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If you’re anything like me, you’ve been twiddling your thumbs watching weeks go by as you wait for your placement email from the Ministry or acceptance letter from BEDA. Is it me or is the suspense unbearable? Well in the meantime, I’ve had lots of time to pontificate about this great move I am about to take. Am I REALLY going to do this? Will I be able to adjust? Am I making a mistake? Can I live without central heat and air conditioning??

Gloria over at The Blog Abroad recently posted 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving Abroad, which really helped put my move into perspective. I was so inspired by the questions that I decided to answer them in a blog post of my own!

1. How independent do you consider yourself?

I’m an introvert so I know I can really enjoy my own company, and Lord knows I’ve had more than enough experience getting myself out of trouble. I’m more worried about meeting new people than I am about living by myself! I basically have 5 friends, and I’ve known them pretty much all my life. I don’t pursue new relationships because I’m so comfortable with the circle I have. I guess I’m actually worried that I’m TOO independent!

hi im lauren be my friend pls

2. What do you want to gain from this experience?

Language immersion and cultural exchange.

I’m so passionate about cultural exchange I’m going to spare you my explanation because it will basically turn into a thesis defense. All I will say is, breaking barriers with human connection is a beautiful thing. Plus, I’ve been learning Spanish for 10 years and it pisses me off that I’m still not fluent. My reading and writing skills far outweigh my listening comprehension, because I don’t have many Spanish speaking friends to listen to. Obviously, I hope living in a Spanish speaking country will change that.

3. How will you fund yourself/travels?

As the move approaches I’m saving money in my retirement plan and ATTEMPTING to cut back on frivolous spending. When I get to the country, I will be getting paid directly through the program (hopefully ON TIME. Looking at you, ministry program). If I’m lucky, I can get a few families looking for private English tutoring, too.

If all else fails I can be a full-time panhandler or steal coins from public fountains.

impeccable business model

4. What’s your Plan B? No, not that kind. I HOPE.

Well, my Plan B was going to graduate school because I’m sick of working entry-level psychology, but the application periods are closed now. In other words, I ALREADY POSTPONED MY LIFE SO I’M GOING TO SPAIN, DAMNIT.

5. What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do before you die?

Ever since I discovered it 3 weeks ago, I’ve dreamed of having someone pour me a glass of wine like this

sherry
fancy as all the f*cks

Oh, I also really want to be a polyglot. So yeah, living in Spain will probably help.

6. How can this experience enhance your next chapter?

Okay, teaching English is not directly related to cognition and neuropsychology, but I will find a way to make it work on the ole CV. How about “As a language assistant, I built the English lexicons of __th grade students through semantic and linguistic exercises”. Damn, that was actually pretty good, right?

I’m also considering the Universitat de Barcelona for a Master’s degree again, since I wasn’t able to commit to my acceptance into the program last year.

7. Will the job you have now still be there when you return?

If it is, I won’t be returning.

8. What second or third language can you pick up?

Well, currently I’m learning Español, Français, and Português. Pretty convenient considering Spain is bordered by both Portugal and France, right? There are lots of other languages I could learn living in the European Union, but I’m going to take a chill pill on that for now because I can’t stop trilling my guttural R’s and merging multiple languages into one sentence like “Je veux ir al cine”.

9. What “luxuries” can you cut back on now to help pay for the flight and initial cash to get you on your feet after the move?

I’m cutting back on lots of things like happy hours, Shoedazzle.com,  pricey lunch breaks, video games, and home décor (how many decorative pillows does girl really need?). But as far as frozen yogurt and maxi dresses, I will never stop splurging because priorities.

10. And most importantly – Are you ready for your life to be changed forever? To take the good with the bad and remember no matter what happens, this experience, this moment, and this journey is something you will never regret?

Absofreakinglutely.

 

Thanks again to Gloria for her inspirational questions! Be sure to check out her blog!

Are you ready to move abroad?

 

Lauren Victoria

Lauren Victoria

Lauren is a Chicago native and budget traveler obsessed with foreign languages, neuropsychology, dancing, and applesauce. She recently quit her full-time job in social services to be a human English dictionary in Madrid, Spain.
Lauren Victoria
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  • Rosie Morrow

    I am anxiously awaiting my placement as well and I check my email constantly, as if that would make a difference. My plan for mentally preparing myself is to just expect and plan for the worst. That way my heart doesn’t get out of control with a picture of a perfect life abroad. Also, I did a language program at the University of Barcelona and I really enjoyed it. The teachers were awesome and the campus is beautiful. Good luck on your journey!

    • Yes, me too! I’m in the 2016 language assistants group on facebook and I keep seeing all the 2nd years and Canadians getting their emails and it’s so frustrating lol. That’s wonderful about UB, I’d really love to study there (even though I’m terrified of Catalan)!

      • Aparentabroad

        Catalan actually isn’t that bad. I don’t speak a word of it but everyone also speaks spanish. The biggest thing to get used to are the signs but it kind of looks likes english, french and spanish mixed together so you can guess what it says most of the time.

  • Stephanie Wojciechowski

    Stumbled upon your blog searching for answers to when I get an email regarding BEDA! I too am from Chicago but currently living in AZ as a teacher. End of year + waiting for BEDA= super unfocused teacher.

    Have you heard from ether program yet?

    • Not yet, but people in the Facebook group started getting 1st year placements and/or BEDA emails last week, so should be any time now!