Shortly after I wrote my last blog post (over a YEAR ago!) a professor at UND told me about a Spanish government program that hires native English-speaking college graduates from a variety of backgrounds to teach in English classes in schools all over Spain. I remember thinking, “Yeah, I think I’ll do that.”
Nine months later, I was offered a spot in the North American Language and Culture Assistants program (NALCA) for the 2011-2012 school year. The placement came late and therefore unexpectedly, but when I received word that I had an opportunity to live and work not only in SPAIN but in a school just a few miles outside of my beloved former home of BILBAO, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. I’ll be working at a school in Amorebieta and living in downtown Bilbao.
Tomorrow morning, I’m flying to Chicago to pick up my approved visa from the office of the Consulate of Spain. Yes, you have to actually physically present yourself at the nearest consulate to pick up your visa. No one knows why. The visa process was horrendous and stressful, and it consumed much of my free time for the better part of the summer. The details of the process are hazy now as I’ve selectively extracted them from my memory due to the pain they caused, but I think this pretty much sums it up:
By this time tomorrow, I should have my Spanish visa in hand. Then it’s back to ND for a few more days to say my last goodbyes and throw my life into a suitcase.
For now, however, I’m off to Chicago.