatures have dropped to a ghastly 18 degrees, it's rained...twice, and I no longer feel like I'm in an oven if I wear my jeans before 6pm. Apparently autumn is here.

They even kept the children inside at break today and I saw one shivering later! I don't think we were allowed inside unless there was a tsunami.

A gift from one of my students
So what have I been up to this week? Well my mum arrived fora five day visit :D and I got to show her the city. It made me realise how far I've actually come since I've been here: not needing a map anymore, understanding the eating habits, opening times and being able to say "no no I know this really good tapas place, just keep walking!" The negative point of two white people walking around is that I've been treated like a tourist for the first time. I want to wear a big sign on my head saying "I just opened a bank account in Spanish, I understand 'Hola' and 'dos euro'"

Other than that it's been back to school and I feel I'm starting to get into the swing of private teaching more. Also the kids are so adorable, they always want to show me what they're doing or drawing. Yesterday one poked me and when I turned round, sung a song in japanese to me. Teaching really introduces you to how truly random children are...

Tonight I'm intending to head to a salsa night. Please wish me and the poor Spanish onlookers good luck....

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Oh yea, THAT'S why I'm an auxiliar...

I have come to the conclusion that I am never getting internet at home in this country. Oh well more excuses for tinto de verano by the sea....

There have been times here when I have sincerely asked myself whether I should have become an auxiliar or gone to Spain as a student. There are distinct pros and cons to both, and sometimes it has felt like student life would have been easier.

Student- pros
1. Easier to make friends. You go to university where events are organised for you in order to meet people. There are students of your own age in all your classes and you will most likely live with other students.
2. Extra help settling in. The erasmus group at the university usually offer a lot of help getting a mobile etc and as you're not working you probably won't need a Spanish bank account.
3. Less work. Initially that is. You will have more to do at exam time, but depending on your school, auxiliars can have a lot of class planning to do, especially if you take on extra ones.
4. Less responsibility. Just like at uni if you don't turn up for class your tutor will not give a flying fuck. If you don't turn up for work, the biligual teacher will quite probably have a mental breakdown.

1. Less money. Yes you have no salary, so getting started may take a little more out of your savings than you'd like.
2. You are not as easily immersed in Spanish. Your classes may be in Spanish but they could well be in English, most Erasmus students speak English and you have to make more of an effort to get out of the student bubble.
3. Although any time spent abroad will be favoured on a CV, if you choose the easiest subjects you can, an employer isn't going to take it as seriously as a year of work experience.

Auxiliar- Pros
1. Money. You get paid and you can ask for a loan as well. You are also in high demand for english lessons so if you want to save for that trip to Australia, some hard work will make it more than possible.
2. You generally are still entitled to take part in erasmus events so, while it may take more effort you can still make friends.
3. Immersion in Spanish life. You will be working at a school with teachers of all ages, some of whom may not speak English. It's also great work experience and makes your year abroad a complete separation from student life.

1. In some ways it's harder to get settled in, because you feel like you're doing everything alone. Everyone in the school already knows each other and you can't stay out til all hours at a student event during the week when you have work in the morning.
2. Responsibility. You are officially treated as an adult and you must attend work, fully prepared. Spanish nights out carry on until 8am normally so it's not really possible to leave the club early- they don't fill up until 5!

My conclusion: Today a group of children all gathered round to hug me when I came through the door, another gave me a necklace she'd made me and another told me I had pretty eyes.
I'm happy being a wee old (better paid, if more sleep deprived) auxiliar :)

Monday, 8 October 2012


Well I've been here for over two weeks now and finally I don't feel like I have to walk around with a map building up the courage to simply ask for food and telling myself to calm down every so often. I have a favourite cafe, two lovely flatmates, a slowly developing group of erasmus friends and slightly less fear of speaking Spanish in group situations- we are getting there! I wish I could blog more but I still don’t have internet at home. I started work this week and the children are truly adorable! They are still at the age when they want to learn and having a new person in the classroom is exciting. They want to know all about where I’m from and all the little ones take my hand. I went on a trip with Erasmus this weekend with Erasmus which was A LOT of fun but I definitely want to visit other cities later alone or with a smaller group- more sightseeing, less fiesta. Although speaking of fiesta, this Friday is the Día National de Espana so I have it off- working for two weeks and already a fiesta. Oh Spain. Anyways I have a lot more to say than this but I shall have much more time when the bloody internet hurries up.
Hasta Luego!